La Reina is one of Guelph’s only authentic Mexican restaurants with really cool Mexican decor. One of the really nice things about this restaurant is that you’ve got these massive windows that open up in the summer creating a really cool indoor-outdoor dining experience. And hey, nothing says Mexican like over 60 different types of tequila. Let’s chat with the owner Brian Steele.
Q1: Brian, can you tell me a little about the name La Reina, what does it mean? Where did it come from?
[Brian] As everybody well knows, Guelph is a royal city La Reina in Spanish simply means the queen. It was just our way of paying homage to the city.
Q2: You guys have lots of unique specials here, you’ve got a happy hour, industry night, and you’ve got a really cool brunch. Can you tell us a little bit about those?
[Brian] Okay, we’ll start with the industry night. Sunday nights starting at eight PM we offer three tacos for $10, starting at 10 PM karaoke takes off. Karaoke runs from 10 right until 2 AM.
[Brad] That’s got to get interesting.
[Brian] Absolutely. As everyone well knows people in the hospitality industry work weekends so Sunday is pretty much our Fridays, so it is a lot of fun.
[Brad] Ahh, cool, cool.
[Brian] Let’s talk about happy hour. Happy hour is from Tuesday to Friday, half-priced tacos, half-priced tequila, what better way to play hooky from work.
[Brad] Yeah, absolutely, I like that.
[Brian] And then one that we just started recently, thirsty Thursday, we’re doing three tacos and a pint for $20, so it’s becoming a very busy night for La Reina.
Q3: Perfect, all very cool. What’s your best selling taco that you guys have?
[Brian] Public opinion, I would have to say that the pastor, the pork, and the Vaya is the fish taco.
[Brian] Um, in my opinion, the brisket, the Suadero taco. Yeah, that one’s pretty bomb too.
[Brad] Yeah, that one’s good.
Q4: What about drinks? What’s your best selling drink you guys have?
[Brian] Outside of the classic margarita, I would definitely have to say that it’s the pineapple express by public opinion, you’re going to go for the Mezcal margarita.
[Brad] What’s that?
[Brian] The Mezcal is a type of tequila. They take the agave plant, cover it with the leaves from the agave plant, and they light it on fire. So it’s a smoky tequila.
[Brad] Oh, that’d be pretty cool.
Q5: That’s sick. So you guys have a ton of tequila here. What’s the most expensive tequila you guys got?
[Brian] Uh, we’re running $99.
[Brad] For a shot?
[Brian] For one shot. One ounce
[Brian] We’re calling it the pony right now. It’s Caballo Azul, it’s aged for three years.
[Brad] Wow, that’s amazing, Have you sold any of that?
[Brian] We have sold, we’ve sold a number. I’m not going to disclose the actual number, but we’ve sold a few.
[Brad] Really, eh, wow, that’s amazing.
[Brian] You haven’t got one yet though.
[Brad] I know I’m going to have to try it.
Q6: What made you choose to start up a Mexican restaurant when picking the style of food?
[Brian] Um well, myself and fellow owners always making trips to Toronto, always making trips to Hamilton, and we decided that there was a need for it in Guelph. There’s in Milton, nothing in Waterloo.
[Brad] Yeah, it’s really hard to get actual authentic Mexican food. La Reina’s one of my favorite restaurants downtown it’s an amazing place you guys have to come check it out. Thanks so much Brian for taking the time to talk to us.
[Brian] That ain’t no problem, thank you.