Restaurants find ways to serve despite challenges

Hurricane Ida

KENNER, La. (WGNO) — As so many people are still dealing with power outages, there are a handful of restaurants serving up a hot meal and a cold drink.

On Williams Boulevard in Kenner near West Esplanade, the flashing lights of a food truck might catch your eyes. La Chilanga is one of several restaurants operating out of a temporary kitchen until power is restored.

“Everybody is so happy and says everything is closed. They’re so thankful we’re open. I work hard and my team is working hard. It’s very hot inside the food truck. I want to try to help everybody,” said Israel Montero, owner of La Chilanga.

The restaurant is still serving up customer favorites.

“I have tacos, quesadillas, fajitas, burritos, burgers for the kids,” Montero said.

Staying open gives customers a sense of normalcy amid Hurricane Ida recovery and a break from it all. There’s even a table and chairs setup underneath a tent for a dine-in experience.

“It’s very hot. The weather is very hot and the people are asking for cold beers or everything to go. We have music and everything here,” Montero said.

Even with limited resources and a lot of items scarce, the restaurant is making sure everyone is taken care of, including making sure there is a stocked cold bar.

“Honestly, once they open back up, like their actual restaurant, I’m planning on coming back,” said Casey Rolling.

Yandiel Rivera said, “They’re quick on their toes, especially during these lines.”

Austin Kouzoukas said, “I came a few days ago. It’s so good. The tacos! The best street tacos in Kenner.”

Montero plans to continue serving as long as possible. He’s also helping those who might not have cash on them.

“I say, ‘Go ahead. Don’t worry. When you have the cash, pay me. If not, don’t worry, bro.’ I want to try to help some people,” Montero said.

Once power is restored, Montero plans to take his food truck to LaPlace and other areas hit hard by Hurricane Ida.

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