CHEF’S CHOICE: Lalo’s Cocina Bar & Grill

Lalo Macias

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Though raised in Jalisco, Mexico, Eduardo “Lalo” Macias was born in California. “My parents were working in the fields there when I was born,” he says. Growing up in Mexico, Lalo says that from an early age he wanted to be in the restaurant business. “I had friends who were working in America as cooks. They were making good money. I said that’s what I wanted to do.”

Lalo began cooking in restaurants while still in Mexico. After moving to Richmond in 1994, he spent about a year in the construction industry but soon was cooking for cousins who operated restaurants here. In 2013, he opened his first Mexican eatery, The Patron in Mechanicsville (7610 Left Flank Road).

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Today, while also operating both Lalo’s Cocina and Chicano’s Cocina (523 E. Main St.), you can most often find the personable restaurateur in his Broad Street location, often greeting guests personally when he’s not overseeing the kitchen.

For our visit, Lalo chose to share one of his favorite dishes, the Costillas Guajillo. The sliced tender pork ribs are cooked in a simmering guajillo salsa and served with arroz blanco (white rice) and black beans. Roll it in a tasty tortilla to best enjoy the melding of all the flavors. As Lalo says, Mexican cooking is all about the combination of flavors.

Creating flavorful dishes and operating restaurants is a demanding job, but Lalo says, “I love it! I love taking care of my customers.” He also loves taking care of his employees, many of whom had worked with him in his cousin’s restaurants. They followed him when he opened The Patron and have been with him ever since.

2617 W. Broad St.  |  804-351-8602  |  LalosCocina.com

Steve Cook
Author: Steve Cook