Juan Guerra has wanted to bring back the comforting flavors of his family’s legendary Mexican restaurant ever since El Azteca closed in East Austin in 2016. His wait will soon end.
The former general manager and chef at the East Austin restaurant his grandparents Jorge D. Guerra and Ninfa Guerra opened in 1963 has taken a position at 8 Track bar and restaurant at 2805 Manor Road in East Austin and will be incorporating some of El Azteca’s staple to the current menu that includes burgers, a schnitzel sandwich, pork tacos, crab cake "corn dogs" and more.
8 Track is already serving El Azteca’s queso, salsa and enchiladas on the weekend and hopes by next week to introduce a bigger "EL Azteca Secret Menu" with items like carne guisada, tortilla soup and veggie enchiladas, with plans to expand the menu over time depending on response. The kitchen is open 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Sunday-Thursday and until 11 p.m. on Friday and Saturday.
"Making this food and tasting it and smelling it takes me back. It’s like all I have to do is close my eyes and I can hear and see my grandparents and father eating it and enjoying it," said Guerra, who has lost his grandparents and father since the restaurant on East Seventh Street closed. "It’s in my blood and I’m so happy to bring it back."
From 2016: El Azteca is closing
The story behind El Azteca