Traces Posted February 5 Share Posted February 5 A 1901 portrait of the remarkable Adelaida Cuellar and her three children Isabel, 2, Manuel,1, and Amos, 4. Adelaida and her husband had a little farm in Kaufman County where there was plenty of hard work for all but not very much money. 25 years after this photo was taken, Adelaida Cuellar decided she was going to open a little stand at the Kaufman County Fair, selling chili and tamales. The people who came to the fair ate her food like it was going out of style. The fair came to an end, but the demand for Adelaida's cooking did not. With the help of her twelve children, her crowd-pleasing recipes and unlimited patience, she opened a small cafe. In 1940, five of her sons moved her cafe to Oak Lawn in Dallas, christening the new restaurant "El Chico." They had the right product at the right time and El Chico was a smashing success. The brothers built El Chico into a Tex-Mex empire. Today there are El Chico restaurants in Melbourne, Australia, the United Arab Emirates, Dubai, Abu Dhabi .... and Texas, of course. When Adelaida died in 1969, she was 98 years old. But then, I've always known that tamales are health food. I should add that El Chico's Joe V. Carvajal introduced Sopaipillas to Tex-Mex restaurant menus and for that alone deserves to be a first ballot member of the Traces of Texas Hall of Fame. 1 Quote Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
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