Mr. Taco owner opens authentic Mexican dessert shop in Mason City (with photos) | Mason City & North Iowa

MASON CITY | The sweet taste of Mexico has arrived in Mason City.

That’s thanks to Southbridge Mall’s newest tenant, Mr. Churro.

Mr. Churro, which opened in early July across from Mr. Taco, offers a variety of authentic Mexican fried and frozen desserts: churros, sopapillas and cheesecake burritos. There are also fair favorites like funnel cakes and mini doughnuts. Both are owned by Luis Garcia of Northwood.

“It’s like another dream here,” Garcia said.

His first dream was relocating Mr. Taco, which started as a food truck and opened as an authentic Mexican restaurant in Northwood, to the mall’s food court in 2016. A vacancy across from the business provided him the opportunity to achieve another with his brother, Juan, who is Mr. Churro’s manager.

“I’ve always wanted to own an ice cream place,” he said.

The idea for Mr. Churro, Garcia’s daughter Rosita Cansino said, was sparked when her father decided to experiment with the family's churro maker. The inspiration came from a fair where a friend made and sold mini doughnuts last summer.

Four months prior to the shop’s July 5 opening, Garcia and his family perfected recipes, finalized the menu and prepared the location for customers.

“My dad thought, 'Sometimes you want funnel cakes, but where can you find them in mid-December?’” she said. “With this being year-round, you can get mini doughnuts and funnel cakes whenever you want.”

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In addition to its fair food offerings, which also includes jalapeno poppers, chicken wings and onion rings, Cansino said the family wanted to incorporate traditional Mexican dessert recipes to fill an untapped niche in the city.

“We want things that bring up memories from Mexican childhood,” she said, sharing a story about customers who came into the shop and had Mexican fruit popsicles.

Some of the menu items like the banana burrito, which is a tortilla-wrapped banana deep fried and smothered in ice cream, syrups and whipped cream are influenced by Mr. Churro’s connection to Mr. Taco.

Mr. Churro, which is also a menu item, is a plate featuring mini doughnuts and churros covered in ice cream, fruit, whipped cream and syrup.

“It’s so good,” Cansino said.

Churros, however, have been the most popular, she said, adding the shop has made two batches — or 40 churros — each day and have sold out. The hope is to expand to offering filled churros, which are popular in Mexico, and skinny ones.

“I have been so lucky,” Garcia said. “We have a lot of customers now [at Mr. Taco], and they made me survive.”

Mr. Churro is open from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Sunday through Saturday in the Southbridge Mall at 100 S. Federal Ave. in Mason City.

Reach Reporter Ashley Stewart at 641-421-0533. Follow her on Twitter at GGastewart.

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