By Jessie Wagoner
McPHERSON—Three years ago, Santos Fonseca and his wife Lizeth Gonzalez opened their food truck, La Fogata. The couple served tacos, tortas and other authentic Mexican foods from the truck, quickly gaining popularity in McPherson, Newton and Moundridge. Now, the couple has opened a restaurant at 1362 N. Main in McPherson.
Fonseca said the food truck served them well for those three years. Though the quarters were tight, the truck allowed them to easily travel to various communities, gathering pleased customers wherever they went. Ultimately, customer satisfaction is what led the couple to seriously consider a brick-and-mortar location.
“Our priority is our guests,” Gonzalez said. “They would come to the food truck in all kinds of weather, when it was freezing in the winter and hot in the summer. We want them to be comfortable while they enjoy their food.”
After spending a considerable period of time looking for restaurant space, they found their permanent home in McPherson. They have renovated the space, updating the paint and decor to fit their style. They also overhauled their menu.
With more space to work, La Fogata added close to 20 new plates for customers to choose from. The ever-popular tortas, tacos and smothered burritos are still available. They are now joined by quesadillas, chimichangas, fajitas and other family specialties. The same cooks who worked in the food truck have made the transition with the couple, ensuring the same quality continues.
Many have asked if the couple will still operate the food truck, but there isn’t an easy answer. They would like to operate both the food truck and the restaurant in the future. However, finding staff has been a challenge.
“It was really hard to find staff for the restaurant,” Kimberly Gonzalez, Lizeth’s sister, said. “Right now, it is pretty much family who came in to work. My younger sister and I are both waitresses.”
The couple said they will continue to assess the employment possibilities and are open to reopening the food truck in the future. In the meantime, they encourage their customers from Newton and Moundridge to come visit in McPherson and enjoy a relaxing meal in the restaurant.
“I miss the people we would see with the food truck,” Gonzalez said. “We have very good customers.”
La Fogata is open from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday through Saturday. They serve fresh, authentic Mexican food and are looking forward to serving new customers.
“All of our food is fresh,” Fonseca said. “Fresh meat, fresh vegetables. Sometimes it takes a little longer, but it is important to us to serve fresh food.”