Burros and margaritas are great, but they’re even better when made by a Sun Devil.
On March 19, Tim Vasquez, an Arizona State University communication alumnus, joined the ASU Alumni Association, the association's President and CEO Christine Wilkinson and hundreds of Sun Devils who tuned in for this month’s #FoodieFriday event to share two iconic recipes from his restaurants — a Someburros veggie burro and the margarita organica from his other restaurant, Isabel's Amor Mexican Cafe in Gilbert.
In 1986, Vasquez’s parents opened Someburros to share the signature dishes of his Nana Isabel. He remembers his grandmother as an amazing cook.
“She always had a pot of beans on the stove and was making enchiladas and tamales,” Vasquez said. He continued the family’s culinary legacy and started working at Someburros from a young age.
As a child, Vasquez could often be found on the restaurant's street corner wearing a donkey costume to attract customers. As he got older, he worked night and weekend shifts in the restaurant, even while playing baseball for ASU. He combined his experience working in the kitchen with the business knowledge he gained in his courses and became owner of the restaurant after helping his parents expand to a second location. Now, Someburros operates in 11 locations across Arizona, with new locations opening soon in Goodyear and Mesa.
For Vasquez, Tempe always has been a special place. “We just grew up bleeding maroon and gold,” he said.
Vasquez often attended Sun Devil football and baseball games with his father, who is also an alumnus. The Sun Devil legacy has continued in the family, as Vasquez's daughter, Isabel, graduated from ASU in 2017.
Another legacy the Vasquez family has continued is its involvement in the Arizona community. Vasquez said that it is important for him to continue the culture of charity and community that his parents started when they opened their doors about 35 years ago.
This past year, it has become apparent how strong that community is. Vasquez initially was fearful of the impact the pandemic would have on Someburros, but their loyal customers never stopped coming.
“It was really overwhelming to see the community pay us back,” he said. To show their appreciation, Someburros donated 5,000 meals at Tempe Diablo Stadium to anybody who came by, including frontline workers, families in need or just those who needed an emotional boost.
While tossing the pico de avocado for the veggie burro, Vasquez spoke about one way his children carry on the Someburros legacy.
His youngest son, Cody, was one of the main reasons Someburros developed vegetarian and vegan options for their menu. Cody has been vegan for five years, and often struggled to find tacos and burros that he could eat. Thus "Cody’s Vegan Taco" was created: a corn tortilla filled with beans, guacamole, lettuce and tomato.
“They are absolutely delicious," Vasquez said. "That’s definitely a once-a-week lunch item for me.”
If you weren’t able to join the live #FoodieFriday with Tim Vasquez, you can still view the recording here. The ASU Alumni Association’s #FoodieFriday series is sponsored by Liberty Mutual.
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