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Navarrete's History in Siouxland

SIOUX CITY, Iowa (KCAU) - The name Navarrete is a household name around Siouxland and for more than one reason.

"The name would always follow as a Navarrete, this is why they recognize who I am," said Alicia Navarrete.

No matter what the dish is, whether it's burritos, beans, tomatados, or even enchiladas, people recognize the Navarrete finesse. 

"She said oh I know, people love cheese. So let's just put cheese on everything and the rest is history." Alicia's mother, Eulalia Navarrete, founded the Siouxland staple, Navarrete's Restaurant. "Seems like that flavor just follows us everywhere we go. They recognize the flavor."

The Navarrete family now owns several restaurants throughout Siouxland but it all started on Highway 47 with 93-year-old Eulalia Navarrete's original recipes.

"She never dreamt that we could continue. I mean almost 46 years in the Siouxland area, that is just wonderful." Alicia continued. 

Eulalia was a first generation Mexican immigrant. She followed her husband to Sioux City in the 70's, but he died early leaving her to figure out a way to provide for her eight children.

Eulalia's son, Rudy Navarrete, remembers the hard time for his family. "She wanted to support the family so she went ahead and decided to make one of the recipes she created back in the 70's." 

Food that was unheard of in Siouxland at that time. 

"That was before even Taco Johns was around!" Rudy added. 

Eulalia stayed true to her culture and her perseverance paid off. 

"We just went ahead and did what we could to survive. And you know, that's what it's about. Working hard and be who you are. Don't try to change who you are," said Alicia. 

Eulalia's grandson, Rudy Junior, remembers her fondly. "She had a good reputation for good food and it went really well, well enough to take care of her children."

Her recipes continue to provide for her family, as they continue to carry on her legacy serving the food she taught them to make. 

"By the grace of God, we have a really good seed that she's planted," said Alicia. 

"She was very strong to give us the direction and the love and the support that we need to go," said Rudy Junior, "I always give her the credit because she deserves it. I'm just here doing my best, you know trying to carry it on."

Eulalia's legacy goes beyond what she accomplished in the kitchen. 

It lives on, with her family. 

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