A Fresh Take
By Jessie Monsivais
By: Jessie Monsivais Photos By: Rachel Benavides
Fresco, a new fresh face in Downtown Corpus Christi, is serving up Mexican fruit cups and antojitos to the on-the-go lunch crowd and bustling late-night scene. With a prime location in the heart of Downtown, Fresco brings Hispanic culture and representation to the area through food, community, and entertainment.
Oneida and Tony Maldonado, the masterminds behind Fresco, share their reason for bringing the spot to Downtown Corpus Christi. “I felt like Corpus needed this. There is a lot of Mexican heritage here and we felt it needed to be represented downtown.”
The couple started working on recipes at Recess Bar & Grill. They both share a joy for experimenting with ideas and seeing them come to life – and so, Fresco was born. Upon renovations to Recess, Oneida and Tony decided it was the perfect time to spread their wings.
But finding their new space wasn’t a simple process. Oneida shares that the Downtown Management District helped them find their ground. “We bothered everyone who had a place for lease. [This space] was not for lease at the time we were looking. I owe it all to the Downtown Management District, because they’re the ones who got us in contact with the landlord we have now.”
Thankfully, Fresco will now be able to serve their delicious dishes to all. That includes the Lonches, a Mexican sandwich served on a bolillo roll with Fresco’s homemade chicken salad or pulled pork, topped with queso fresco and pico de gallo. Alternatively, their Ceviche Bowl features fresh drum and shrimp in lime juice with jalapenos, onions, and tomatoes, served over cilantro lime rice with a side of black beans and corn salad, and topped with an avocado. An added bonus? A lot of their dishes have vegetarian options, as well!
The menu will also include a fresh selection of fruit cups, fruit cocktails, and frozen treats such as the Mangonada, a mango sorbet mixed with chunks of fresh mango, lime, and chile powder, served with a tamarind straw. They’ll also be whipping up homemade Aguas Frescas that come dressed with a rim of lime and chile for an extra kick of flavor.
The dining area will be opened up for guests to enjoy their fresco inside – safe from the Coastal Bend heat. It will also serve as a new gathering space for locals and tourists alike, with the hope of cultivating a new community meeting spot for all. Oneida hopes for the space to welcome more local artists to showcase their talents: The front window of the restaurant will feature new artists every month, from art to clothing and woodwork.
“We have been so lucky to have such great friends to help us get our name out there. I’m lucky that we have a small group of local artists that help us bring change – be more open to things. I want to bring more people downtown and expand the bubble. I hope this is a step in the right direction to bring more diversity and representation,” says Oneida.
619 N Chaparral St.
Corpus Christi, TX 78401