Like many restaurant owners in the area, the Egoavil family has had to find new ways to keep their business going in the midst of the pandemic.
“Our biggest fear was that we would have to close,” said Jack Egoavil, spokesman for the family that owns the Peruvian-Mexican restaurants Quinoa in Doylestown and El Tule in Lambertville, N.J. In addition to wanting to sustain the two thriving restaurants, “We have people dependent on us for their jobs,” he said.
A former health inspector, Egoavil had followed strict sanitary precautions since the restaurants first opened. But in making the decision to stay open and serve takeout only, he knew they would have to ramp up their cleaning procedures.
“We are sanitizing every day,” he said.
They also changed the menu; while most single menu items are still available, they crafted a new family-style menu starting with a taco kit containing the ingredients for 12 to 20 tacos.
Orders for the taco kits exploded, leading the family to create a dozen more family dinners featuring starters, entrees and side dishes. Entrees range from enchiladas to fajitas to chimichangas to strip steak in wine sauce.
The meals are designed for four people, but “we are told our portions are very generous,” Egoavil said.
Both restaurants are offering curbside pickup as well as free delivery within a 5-mile radius; a fee is charged for longer distances. Menus are available on the restaurants’ Facebook pages. Customers can order by calling El Tule at 609-773-0007 or through Instagram at #eltulelambertville; or by calling Quinoa at 215-348-2826 or through Instagram at #quinoadoylestown.
For those who want to try making a Peruvian dish of their own, the Egoavils share this one, which is popular at both of their restaurants.
1pound sirloin or skirt steak (or alternative protein of choice), cut in strips / slices
salt and pepper to taste
3 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 small red onion, cut in thick slices
3 plump tomatoes, cut in thick slices
2 tablespoons soy sauce
3 tablespoons red wine (white wine for fish, chicken or tofu)
½ cup of fresh cilantro, coarsely chopped
1 pound russet potatoes for French fries
Peel and cut russet potatoes. Soak them in water for as long as you can. This takes the starch out and allows them to be crispier. Drain and fry.
Season the beef with salt and pepper. Add soy sauce and red wine.
Set a pan on the stove and turn heat on high. Add vegetable oil and on very high heat cook the meat, browning one side, then flipping over to brown the other side. Cook for an additional 2 minutes.
Add onion and cook for 2 to 3 minutes more. Add tomatoes and cook for 1 minute; the tomatoes should hold their shape. Turn off the heat and toss the meat mixture with the fries.
Garnish with chopped cilantro and serve over either white or brown rice, quinoa, or with a side salad. Serves 6.