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The Orion

Chico State's independent student newspaper

The Orion

Chico State's independent student newspaper

The Orion

Mas Amor Mexican Food’s grand opening is just the beginning

The Hernandez family offers the Chico community authentic, love-filled food
Customers enjoying food in the seating area of Mas Amor Mexican Food. Taken by Jessica Miller on March 2.

The smell of handmade tortillas and salsa filled the inside of the Phoenix building at 300 Broadway St. just across from Jon and Bon’s. Less than a 10-minute walk from Chico State campus now resides family-owned and operated, authentic Mexican food.

Mas Amor Mexican Food celebrated its grand opening on March 2 with family and community members. 

From left to right: employee Samantha Hernandez, owner Paloma Hernandez , chef Jesus Hernandez and employee Temo Briseño pose for a group picture just before the grand opening. Taken by Jessica Miller on March 2.

For over three years, the Hernandez family has served the public through their business Paloma’s Catering based out of Los Molinos. 

Their catering business allowed the family to work many big weddings where everyone loved the food, particularly the tacos, Samantha Hernandez said. 

This feedback led the family to expand beyond the catering business and begin looking for a location in December 2023. Last January, they began making plans to buy their new space and plan for a grand opening.

It didn’t take long for the family to begin decorating their space to match their creativity and culture. Throughout the space are art pieces, neon signs and flowers. There is plenty of indoor seating available with photo spots for that Instagram-perfect moment. 

The menu holds plenty of options for a day downtown, including a variety of tacos, burritos, quesadillas, tortas, enchiladas, nachos and their Mas Amor guacamole.

Quesabirria, Mas Amor taco, consome and salsa. Taken by Jessica Miller on March 2.

Their quesabirria for $4.50 and Mas Amor taco for $4.00, recommended by Samantha Hernandez, were excellent in flavor and sizing. Though they may not be the cheapest tacos in Chico, the homemade tortilla of the Mas Amor taco sets it apart from other dishes in quality. 

Homemade chips and Mas Amor guacamole made in a molcajete. Taken by Jessica Miller on March 2.

Another staple of Mas Amor, Samantha Hernandez said, is their guacamole for $9.99. Made fresh with avocado, tomatoes, onion, lime, cilantro and chile, this appetizer is a mouthful of flavor. It’s on the more expensive side of their menu in comparison to the variety of tacos they have available for an average of $3.50. 

Beyond the quality of the food, even during the busy opening customers were being served in a timely manner at an average of 10-15 minutes.

Samantha Hernandez, left, holds a certificate of Senate recognition from Senator Brian Dahle while Paloma Hernandez and Temo Briseño accept a certificate of recognition from Teri DuBose on behalf of U.S. Representative Doug LaMalfa. Taken by Jessica Miller on March 2.

The grand opening was well attended by community members including Megan Gaddis from the Chico Chamber of Commerce, Teri Dubose the district representative of U.S. Representative Doug LaMalfa and Sam Perkins the district representative of Senator Brian Dahle. 

At a previous event attended by LaMalfa, Paloma’s Catering made a good impression on the representative. 

Paloma Hernandez initiating the ribbon cutting ceremony for Mas Amor Mexican Food. Taken by Jessica Miller on March 2.

“The congressman thoroughly enjoyed your food and the welcoming feeling you give to the public. We look forward to coming down and eating more,” Dubose said. 

Based on the large amount of applause from customers and family, it seems the rest of the community echoed that sentiment. 

Jessica Miller can be reached at [email protected].

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About the Contributor
Jessica Miller, Food Editor
Jessica Miller is a fourth-year English literature studies major at Chico State with a minor in linguistics and Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages. This will be her first semester with The Orion. After graduation, she plans to pursue a single-subject teaching credential in English and begin teaching at the high school level in California. She loves to write, read and work at the Student Learning Center on campus as a Writing Center tutor as well as her ESL Support Services tutoring position.

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