You won’t find queso or chili enchiladas on the menu at the new location of Yoli’s Mexican Cuisine, but that’s what makes the restaurant so special, general manager Oscar Padilla says — the food is one hundred percent authentic, “just like we used to eat at home.”

He and his wife Amaela have long received compliments for the traditional offerings served up hot at their Whitehouse location, where online reviewers rave about the street tacos, quesadillas, and other Mexican fare that arrives on heaping plates, and almost always with a side of fresh pico de gallo and lime.

“People love to eat our food,” Padilla said. “For a long time, we have most of everyone ask us why we don’t have a location in Tyler. We was just waiting for the right opportunity to make it happen.”

So when Fazoli’s, located at 7205 S. Broadway Ave., recently closed its doors, the Padillas went all in.

It didn’t take too long to prepare the location for a grand opening, Padilla explained – the kitchen equipment and dining area, already outfitted to serve a restaurant’s needs, really just needed a good cleaning. Then, it was time to swap out the signage and menus.

About a week or so later, Padilla said, Yoli’s was open and ready to serve.

“Our location is very good for business because I think we are the two authentic Mexican restaurants around,” Padilla said. “We know we have Papacita’s and On the Border — and that’s good food, I really like to eat it — but almost every item they have is different. We make all ours from scratch.”

Padilla said customers can be sure to expect tradition when they bite into anything served at either Yoli’s location, because every single recipe is inspired by what Amaela grew up eating and learning to cook in her childhood home in Mexico.

“She know how to make everything,” Padilla said. “What is very popular is the quesadillas, the enchiladas. Our breakfast tacos with meat like steak, brisket, ham. They are amazing tacos, really. It’s all good.”

Padilla chuckled a little as he acknowledged his wife’s talents, and said he hopes that others will come to test out her home cooking soon.

“In this area, I hope people come and enjoy us for lunch, dinner, for breakfast,” Padilla said. “That’s what we really love is when people come and enjoy our food.”

In the past, Yoli’s in Whitehouse has been highlighted for its commitment to community, and the willingness of the Padilla family to feed those who are hungry even if they can’t quite foot the bill.

Padilla said here in Tyler, that sentiment hasn’t changed.

“We are here for you,” he said.

Yoli’s Mexican Cuisine is open Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. and on weekends from 8 a.m. to 9 p.m. For more information, visit the Yoli’s Mexican Cuisine Facebook page, or call (903) 525-9305.

Managing Editor

Jessica Dillon, a 2017 graduate of the Jandoli School of Communication at St. Bonaventure University, came to Tyler in the summer of 2020. She has received a number of state awards for her agriculture, breaking news and community service reporting.

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