Carol Geary talks to us about the delicious dishes on the menu at Tolteca and the increasing popularity of Mexican food in Ireland.
At Tolteca you believe ‘good food is sacred’. Tell us a little about your Colorado roots, how Tolteca got started and the importance of your Mexican heritage.
There is a strong Mexican heritage in Colorado. Before 1848, when a treaty was signed, large parts of Colorado were in Mexico. Many Mexicans remained in Colorado long after the treaty was signed, and so Mexican food fused with existing European and Native American cultures that had already existed in the region for centuries. Tolteca’s founders mirror the cultural diversity of this region; Irish immigrants who settled in Colorado and fell in love with the local blend of Mexican cuisine and decided to make it available in Ireland.
Since 2011, the brand Tolteca has been inspired by the Toltec civilization that flourished in ancient Mexico and were known as exceptional builders and craftsmen that worshipped many gods. This concept is translated through our staff as our “master builders” and what they produce is sacred – we only use the freshest, highest quality ingredients and all our menu items are inspired by authentic Mexican flavours.
Mexican food has become very popular in Ireland over the past few years. Why do you think that is and what do you think is the key to creating authentic Mexican food for takeaway lovers here?
I think there has been a generational shift in Ireland over the last 10-15 years that is strongly influencing the growth in more exotic cuisines. We carried out some research amongst Irish consumers which clearly indicated that Mexican food is much more popular amongst the younger generations, say those aged between 18 -35yrs. This generation is also much more health conscious than previous generations, so this trend has driven consumer choice for Mexican food, which is perceived to be “healthy” and “wholesome”.
We know from our research that one of the barriers for many people when it comes to trialing Mexican food is that they perceive it to be “too spicy” so, I think easy to understand communication around our ingredients and increased customization will allow customers to build items from our menu that suits their own palates while still delivering an authentic Mexican taste experience.
The past couple of years have been very tough for many businesses. How has working with Just Eat helped Tolteca to meet the challenges involved?
With 4 stores located in Dublin City Centre we have always been a “bricks and mortar” business, but the pandemic flipped this and over the past 18 months we’ve relied heavily on online orders and deliveries. During this time, Just Eat played a key role in helping us to reach Tolteca lovers all over Dublin City and beyond!
You pride yourselves on creating high quality authentic Mexican dishes. If someone was to order from Tolteca on Just Eat for the first time, what would you recommend for them?
That would have to be our Chicken Burrito. We marinade the chicken for 48 hours in our home-made marinade, so it’s got lots of flavour and doesn’t dry out when it’s grilled. Other ingredients include Mexican rice, peppers, onions, black beans, pico de gallo, green salsa, sour cream, cheese, and then it’s topped off with crunched tortilla chips.
What’s your own favourite item on the Just Eat menu?
I really love Mexican food! It’s simple and you can spice it up (or down!) with different types of salsas and sauces. I love eating everything off the Tolteca menu, but if I had to choose then it would be a Burrito Bowl. I usually have all the trimmings, rice, beans, grilled vegetables, meat, cheese. I go for Pico de Gallo salsa because it’s quite mild but then I throw some jalapenos on the top to turn up the heat a little.
I cannot have Mexican food without guacamole – especially if it’s fresh, hand-made, no preservatives (which Tolteca’s is) so I pile that on the top too! Then I regret not making it a Burrito just so I can watch in wonder at how the guys wrap all those ingredients up so everything stays in place. It’s a skill I haven’t been able to master myself yet!
What areas in Dublin do you deliver to?
We deliver via Just Eat all over Dublin from our stores in Suffolk St, Camden St, Rathmines and Baggot St. Recently we expanded our delivery footprint and can now deliver to Swords and Malahide from our pop-up location in Waterside, Malahide.
Is there anything we haven’t covered that you’d like readers to be aware of?
Yes! There’s lots going on which is great considering how challenging the past 18 months have been. We are feeling really excited about the future! Working closely with Just Eat, we plan to continue to expand our delivery footprint across the Greater Dublin area in our mission to get more people eating feel good Mexican food. We recently introduced Mexican Slaw and 3 Bean Salad to our menu, and we have plans to continue to add new, seasonal items made using fresh, wholesome ingredients that create authentic Mexican flavours.
You can now order from Tolteca for delivery to your door on Just Eat.