Ana Paz and Enrique Contreras started El Gallo Giro at its current location on Main street 15 years ago. As one of the Treasure Valley’s most loved restaurants across all cuisine types, the Mexican restaurant attracts customers from across the state and beyond. It has become an institution but it wasn’t always so.
Ana said she wasn’t sure what it was that changed nine years ago, but something did. “It was 2004, and every day we looked out the window,” she said. “We had no money to advertise and we wondered what we could do without spending money to bring people in. From one day to the next people started coming in. Not tons, but maybe 10 or so. Then one day we looked at each other and wondered what we were going to do with all these people. And from that day on we never looked back. My advice to anyone starting a business is patience.”
Most people recognize Enrique who visits tables and checks up on regulars. Ana typically works behind the scenes, “Making sure Enrique is presentable,” she said.
Enrique worked for many years 7 days a week, 12-hour days. Just a few years ago he started taking Sunday’s off every so often.
“Just this year he took a vacation for the first time,” said Ana. “He’s so dedicated to the restaurant it’s hard for him to leave it.
I think people notice when he’s not around.”
The recipes have been tweeked over the years with signature menu items like mini-tacos, salsas
“Enrique is from Guanajuato in central Mexico,” said Ana. “That’s where all the tortas are from, the Mexican sandwiches. I noticed the way his mom cooks. A lot of the sauces are chunky with different stuff in it that you don’t normally get here. So we’ve incorporated a lot of that into our menu as well.”
“I feel privileged that we’ve accomplished from nothing to this,” said Ana. “People thought we were a hand-me-down restaurant or a inherited from family. But we started it.
Although the official anniversary date was Tuesday,
August 20, you can join Ana and
Enrique celebrating 15 years in
Kuna on Thursday, August 22. There will be a Mariachi band from 6 to 9 p.m. and drink
specials all day.