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Wednesday, May 5, 2010

La Victoria Baking Up New Food Scene for the Mission

Posted By on Wed, May 5, 2010 at 6:03 PM

click to enlarge La Victoria's Jaime Maldonado. - MISSION LOC@L
  • Mission Loc@l
  • La Victoria's Jaime Maldonado.
Our favorite morsel from the blogs.

Tasty new business model on 24th: Mission Loc@l's Martha Vallejo dips into La Victoria, the 24th Street panaderia that's diversified to become a Mission food hub. Jaime Maldonado turned the place from a source of conchas and capirotada ― a business that was fading, after the District's boom-and-bust flare-ups and meltdowns ― into a locus of micro-entrepreneurship. Vallejo:

To survive, Jaime Maldonado started renting out his kitchen and holding community events including the hipster street cart scene that joins his Saturday afternoon Sweet Corazón de la Mission (Sweet Heart of the Mission). Food cart vendors gather at La Victoria offering dishes like Argentinean empanadas, Oaxacan mole, sushi, gumbo, vegan dishes, African American style barbecue, Jewish and Jamaican food, and sometimes innovative creations like duck confit chilaquiles with a quail egg.
Soul Cocina, El Porteno ¡Venga! Empanadas, Ninja Pie Cart, and Maldonado's latest tenant, William Pilz's mobile Filipino food business Hapa SF, are steeping La Victoria in entirely new flavors.

Vallejo's piece isn't without an explicit warning about the fragile nature of a place that, even as it hums with energy like a street light, isn't exactly invincible. She finishes with a warning wrapped up in a quote:

"If you want these places to exist you have to make a conscious effort to go there," said Maldonado. Small businesses, he said, need the community support to stay afloat.

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