Alejandra Ortiz Andrade

830 Kitchen owner Alejandra Ortiz Andrade, left, and manager Adriana Andrade. The 830 Kitchen is now open at 301 Ave. B.

Fresh and homemade are the key words for menu items served up at one of Del Rio’s newest eateries.

Alejandra Ortiz Andrade is the owner of the 830 Kitchen, located at 301 Ave. B, which has been open for about two months.

“I don’t have any background in the restaurant business, so this really is a new adventure for me,” Andrade said.

She relocated from El Paso to Brackettville about a year ago, after her husband accepted a promotion with the company he works for, Rio Grande Electric.

Andrade said she had been the general manager for a Comfort Keepers franchise in El Paso, a business that specializes in home care for the elderly.

Landing in Brackettville was something of a shock, Andrade recalled.

“I was pulling out my hair. I had no friends, no family; I really don’t know anybody here. It was such a drastic change, coming from an active, busy life, running a business,” she said.

Andrade said she soon realized the business opportunities in Brackettville were limited because of its small population.

“That’s when I started thinking, ‘Let’s look at Del Rio. Let’s bring a business there,’” she said.

Andrade said she knew she wanted to establish some type of business, and before making plans for a restaurant, she toyed with the idea of a boutique or some type of fashion-based business endeavor. She even started a handmade jewelry-making business, but her sales were entirely online.

“I had done some market analysis, and I realized that Del Rio needed more local food,” Andrade said. “That’s the way to go, even though I knew it would be a challenging business. You have to work very hard and have a lot of dedication. There’s a lot of monitoring. Quality, licenses and permits,” she said.

Andrade said she knew she wanted to focus on something unique.

“For instance, take our recipe for French fries. Our recipe is not the type of French fry you see around here. The same with the burgers. It’s a homemade recipe, the sauté, sauces, the little ingredients, they all make a big difference,” Andrade said.

Asked to describe her menu offerings, Andrade said, “Comfort food. I wanted to keep it simple and start with a short menu.”

The main offerings on the menu are burgers.

“When I started the project, my focus was on burgers and sandwiches; however, in my idea of offering something with a kick, something other than sandwiches and burgers, we came up with carne asada,” she said.

Carne asada is a staple of Mexican cuisine, a thinly-sliced meat that can be eaten a number of different ways.

It can be heaped on a tortilla and eaten as a taco.

At 830 Kitchen, homemade carne asada is also heaped on top of the restaurant’s signature French fries and offered as carne asada fries.

“Those have been a hit. People tell me they like our burgers and sandwiches, but they tell me our specialty is our carne asada. It’s amazing,” Andrade said.

Andrade said her restaurant’s carne asada is sliced steak grilled to seared and juicy perfection.

“The asada French fries is a bed of fries, the meat on top and then pico de gallo, so it’s three layers,” Andrade.

Andrade reminded customers that everything is fresh and made from scratch, so 830 Kitchen is not a fast-food joint. If you’re in a big hurry, she said, order ahead.

Other menu items include “shareables.” These include onion rings, fried pickles and kettle chips, a thinly-spiral sliced potato with a savory sauce.

The hours at 830 Kitchen are 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday through Thursday and noon to 9 p.m. on Friday and Saturday. The business is closed on Sunday.

“I appreciate the support everyone has shown so far. We’re not from here, and I know that this is a small community and people take pride in their neighbors and friends and in promoting local businesses, but people have really taken to us. They have adopted us,” she said.

Andrade said she appreciates the feedback she gets from customers.

“That tells me people want to help out, and that’s how we’re going to get better,” she said.

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