Living in the south brings with it a sense of pride in having southern hospitality.
That has been a part of my life as a Memphian since I was kid. We were taught, “Do unto others as you want them to do unto you”. I’d like to think that I’m not the only one with this golden rule mentality. Memphis is known to be one of the most charitable cities, even though we are one of the poorest. We may not all have big pockets, but we have big hearts! When tragedy strikes us we know that we have each other to count on more than anybody else. It’s a sense of family. Right now that family experiencing tragedy is the Maciel’s family.
This past Saturday evening Maciel’s Tortas and Tacos had their roof collapse into the dining area. There were guests there eating and a family was taken to the hospital for injuries. I’m sure this was horrific and very shocking to all involved. When I heard the news I instantly went into an action plan on how to help. I checked Facebook and noticed I wasn’t’ the only one trying to figure out how to help. This is why I love Memphis you guys. The fact that restaurant owners were chiming in to temporarily hire the staff and even help with reconstruction brought so much joy to my heart.
It reminds me of how on so many occasions the restaurant industry shows that they are not each other’s competition. They are each other’s family! They have helped each other when Earnestine & Hazel’s Keenan (R.I.P.) was sick, they’ve helped a Green Beetle employee who was attacked and hospitalized, and they helped when Rizzo’s Diner had an electrical fire. These are all times when they could have sat back and did nothing, but they chose to help instead.
Maciel’s Tortas and Tacos located in Downtown Memphis hasn’t been open that long but it has made an impact in the restaurant industry and the local culinary scene. They quickly became a favorite new restaurant and were named of the best taco joints in America. The owner, Manuel, focuses on freshness, superb service and the smile he brings daily. Even when I spoke to him briefly after the incident I could hear him trying to smile through the phone.
Maciel’s obviously holds a special place in my heart. They are one of my favorite restaurants and I love taking people here whether it’s on a City Tasting Tour or a business meeting. I really want to see this family reopen as soon as possible and not have the burden of two months of lost wages on their back. So I created this GoFundMe page and I hope you can help by giving a little something or sharing it with your friends.
Cristina McCarter is a native Memphian who owns the food tasting tour company, City Tasting Tours, and loves bringing people together through food.