Santa Diabla now open in San Antonio's Pearl area, serving Mexican cantina-style cuisine

The dining spot in the former Cervecería Chapultepec space is the first U.S. venture for Mexico's Grupo Orraca Restauranteros.

click to enlarge Santa Diabla is Grupo Orraca's first foray into the U.S. culinary market. - Courtesy Photo / Santa Diabla
Courtesy Photo / Santa Diabla
Santa Diabla is Grupo Orraca's first foray into the U.S. culinary market.
Santa Diabla — the first U.S. foray by Mexican restaurant group Grupo Orraca Restauranteros — is now serving customers from the Pearl-area spot previously occupied by shuttered Cervecería Chapultepec.

The new eatery, at 906 E. Elmira St., aims to bring the flavors and hospitality of south-of-the-border cantinas to Texas. It's the latest project from Grupo Orraca, which operates successful dining ventures across Mexico, including NorteSur, Hacienda San Martin, Las Verdes Matas and Fonda Yecapixtla.

“We want to make food just like you would have in Mexico,” Grupo Orraca Operations Director Rodrigo Orraca said. "Our focus is to bring an authentic cantina experience here to the United States and showcase truly authentic Mexican ingredients."

Menu items such as salsa matcha, a Veracruz-originated sauce often bursting with chiles, nuts and seeds, suggest Santa Diabla is offering a reprieve from standard Tex-Mex offerings.

click to enlarge Salsa matcha is a thick and unusual salsa with Veracruz origins. - Courtesy Photo / Santa Diabla
Courtesy Photo / Santa Diabla
Salsa matcha is a thick and unusual salsa with Veracruz origins.
Other items on Santa Diabla's menu, such as chapulines — or toasted grasshoppers — are staples of Oaxacan cuisine. The restaurant adds chapulines to its guacamole for a satisfying umami crunch. Less-adventurous patrons can ask to omit the item.

click to enlarge The restaurant tops its guacamole with chapulines, or toasted grasshoppers. - Courtesy / Santa Diabla
Courtesy / Santa Diabla
The restaurant tops its guacamole with chapulines, or toasted grasshoppers.
While Santa Diabla isn't just another addition to the Alamo City's saturated Tex-Mex scene, Orraca and his team understand that offering nods to local tastes is important. To that end, they offer two Tex-Mex options: nachos and flauta ahogadas de birria. Both are identifiable by a small image of the Lone Star State on the menu.

Orraca said the operating company initially looked at opening its first U.S. venture in Austin. However, once the team members saw how receptive Alamo City diners were to Mexican-inspired dishes, “San Antonio just made sense," he added.

Eventually, Grupo Orraca will open more eateries throughout the United States, Orraca said. But, for the time being, San Antonio is its top priority.

“We want to grow and establish ourselves here in San Antonio,” he said.

Santa Diabla began serving this week in a soft-opening capacity. Starting Saturday, it will switch to full business hours: 11 a.m.-10 p.m. Monday-Saturday and 11 a.m.-9 p.m. Sunday.

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