I know I’m not alone in saying that Toño’s ribs are finger-licking, lip-smacking, melt-in-your-mouth yummy. My father-in-law remarked after an evening of all-you-can-eat ribs, “These are the best ribs I’ve had in my whole life!” Las Costillas de Toño owners, Juan Antonio Ortega and his beautiful wife, Laura Mendoza, serve guests with love.
Toño has lived in La Cruz all his life and Laura moved here from Puebla seventeen years ago. They met at Enrique’s Glorieta restaurant where Laura was a waitress. They have two wonderful children, Toñito and Elizabeth. Laura and Toño love their families, our town and the tranquility, beauty and kindness of the people. They are grateful that they are surrounded by a large family in the ‘town of the cross.’
When Toño was about thirteen, he left high school and went to work in a restaurant where barbeque ribs (and many other items) were prepared. That job lasted approximately seven years. When the restaurant closed, he knew the recipe and was a master at barbecuing ribs. Alfredo, his brother-in-law, asked him to work with him making the ribs and Toño was eager to oblige. That was about eight years ago and the success of rib night is undeniable.
Along with working with his sister Marichuy and brother-in-law Alfredo at the Treehouse Bar, Laura and Toño cater small events for friends and family. People requested them personally and they created a home service, including delivery both in La Cruz and in Bucerias. When a friend asked if they could put a table out at their family home to eat there and enjoy the ribs more often they answered: “Why not?” They put two tables out the first Saturday, and five tables were filled. The following Saturday they were full again. They made a decision to continue this business and were thrilled when the municipality decided to redo the street. Now they are on the newest and nicest street in La Cruz de Huanacaxtle. What a blessing! They have a great clientele and will open more in the Fall-Winter months, but during the Summer they’re only open Saturdays for six hours. Their clientele includes locals, both nationals and expats, and tourists too. People are welcome to bring their own alcoholic beverages.
Seeing people happy and satisfied with their ribs is their ultimate pleasure. And when guests tell them that they liked their dinner very much. Toño says, “We aspire to be one of the most sought-after BBQ rib restaurants in the bay!”
They like the growth of La Cruz, particularly the marina and the main entrance to town with all the wonderful people it welcomes. Toño’s favorite water sport is surfing but he says he’s not very good at it. They both love cooking at home and one of their favorite recipes is ‘ceviche de pescado en cuadrito’ which translated is, fish ceviche with fish that is cubed, not ground. They’d like La Cruz to always celebrate the traditions of our town; the parades, the charrería (dancing horses), the festivals, and to always keep the tranquility of our quaint fishing village.
Their wish for La Cruz, forevermore, is to always be a clean town with all basic services, bringing lots of tourism so that businesses prosper, providing locals with all the work they choose. “We want all to give good service to tourists and, of course, we always want our town to remain very safe.” Both Laura and Toño agree their greatest pride is their family and with their efforts, little by little they are moving forward every day. They thank all who support them, and La Cruz in general, attracting more tourists to visit and enjoy the culinary pleasures they prepare with much love to please their customers.
To confirm they’re open call (322) 132-5541 or check their facebook page, Las Costillas De Toño.