Lala was Steven Pizzini’s maternal grandmother and one of his culinary inspirations. On the other side of his family, his paternal grandmother Nona held the key to the family’s long history of serving traditional Mexican food in San Antonio.
In 1938 Ernestine Pizzini Chapa, Steven’s paternal aunt founded the original Teka Molino and used many of her mother’s recipes. While that restaurant is now under different ownership, Teka Molino remains a San Antonio staple, still famous for Ernestine and Nona’s recipes for gorditas, puffy tacos, and bean rolls.
Twenty years after Teka Molino’s successful opening, Steven’s father Herman and his Uncle Eddie opened the legendary Taco Hut on Goliad Road in 1958. Soon after, they opened another Taco Hut off Pleasanton Road – both busy Southside essentials. Steven joined the family business in 1984, running the Taco Hut until it was forced to close in 1998.
Lala’s gives Steven a new opportunity to showcase his family’s recipes, as he recreates the care poured into many of those original dishes. Lifelong San Antonians will nostalgically rediscover the creamy crispness of guacamole cups, the richness of overstuffed gorditas, and the soft crunch of fresh puffy tacos; newcomers will be obsessed with the authentic flavors of their new hometown. And anyone who knows food will appreciate the care Steven takes with his hands-on approach to the ingredients, from the nixtamalized corn ground on-premises to create flavorful, artisanal masa, to the slow and patient tenderness of the meats wrapped inside.
Welcome to the Pizzini extended family table. We’re happy to have you back.