ONALASKA — Word is getting around about one of the area’s newest Mexican restaurants — the one with metal monarch butterflies made in Mexico, that decorate the building’s exterior and interior.
Taqueria Monarca opened Feb. 17 at 1200 County Road PH in Onalaska. It’s in the newer building that also houses Jersey Mike’s Subs and an Edward Jones office, and is west of Caribou Coffee.
“It’s been good,” co-owner and General Manager Jose Aguirre said of business. “When we first opened, a lot of people didn’t know we were open, and it was a little slower. But with the word getting out and people coming back to eat here again, it’s been good.”
The restaurant’s two other owners, his brother Andres Aguirre and Jose Guzman, live in Marshfield. Jose Aguirre moved from Marshfield to Holmen in order to manage the Onalaska restaurant, which the owners say offers authentic Mexican food.
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This is the first time the Aguirre brothers have been part owners of a restaurant. They have worked for Guzman at other Mexican restaurants he has in Central Wisconsin.
All three owners are natives of Mexico.
The new restaurant’s decor came from Mexico, such as large metal flowers inside and the large orange-and-black metal monarch butterflies on the interior and exterior.
The owners came up with the restaurant’s name because taqueria is Spanish for a restaurant or food cart that sells tacos, while monarca is Spanish for monarch. Monarch butterflies are large and many of them migrate to the Mexican state of Michoacan for the winter.
“We decided (on the restaurant’s name) based on how we were going to decorate the restaurant,” Aguirre said. “We wanted something lighter” than the very bright colors often found in Mexican restaurants.
Some of the most popular menu items at Taqueria Monarca are street tacos, very large burritos and tortas, which are a kind of Mexican sandwich. Some of the most popular tacos are al pastor, made with marinated pork; lengua, made with steamed beef tongue; chicken and steak.
“Our chicken burrito is probably our most popular burrito,” Aguirre said.
For dessert, the restaurant offers flan, choco flan (chocolate cake with flan on top) and three-milk cake.
Some of its beverages include Mexican and American beers, margaritas and other Mexican cocktails and Mexican soda pop.
Taqueria Monarca has four TVs for viewing sports events.
The restaurant can seat about 90 people inside and will be able to seat about 20 more on its outdoor patio, which is under construction. Aguirre hopes the patio will open in about a month.
Aguirre plans to soon begin offering third-party delivery service through EatStreet.
Taqueria Monarca is open from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Sunday through Thursday and 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Friday and Saturday.