Pico de Gallo Mexican Grill, one of the restaurants set to open at the Marketplace at Avalon Park on Sept. 18, is definitely a family business. Not so much a mom-and-pop affair as it is a sister-sister-husband-and-niece operation.
The sisters are Heidsell Alarcon and Heidi Lopez, and they’ve been planning to open a restaurant for the past 12 years. Alarcon is the chef, a graduate of culinary school in their native Nicaragua, and Lopez is the businesswoman. Joining them is Alarcon’s husband, Jorge Cardona, and their niece Nazareth Orozco.
“It’s such a unique family business,” Alarcon said. She added that the food will be distinguished by its quality and freshness. “No preservatives, everything is chopped fresh and cooked every single day,” she said. “Basically, everything is made with love.”
A little honey helps, too, and I hear that the honey chicken is going to be the dish to try. There’s also something called Avalon steak, which seems appropriate given the location, as well as roast pernil and carne molida.
You can choose to have your food delivered in the shape of a burrito or folded into tacos or a quesadilla and then pair it with cilantro lime rice or a mix of white rice and red beans.
For nibbles, the food stand will offer chips and salsa (hot salsas available), guacamole and empanadas.
The Marketplace at Avalon Park is at 3801 Avalon Park East, Orlando. It will be open for lunch and dinner daily. (Don’t tell anyone I told you but some of the food stalls, including Pico de Gallo, are in soft opening mode now.)