Saturday, April 23, 2005

Julio's Seasoned Tortilla Chips

I'm usually a generic cheapskate when it comes to snack foods, but Julio's Seasoned Tortilla Chips out of Del Rio are a genuine taste treat I'll gladly pay $4.59 a bag for (a 10-ounce bag can be had for $2.19 at H-E-B). These chips are seasoned with a Tex-Mex mix of garlic, paprika, comino and lime that is robust without being overdone. As an added bonus, there's a good backstory to them.

Julio T. Garcia was born in Crystal City and raised in Ciudad Acuña. While working as a cook in Del Rio area restaurants, he developed a special seasoning to put on grilled steaks. Garcia became unemployed when the restaurant he was working in closed, and that led to credit card debt. When he tried to market his seasoning from home, the banks wouldn't give him a loan.

"Then a miracle occurred," the Julio's website relates. "A woman came to Garcia's home asking him for some of the seasoned corn tortilla chips she remembered eating at the restaurant where he worked. Julio went out bought some tortillas, fried them up, sprinkled seasoning on them, put them in a beer carton, and wrapped them with colored paper. Apparently the women took them to a party and the legend of Julio's Seasoned Chips was born.

"People began to come to his door and ask for the chips. He began to get so busy that his son Miguel went to work for him full time. It got so busy that they were getting in the way of Julio's wife, Lillia, so Miguel fixed up the garage next door and began making the chips there.They started making money, and Garcia started paying off his bills. Now, Julio gets phone calls from banks offering to loan him money as his business expands."

Who doesn't love a happy ending? Especially one that tastes good.


jennifer said...

That is one heartwarming story, and so eerily similar to my own rags-to-rags saga! Except in my store's case, it was a very special pair of polyester bellbottoms, not spicy seasoning, that made our name; also, banks still won't lend us money. But otherwise, exactly the same! Spooky!

Greg said...

If you can get this guy to season some bellbottoms real spicy-like, I think you'll both be livin' la vida rica!

Karla said...

Go ahead, tease the Texan stuck in Norway. I'm in a place where "fajitas" at restaurants come mixed with corn and pineapple. Where they sell "Cajun STyle Fajita Kits".
Where tortilla chips are basically Fritos with less salt.
Where they've never heard of Monterrey Jack cheese.
I would kill for these chips, Greg!

tom naka said...

You have a great blog here! I will be sure to book mark you. I have a restaurant menu site. It pretty much covers restaurant menu related stuff. Check it out if you get time :-)