Teresa’s Mesa Now Open in Queen Village
Thirteen years ago, Theresa met Joe Scull at Solaris, a restaurant they were working at in Chestnut Hill. Almost two years ago, they opened Los Camaradas as a married couple. And now, they have opened Teresa’s Mesa, a fast-casual Mexican BYOB in Queen Village.
Los Camaradas, Joe explains, requires a lot of time and attention because it is a full-service restaurant, meaning that a waiter goes to each table to take orders and deliver food and there is a liquor program. “We definitely wanted to branch out,” said Theresa.
Their goal with Teresa’s Mesa was to operate on the same principles of from-scratch cooking, with all tortillas and sauces made in house, while also being affordable and convenient throughout the week.
“We’re in our third week and we’ve really seen everything,” said Theresa. “On Friday nights, people are coming in in groups with a six pack of beer or a bottle of wine and having fun with their friends. Or the dad who’s responsible for feeding his kid is coming in here, having a quick meal and going.”
“We look at Philadelphia, its working class people really appreciate convenience, they appreciate the value of a dollar,” said Joe, who runs the kitchen. Though the atmosphere at Theresa’s is more casual—customers order at the register from a board menu—the flavors of the food are very similar.
Menu highlights include the Coconut Shrimp Tacos ($10.95), which are topped with strawberry pineapple salsa and whipped avocado, the Butternut Squash Guacamole ($7.95) with goat cheese and candied pepitas and the Chile Relleno Burrito ($9.95) with chihuahua cheese, black beans, ranchero sauce and Mexican rice.
Theresa’s love for beverages does not have a place at this new BYO, so she focuses instead on working front of house while Joe works in the kitchen. “I think we are each others’ best critic. We’ve been working together for so many years that we knew it would work before we decided to open a restaurant together,” said Theresa.
Joe agrees. “We trust each other’s strength and knowledge and passion,” he said.
Theresa and Joe claim to know seven out of every ten people who enter the restaurant. In the restaurant industry, because hours can be as long 14 hours a day, it can be difficult to have a social life outside of the business. Theresa suggests that this might be the reason that so many couples like she and Joe meet in restaurants and go on to open one of their own.
This is not to say that working together as a couple is easy. “Definitely having a business with any type of partner is going to be a struggle but if it’s with your life partner you can encourage each other and continue to grow, it’s probably the best way that you can do it,” she said. “There’s going to be days when you’re mad at each other but you know that it’s for the right reasons.”
Theresa and Joe hope to add brunch to the menu in the New Year.
Where: 727 South 2nd Street, also available on Uber Eats and Caviar
Hours: 11 a.m. – 9 p.m., 7 days a week
Teresa’s Mesa [Facebook]