On Arizona Avenue, just north of Downtown, between Betty’s Bail Bonds and Galaviz Llantera, is a small mexican restaurant named El Sol. Walk through the doors and you enter a colorful room with a long counter, a view into the kitchen and a few chairs to sit and wait. If it’s been like the past few times I went, you will be greeted by a tall and energetic fellow with a big smile: Ramon.
I saw his business card next to the register. “You sell mortgages?”
“Yeah, that’s what I do. But I am helping run El Sol because my family just opened two new restaurants.”
Such is life in the (extended) de la Cruz family. Ramon’s mother in law is daughter of Daniel de la Cruz, Sr.
Thirty years ago, Daniel and his family owned the only Mexican restaurant in the state of Utah when he decided to move to Chandler, Arizona because the warmer weather would be better for his wife who has arthritis. In 1988, he opened El Sol Bakery on Arizona Avenue.
Daniel’s children grew up washing dishes and bussing tables in the restaurant and some of them went on to start restaurants of their own. Daniel’s son Obed now owns El Sol as well as El Zocalo in Downtown.
The family also started El Sol Foods in 2005, which produces salsas that are sold in supermarkets across the southwest (including salsa for La Canasta Mexican Foods).
El Sol is open for breakfast and lunch and features classic “Old Mexico” style favorites plus fresh tortillas, bread and pastries for sale. The menu includes breakfast burritos, burros, tortas, chimichangas, tacos, quesadillas and more. Items are made with shredded chicken/beef, carne/pollo asada, and carnitas. There is also a bean and cheese burrito and a veggie burrito. Chips and salsa are included with your order.