Column: New spin on Mexican food at flea market

Published 10:13 am Monday, April 8, 2024

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By Elisabeth Altamirano-Smith | Community Columnist

Chilton County residents can find “good digs” on Mexican cuisine at La Cabaña, located at 808 Logan Road in Clanton. The location, which has long been the site of cattle sales and flea-market finds, sports a small cabin-sized restaurant. The name “Cabaña” comes from Latin meaning “cabin” and perfectly describes the venue. Owners of La Cabaña, Mario and Ana Maciel, have a history of being in the restaurant business. Their previous restaurant, “Maggie’s Tacos,” was located inside of the Eastdale Mall food court in Montgomery.

“We live in Clanton and driving to Montgomery was too far,” said co-owner Mario Maciel. “When we found this place we fell in love because it is beautiful and relaxing. There are big trees with picnic tables underneath. There is the flea market here on Wednesday and Saturdays and the whole atmosphere is nice. ”

The business is run by the Maciels with the help of their three oldest daughters Esmeralda, Sara, and Yazmin who serve homemade Mexican cuisine in the Michoachan style.

Mexico’s authentic cooking styles and recipes are diverse depending on which part of the county the recipe comes from. Just as some recipes in the United States, such as grits, are less common in the north or west, certain dishes are more frequently found and best served in their native state.

“My wife Ana’s family is from Michoachan,” said Mario. “In the state of Michoachan they are famous for their carnitas. When she cooks them, they are amazing. You’ve never had anything like it, it’s so good.”

La Cabana restaurant opened in March and the long-term menu is still being changed to make it more effective for the community. Among carnitas, other menu items include agua frescas (natural fruit juices), huaraches, sopes, torta (sandwich), guisados (a plate with all the trimmings) and other common favorites like quesadillas, burritos and tacos. Additionally, they serve slushies.

“We want everyone to come give it a try,” said Mario. “We plan to have carnitas on Sundays. This is not just for Hispanic people, but for everyone. It is for the community! We have lived in Clanton for thirty years and Clanton is not just a town, it is my town. We are proud to serve the community here.”

La Cabana restaurant hours are Wednesday and Saturday 7 a.m.-4 p.m., and Friday and Sunday 10 a.m.-4 p.m. The restaurant is closed Monday, Tuesday, and Thursday.

For more information, visit “La Cabaña” via Facebook.