finding my zen at Loco Tacqueria
Living in Costa Rica and (mostly) San Marcos Guatemala I realized some of the most profound truths about life. I was nestled amongst volcanoes, the mesmerizing Lake Atitlan, and part of a community in a small village deeply rooted in mayan culture. The small village consisted of mayan people & travelers from all over the world. Everyone was like-minded— simplicity, peace, respect, evolving, collaborating, sharing, and oneness. Everyday I woke up, i felt this deep peace within myself that I had never experienced before in the “real world” back in the states. What felt like a fairy tale, was in fact the truth of life when all consumerism, materialism, and greediness was washed away and left people & their connection to one another. After experiencing this I made a promise to myself to always seek connection, like-minded people, and meaning/purpose in all that i do.
I had no idea how this would translate when I returned back to the states. I jumped right back into my $400/mo car payments, iPhone bill, school loans, and rent in the city which was astronomical. I wanted independence, but more so than anything i wanted peace in my mind and my heart. The transition back was very challenging & I was unsure how to find that “no worries” in the concrete jungle. Horns beeped, music blared, sirens alarmed, people mesmerized by their phones, bills rolled in, and my bank account was dwindling. I had to make a move & was conflicted. I was teaching yoga, selling wildly nourished, and volunteering but it was not sustainable. It wouldn’t keep me afloat. I needed to figure something out. I hated to say it but I needed money.
I have this thing….sometimes it feels like a blessing other times a curse. As soon as I feel myself “going through the motions” alarms go off, red flag, my soul knows its time to change. If i am not challenging myself, growing, learning, and changing I feel like i am dying. Legit feels like death. Sometimes i wish i could just ignore it and do what i’m “supposed” to do, follow the path that I’m supposed to follow, but for better or for worse my hair is always being pulled by the stars. When i am serving, creating, and sharing then my heart and mind feel at ease. I am in my element. So i got focused & wrote out in my journal what i wanted, what i needed, and how i wanted to feel.
Then i came across this rustic little restaurant on west side of South Boston called Loco Taqueria. Big open windows, brick walls, vintagey tables, and my favorite part of course the string of lights hanging above the bar. my kind of place i thought to myself as the reggae music played. I read over the menu & immediately noticed the vibrancy, detail, and content. The description of the food brought me back to the mexican culture & tradition. I remembered the hot days I’d walk to the farmers market in Teotihuacan Mexico & buy “elotes” sit on the side of the cobblestone street watching the local kids play soccer while eating real street corn. I felt connected to the place, in alignment, and I knew this was the kind of place I wanted to be. I got excited & applied for a job.
I had my interview. I met the managers. and this got me even more excited. they asked important questions like what am i passionate about, where do i see myself in 5 years, what kind of music do i like, where do i like to eat, who inspired me and why. They emphasized that each employee is equally as important and prided themselves on the foundation of loyalty & family like bond. All that was asked of me is that I work hard, have fun, and help create a place that people can come eat, drink, and forget about their worries while they are at Loco. YES absolutely!
It wasn’t until I started working there that I saw the real magic behind the doors of Loco. I couldn’t tell the difference between a manger, owner, server, bartender or support. Well...I knew who the chef was due to the obvious apron..but still. As someone who is overly aware, I have often been let down by the little things I see & hear..however day in and day out I notice a million little things about Loco that make it a truly special place. The way staff supports one another, the way what may seem like tedious tasks are done without an ounce of hesitation, the way the bar is set up with exact detail, the way all the fruit is sliced to garnish each drink perfectly, the way the green onions are diced, the way the aioli’s are made, and the chef and kitchen staff never cease to amaze me. As they put the finishing touches on each and every plate they eye the finished product making sure it is perfected. The focus is incredible and passion in their eyes. Every single plate is crafted to perfection.
The leaders of Loco are present, engaged, and genuinely care about each and every employee. And not just the employee it goes beyond that—their family & friends are welcomed into crew as well. Its like being part of this badass untouchable team that is on fire with passion, lit up, and determined to create a place for people to be happy, enjoy good food, drink, and forget about their worries.
It doesn’t matter if its a Monday night or a Saturday night. Every night at Loco is treated the same, every detail is given attention, the place gets prepped to go, the doors open at 5pm and the music plays. And slowly & steadily guys, girls, parents, lawyers, plumbers, kids, couples, even Gronk gravitates to Loco.
When all your food and drinks are made and served with a certain energy there is no doubt that it is tasted and felt. For me Loco reminds me of being in Central America, carefree, connected, and passionate. I am inspired by my co-workers and am always learning from customers who come in. So here I am in the concrete jungle finding my zen at Loco Tacqueria.
I once read, “The table is a meeting place, a gathering ground, the source of sustenance and nourishment, festivity, safety, and satisfaction. A person cooking is a person giving: even the simplest food is a gift”
give yourself a gift and come visit us at loco :)