Martha Herrejon officially opened Taqueria El Jalapeno a little more than a year ago in downtown Long Beach where the authentic Mexican restaurant has become a popular lunch stop

Martha Herrejon officially opened Taqueria El Jalapeno a little more than a year ago in downtown Long Beach where the authentic Mexican restaurant has become a popular lunch stop.

LONG BEACH — On a winter afternoon Martha Herrejon flipped tortillas, ladled beans and rolled burritos.

It was a day many coastal restaurants are closed during the slower off-season, but business was brisk at Taqueria El Jalapeno in Long Beach, where Herrejon greeted customer after customer, many she knew by name.

It was a typical busy lunch rush, one which Herrejon can anticipate serving more than 25 customers between 12 p.m. and 2 p.m., and more than double on busier days.

“It’s very busy at lunch,” she said after serving two employees from nearby Ford Electric.

“Customers are coming and the community has supported me.”

Authentic Mexican family recipes, speed and quality have made Taqueria El Jalapeno a popular lunch stop since opening a little more than a year ago, she said.

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