Mexi-Que Taqueria opens in downtown Grass Valley |

Mexi-Que Taqueria opens in downtown Grass Valley

Jennifer Terman
Staff Writer

A new restaurant concept will be unleashed in downtown Grass Valley with a grand opening ceremony Saturday.

Gold Rush Burgers and Barbecue at 108 E. Main St., Grass Valley expanded its menu and is offering Mexi-Que, a combination of casual Mexican food and its signature slow-roasted barbecue fare.

The menu includes the casual Mexican staples of burritos, enchiladas and tacos, as well as chile Colorado and carne asada. An expanded selection of desserts is also added with deep fried Oreos, brownies and cupcakes.

The new taqueria involves a "Grab 'N' Go" concept for quick lunches on the taqueria side, or the restaurant side where visitors can watch the seven big screen televisions and enjoy the menu from both sides of the restaurant.

"We are trying to remain a low-price-point restaurant with the mantra 'Family pub, great grub,'" said Bob Tonnies, who owns the building and business with his wife, Donna. "It's around a barbecue and family pub concept where you can bring your kids and eat inside and outside."

The menu also includes a rotating 16 local beers on tap, from hyper-local breweries such as Auburn Alehouse and 'ol Republic and other selections from Santa Rosa, San Francisco and Petaluma.

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Gold Rush Burgers also offers an 8-foot regulation pool table inside and free pool on the Beer Garden table.

Live music is also offered 1 to 5 p.m. Saturdays as well as Sunday football with a $5 breakfast.

Members of the community were able to sample some of the new dishes during a gathering after the Nevada County Television fundraising event in October, and the tasters "absolutely loved them," Tonnies said.

Tonnies originally opened Gold Rush Burgers & BBQ in March 2011 to delve into his and Donna's love of cooking.

Donna Tonnies is a graduate of the San Francisco Culinary Academy as a pastry chef and opened up several San Francisco restaurants, Bob Tonnies said.

The slow-roasted meats offered at Gold Rush Burgers and Barbecue and Mexi-Que Taqueria are an extension of their culinary interests, Tonnies said, adding the restaurant employs the Southern Pride digitally controlled convection roaster and smoker.

"They are excellent smoking ovens, and the types of meats we use for the barbecue side are the same types of meat on the Mexican side. We just season them differently," Bob Tonnies said.

The creation of the taqueria also afforded an opportunity for the workers to bond and develop a stronger relationship.

"We've got some strong people on the bar side and kitchen side who are interested in making this successful," he said. "It's been very rewarding to see the hands-on interests in building a restaurant with your employees.

Tonnies said he and Donna feel lucky to be in Grass Valley and have a real interest in the community and offering affordable food in a fun environment.

I think we've come a long way," Tonnies said. "I look forward to another step in what we're doing in Grass Valley."

The hours of operation are 10 a.m. Sundays, 10:30 a.m. Monday through Saturday, until closing between 8 and 10 p.m.

For information, contact 530-272-8080.

To contact Staff Writer Jennifer Terman, email or call 530-477-4230.

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