The Mitla Cafe in San Bernardino is proof that sometimes a restaurant is more than just a restaurant. It’s the first stop in this new podcast: California Foodways. I’m Lisa Morehouse, and I’ll be travelling county by county, reporting on people and places at the intersection of food and culture and history and economy. Places like the Mitla Cafe.
From politicians and celebrities to homesick Californians who make it their first stop when they return from their travels, Mitla Cafe has been a favorite spot for Cal-Mex food lovers since it opened in 1937. Through four generations of family ownership, the San Bernardino institution remains a key gathering point for civic and religious leaders to discuss the issues of the day. This down-home taco joint inspired the beginnings of the Taco Bell chain restaurant empire. but it also played a role in political change: desegregation that reverberated across the country.