By: Laura Shaver Photos by: Rachel Benavides
Before opening Shoreline Sandwiches six years ago, business partners Kristoffer Busk and AJ Brooks told the Corpus Christi Caller-Times, “We want to change the way people eat in this town.” They brought in homemade sandwiches that are worth their value and require big bites. Since, Shoreline Sandwiches has expanded into three locations around town.
The duo set out to do the same thing for the city of Corpus Christi with much-beloved Mexican food in their newest local dive, Artesano. The name comes from the term “artisan,” which means hand-crafted.
Brooks grew up in the kitchen of his grandmother, who ran a catering service in the Valley for 40 years. He recalls cooking with his tios and tias, who came from different regions of Mexico, and delighting in the cultural influences of each and every taste.
It is the authentic taste of Mexico that Artesano offers. “You can find a Mexican restaurant on every corner here, serving mostly Tex-Mex,” says Brooks. “They are all successful, but they all cater to the fast-food type of service. We will bring an authentic Mexican taste at an efficient pace, so our locals and visitors can taste the value of the food.”
Artesano is located in the kitchen at the YWCA on Corona Drive. Termed a “ghost restaurant,” it receives much of its business from delivery orders, which can be made from many of the third-party delivery services, such as Favor and UberEats. But Brooks was also attracted to this location because of the available patio, with eight picnic tables and adequate shade from a large oak tree.
“In Mexico, there are so many little patios in open areas – no doors or windows or high-end furnishings; just small tables where you can enjoy the best food,” says Brooks. “I wanted to bring that type of casual, chill space here, just like you can also find around San Antonio and Austin.”
Artesano plans to open the patio and offer an inviting space simply decorated with Mexican pottery and strung white lights, perhaps with a local live band, for Corpus Christians to come and sit for a while and enjoy good, authentic Mexican food.
And the flavors available for an encounter will entice a repeat experience. On the menu are pork carnitas tacos, with pork smoked for 16 hours and packed with bacon fat, adding a powerful richness of flavor. The meat is cut into squares and pan-fried for that traditional crust on the outside.
For an appetizer, 16-inch from-scratch flour tortillas are covered with cheese and peppers and onions and can be topped with a choice of proteins. Also, as a homage to local traditions combined with cultural flavors, chicken wings basked in chamoy are available, and they retain that same, sweet heat that taste buds expect from the Mexican sauce.
“I just love Mexican food,” says Busk, “and we want to deliver great food from varying regions of Mexico that is new and fresh, with great attention to detail.”
Artesano’s seafood and ceviche offerings rotate – sometimes two to three times a week – depending on the fresh-never-frozen local catch. The fish tacos, a staple for many in our city by the sea, are battered with Topo Chico Agua Mineral – a crispy, light, and innovative delight.
Needless to say, Artesano will serve as a welcome addition to the rich Mexican cuisine culture here in the Coastal Bend. With unique dishes and bold flavors on the menu, there is little doubt this will become one of your new local favorites.
4601 Corona Dr. – Located inside the YWCA Building | 361.461.0191 | email@example.com