When Cesar Torres opened a restaurant in Fondren, he didn’t know what to expect.
Customers, though, had expectations of their own.
“It’s their first experience here and they say, ‘Where’s the chips and salsa… Where are the chimichangas and fajitas?’” he laughed. “It’s been our biggest challenge – to show we aren’t the ‘two for $7’ margarita place.”
But it's authentic, fresh made Mexican food that will never change at Green Ghost Tacos.
Torres added a Fondren location in 2016 to capitalize on the customer base driving north for his food (his original location is on County Line in Ridgeland). Their cravings have renewed his passion.
“Coming to Fondren has been a great experience,” he said. “I had forgotten what full service was. It’s broadened our knowledge of the restaurant business.”
Torres, a mostly lifelong Jacksonian (his family came to Mississippi from Mexico when he was in junior high school in 1994) moved to Chicago after his graduation from Murrah to study e-commerce but wound up in the restaurant business instead.
“I had never owned my own place, but, as a director of operations, I was responsible for close to 50 locations and 800 employees,” he said. “The timing (for Green Ghost) was perfect.”
Everything at Green Ghost Tacos is made from scratch. “Not a can in the place,” Torres said, hydrating his own peppers and boiling Roma tomatoes to create fresh-made salsa.
How authentic is the food? “All of the recipes are my mom’s,” Torres explained. “You guys get everything I ate as a child!”
Call it Mexican food, but that’s like calling all food in the U.S. “American.” “There are three distinct regions in Mexico and all of them have different ways of cooking. I wanted to make dishes like they make them back in Mexico — like we make at my house.”
Menu standouts are the pastor (marinated pork) burritos and tortas. Many of Torres’ customers love their slow roasted pork shoulder and chile rellenos. And, on subsequent visits, we’ve seen more than one order of loaded steak fries up for carry out.
Being among 21 locally-owned restaurants, bars, bakeries and coffee shops is good for Torres – and good for the neighborhood.
“No one cares more than someone who is local, who grew up here, who has a reputation to maintain,” he said. “You don’t find that outside Fondren. The food comes from someone who you know, someone you went to school with. That’s what makes it special.”
- Wheelchair Accessible
- Alcohol Served
- Open Sundays
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