Miguel Vidal is best known as the owner, chef, and pitmaster behind the acclaimed restaurant and food truck, Valentina’s Tex Mex BBQ in Austin, Texas. Vidal is known within the industry for pushing boundaries when it comes to the traditional flavors of BBQ and Tex Mex cuisine, producing mouthwatering menu items (including their famous brisket tacos) that have earned Valentina’s acclaim and even a spot on Texas Monthly’s Top 50 BBQ Joints List.
Vidal’s “fusion cuisine” with a Texas twist is derived from his childhood growing up on the southside of San Antonio. Here, he learned cooking techniques from his grandmother and other relatives at their family-owned restaurant, Dona Maria’s, and backyard family cookouts. The essence and nostalgia of puffy tacos, barbecue, fresh tortillas, homemade salsas, and guacamole propelled him to pursue his culinary career. As he entered the restaurant industry, Vidal was committed to preserving the integrity of the Tejano and Chicano backyard cuisine from his youth, creating a superior product that would also bring people together.
Vidal opened Valentina’s Tex Mex BBQ in downtown Austin in 2013 and, to this day, family and homegrown ideals remain at the center of the operation. The Valentina’s crew is composed of Vidal’s sister, Adriana, his wife, Modesty, and their three children: Isaiah, Valentina (the restaurant’s name sake), and Violet. Even as the restaurant has grown and the praise continues, Vidal still maintains the mindset of family first, saying, “Everyday, I cook like I’m cooking for my grandmother. Every person I serve is family.”
So, it was only natural that Vidal partnered with a brand that shared similar values. YETI is also known for producing innovative and superior products that also promote quality, togetherness, and community. For both Vidal and YETI, quality is paramount. As Vidal puts it, “If you are a fisherman, you are determined to catch that best quality fish out there for your customer, but you have to protect it and make sure you maintain its integrity from the water to the table. That’s where a good cooler comes in.”
Next time you’re out in the wild, whether it be on a hunt, fishing trip, or other outdoor adventure, Vidal recommends packing some homemade (or store-bought) corn tortillas, fresh tomatoes, onions, peppers, or avocados in your YETI cooler to compliment your catch of the day. These ingredients are simple and can be paired with any fish or fresh game, such as salmon, elk, beef, or quail. Whatever you choose, it is sure to make for a delicious taco out in the wild.
Visit Valentina’s Tex Mex BBQ at 11500 Manchaca Rd., Austin, TX 78748 or online at www.valentinastexmexbbq.com. Also, be sure to shop for YETI products online at www.yeti.com or at your nearest local retail shop.