Before ever stepping foot in Georgina’s Taqueria, I knew how good it was. For weeks, my Twitter feed had been full of Foursquare check-ins and never ending raves about how genuine and superior the food is. I obviously had to check it out. Upon walking inside, I was struck by two very notable things: how small the restaurant was and how incredibly amazing it smelled. In reality, the limited seating only adds to the intimacy and coziness of Georgina’s. Customers are able to see over the counter into the kitchen to watch Chef Gregory Anthony Craig (Tony) work his magic and see each individual dish be prepared.
New to Traverse City, Georgina’s is located at 439 East Front Street. It brings a new vibe and flavor to the area that was much needed – one that we didn’t even realize we had been missing! Now, after experiencing it, it would be impossible to go back to life in Traverse City without Georgina’s.
Chef Tony was born in Nicaragua to a father who is Cuban and a mother who is half Chinese. His American father adopted him at age seven, where he was then raised in Tampa, Florida. Having such a diverse background, Chef Tony is able to combine “the best flavors and experiences” to create his authentic Asian and Latin Taqueria. Chef Tony’s mother and uncle both owned restaurants in Nicaragua, where he first started to develop his passion and talent for cooking and creating. As he grew up, he worked in various corporate restaurants. Through this work and his diverse background and upbringing, he was able to get a feel for many different cooking styles.
Georgina’s is named after Chef Tony’s cousin. She lived with Tony and his parents in the United States and has always inspired him. Chef Tony stated that she “continues to keep a smile in his heart to this day.” Through his restaurant, Chef Tony is able to thank her for all that she has done for him.
Chef Tony exudes a passion for his work that is unparalleled. He is so insistent that everyone enjoys their meal that he individually greets and talks to each table as they come in. He finds out their likes and dislikes and prepares the meals accordingly. Upon learning this and noting that Georgina’s is open seven days a week, I decided to ask if Chef Tony ever took a day off. As it would turn out, he does not. He responded to the question with, “Right now, we are just blessed. Truly blessed. Everyday I get to wake up and live the dream in my little restaurant, cooking food for others. Food is who I am, people get to know me through it and their experiences here. I just hope we can continue to get to know everyone.” And that is exactly how I felt while dining at Georgina’s. It was obvious that Chef Tony truly cared about everyone’s individual experience and wanted to do everything he could to make it the best.
Due to the limited space, I recommend calling ahead and making a reservation if you want to dine during peak times. I asked Chef Tony his favorite dish to prepare and he said that was impossible to answer. Perfectly understandable. He stated, “everything is different, unique, and holds its own flavor and personality.”
Have you been to Georgina’s yet? What have you tried so far?