Garcias spice up Thorsby with Daddy’s Kitchen
Published 3:57 pm Wednesday, August 10, 2022
Editor’s note: This story initially ran in Faces and Places 2022. Copies are available at The Clanton Advertiser office, 1109 Seventh Street N in Clanton.
Around 25 years ago, Victoria and Salustio Garcia made the journey to the United States from Acambay, Mexico to chase new opportunities.
Salustio began work in California before coming to work in Alabama. When he returned to Acambay and got Victoria, the two made their way to the Yellowhammer State.
“We decided that we would work here because we like the place,” Victoria Garcia said.
The couple worked in many different restaurants throughout their time together, and when it came time to develop a plan for their own business, the food industry was the path they chose.
“We decided to use our own recipes and start the business,” Victoria Garcia said.
The couple picked Thorsby as their location and opened Daddy’s Kitchen restaurant on May 10, 2015. Victoria Garcia said that she and Salustio were looking at many cities around central Alabama, but settled on Thorsby for its easy-going vibes.
“We were looking for a business to put somewhere and decided to do it in Thorsby because it is a nice place here, and we like it here because it is quiet,” Victoria Garcia
said. “I never found a place like this. This place is better than the (buildings) I saw in Pelham or Hoover.”
The restaurant has two dining areas with around 20 tables in each.
Victoria Garcia said she has seen Thorsby grow since moving to the area.
Victoria and Salustio Garcia live in Thorsby with their five children. The couple are the only employees at Daddy’s Kitchen with the help of their children from time to time.
“When I first saw (Alabama), it was a very nice place … A lot of rain and I love that,” Victoria Garciasaid. “I never lived in a place like this. In California and those places, there is a lot of people in the streets and a lot of cars, I like the country.”
Some of the recipes at Daddy’s Kitchen are Garcia family recipes that have been in their family for years. Other recipes on the menu are from the couple’s experience working at different restaurants. There is traditional Mexican food on the menu like burritos, flautas and fajitas, but also American food such as hamburgers and chicken fingers. Victoria Garcia said her menu is more like a Tex-Mex style of cooking.
Victoria and Salustio have built a solid customer base with many regulars that travel from all corners of Chilton County to get a taste of their food.
Robert Johnson and his wife eat lunch at Daddy’s Kitchen every Friday afternoon. Johnson moved to Thorsby last August and drove by the restaurant many times before,
but did not think to try it.
“It is a hole in the wall type of restaurant,” Johnson said. “When we did stop and try it, we really liked the hole in the wall. Ever since we tried it we have been coming
His go-to order is the taco salad that Johnson said is “the best taco salad in the region.”
“You go to other places and you either get a lot of meat or a lot of lettuce, but she decorates hers up so you get a little bit of everything,” Johnson said. “Other places the shell gets hard so you leave it there, but not hers. You eat every bit of that shell. That is why I come here every Friday.”
Like most businesses, the COVID-19 pandemic took a toll on Daddy’s Kitchen with the couple closing the doors for the first few months in early 2020.
However, during the summer of 2020, Daddy’s Kitchen opened its doors again. Food was served from a small drive-thru window on the right-side of the building, and the
Garcias were able to get back to feeding their hungry customers.
Steve Wilson, who has been coming to Daddy’s Kitchen for several years, was one of many delighted to see the restaurant back open after the pandemic.
“They are wonderful folks and great food,” Wilson said.
Wilson said his favorite items on the menu are the flautas and fajitas.
“I have tried other things over time, but I migrated back to those two,” Wilson said. “It is very authentic in the way she makes her food, and it is really good.”
Victoria and Salustio Garcia have established themselves in Thorsby as some of the best Mexican food in the area, which Victoria said could not have been done without the support of her customers.
“I’m very grateful for my customers and my people because I do not have advertising or anything, but they still come and eat and they like my food,” Victoria Garcia said. “That makes me happy.”
Daddy’s Kitchen is located at 876 Dakota Road in Thorsby and is open from 10:30 a.m.- 2 p.m. and 4:30 p.m.- 8 p.m. seven days a week.