A new Mexican restaurant in Sedalia is offering a different type of Mexican cuisine for residents with flavors hailing from the coastal, northwestern part of Mexico.
Mi Pueblito Mexican Food & Market started in an unusual way according to owner Martha Paez. It began when Paez was doing a garage sale for a fundraiser for her church and she decided to sell tamales as well. Paez said they did not sell anything at the garage sale, but they sold out of tamales in two hours.
Paez decided to try it again the next weekend, and when they sold out again she got licensed and started selling them in the front part of her office. Paez then started thinking about switching to another business, and originally turned her office into a Mexican store. She had such a strong following for her food she decided to go ahead and open a whole restaurant with her husband.
“I told my husband that we started with the tent outside and we sold out in two hours, so we don't have to be really fancy we just have to be here and see what happens,” Paez said. “Put in our best efforts and try to walk the right direction and be innovative and be open for anybody.”
Paez grew up in the restaurant business and uses the recipes her family taught her at the restaurant.
“We use the traditional homemade recipes,” she said. “I grew up, my parents owned a restaurant growing up in Mexico so I work in the restaurant field since I was six… My mom taught me to cook and she taught me how to go to work everyday.”
Instead of having an extensive menu Paez keeps a smaller one where she and other workers can make everything homemade and fresh.
“I cook fresh tamales, I maybe don't have a big extended menu but at least 12 things that I sell I love to do fresh everyday…” Paez said. “Everything I cook is like homemade. It’s like I’m cooking in my house. I don’t have a fryer in the restaurant. I don’t do frying. I don't deep fry it because I try to cook the healthy way I can.”
Paez said when coming up with the menu she tried to think of something to make her food stand out, which led her to making handmade tortillas.
“It is another story when you eat a taco with a handmade tortilla fresh made,” Paez said. “We have to get that tortilla and plate it and get it out and make your taco so you get to feel the taste.”
Paez’s food is also unique because of where the dishes come from. Each Mexican restaurant has its own style and flavors depending on where the cooks come from.
“In Mexico it depends, north, west, south,” she said. “You taste different dishes. I’m from the coast in upper northwest part of Mexico, Pacific Coast...
“Every area in Mexico has their own traditions, their own cooking their own spices their own thing…that’s how my parents taught me to cook, the recipes from my family and that’s what I do.”
Mi Pueblito offers a variety of breakfast and lunch options, although Paez said the tamales are still her most popular dish. They still sell out everyday at around 2 or 3 in the afternoon.
“Sometimes they (customers) get here six in the morning and I say, ‘They’re cooking come back in two hours’ and right at eight theyre here for the tamales,” she said.
She also offers vampiros, burritos, tacos, quesadillas with five different meat choices, available in different combos. There are several breakfast options including waffles and crepes. Her most popular breakfast dish is the chorizo/potato and eggs breakfast burrito.
“I do have the omelets, I have the burritos, three things in the burritos, and then three things in the omelets,” Paez said. “I have the brown tamales with a little bit of beans on the side. We brown them in the skillet.”
Paez’s inspiration is her older clients and she loves seeing the reactions they have to getting to eat the food they haven’t had since they were young.
“My inspiration is elderly people, my inspiration are those folks that their eyes shine because they got a bag of fresh made tamales,” she said. “They say they haven't had a fresh made tamales in so many years.
“I just love to see their happy faces when they walk in with the tamales bag,” she continued. “They're like the little kids with the bag of candies. They're just happy to have them and very thankful.”
Running the restaurant and cooking can be a lot of work. Paez said it is all worth it.
“I just love to cook,” she said. “That’s my reward, for me to see their happy faces. It’s hard work but I love it. You have to love what you do, otherwise you’ll be here not happy...” I am very thankful to the community especially the people in Sedalia. They are so kind and they’re very nice.”
Paez said they plan on adding different items as winter comes to offer more seasonal options. The market portion is also still open and they offer a small selection of meats, produce, and drinks.
Mi Pueblito, 620 S. Osage Ave. is also available through DoorDash. They can be contacted at 660-473-2859.