French-infused Mexican cuisine

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“I’ll try anything once,” is not a motto that all restaurant patrons live by.Anepalco's

“One of my biggest challenges will be to introduce our new customers to our food,” says Daniel Godinez of Anepalco’s Cafe. Godinez anticipates opening El Mercado, his new concept that will feature small plates from different regions of Mexico, in Santa Ana at the close of 2013.

Through El Mercado, Godinez will strive to expose greater OC to the eclectic offerings of Mexican cuisine. He decided to open in Santa Ana to claim his stake in the local food revolution and feels that this can be achieved through his knack for presenting traditional south of the border cuisine in a gourmet manner.

Godinez is most excited to relive the process of starting a menu from the ground up. The menus at Anepalco’s and El Mercado will differ in that Anepalco’s infuses elements of French cuisine into Mexican cuisine while El Mercado will focus solely on dishes rooted in Mexican tradition.

Godinez constantly strives to attract new clientele but predicts a loyal following of patrons will support his team at El Mercado.

Having prior restaurant experience will equip him with the know-how to tackle the unavoidable permits and legal ramifications that go hand in hand with opening a restaurant. “Every day we learned something new about management, legal issues, permits etc. It is going to be a little easier to handle those types of things,” Godinez reflects about the opening of Anepalco’s two locations.

While Godinez is open to exposing his team to new ways of conducting business, he finds that their collective effort and methods at Anepalco’s are tried and true and is “really excited to exercise our philosophy at El Mercado.”

Anepalco’s Cafe is part of our series highlighting restaurant groups and chains founded and flourishing in Orange County that were featured in the May|June 2013 print issue of Great Taste Magazine. Click here for the entire article.