MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Your nachos are only as good as the tortilla chips you build them with.
That is the secret to the Best Nachos in Minnesota, which can be found at Grace’s Tex-Mex in Owatonna.READ MORE: Good Question: How Do Trees Know When To Bloom?
You may be surprised to see a Tex-Mex restaurant in rural Minnesota, but owner Grace McGuire has brought the flavor of the south to the north.
“We have a judge in town that says he has our shredded beef burrito with gravy on it, and he calls it the Norwegian burrito (laughs)!” Cindy Travis, Grace’s daughter, said.
Grace opened her restaurant in 1969, just after moving from Texas with her two young daughters, Cindy and Sandy.
“I was 31-years-old when I started the restaurant and I was scared to death,” Grace said.
After being denied a loan from a bank because she was not considered head of a household as a single mother, her own family loaned her $90 to make her dreams come true.
She says it was her mother, Bessie, who believed in her most.
“I cooked the same recipes that my mom taught me. My mom was my everything. This is really her,” she said.
And now Cindy and Aunt Irma are running the restaurant, keeping the tradition alive. The famous “Cindy Nachos” were inspired by her daughter’s particular take on the Mexican favorite.READ MORE: Minnesota Companies Mining Gold From Nostalgia For Decades Gone By
“I would come from school and like would always want nachos, but I want hamburger on it. So then people would start to say, ‘Well, I want nachos like Cindy has,'” Cindy said.
There are only three ingredients: tortilla chips, cheese and beef. But the difference is in the tortilla.
“Our tortillas are not like other tortillas. They’re not skinny, they’re kind of like a biscuit, really,” Grace said.
All I can tell you is that they are handmade with flour, not corn — and they are delicious.
“I have no recipes. All of them are my mother’s recipes. And it’s a little bit of this and a little bit of that. And we go by feel,” Grace said.
It is kind of a metaphor for Grace’s life; she follows what she feels, all the while backed by her mother.
“I learned from my mom if you really want something, you don’t give up. You don’t give up at anything,” she said.
Grace’s Tex-Mex is only open Wednesday through Saturday, so be sure to visit their Facebook page for hours before making the trip.MORE NEWS: After Her Kids Were Hacked, Cybersecurity Engineer Writes Children's Book
Your other favorite nachos were at Nacho Mama’s in Stillwater and Zorbaz.