MISSOULA — El Cazador has been serving up authentic Mexican cuisine in downtown Missoula since 1995, and Augustine Guerrero has been part of the operation for 10 of those years.
On “Taco Tuesday,” Guerrero staffed the restaurant’s latest food truck off South Avenue, and he counted his blessings that he remains employed while so many other workers in the service industry have been furloughed.
Guerrero praised the restaurant’s owner, Alfredo Hernandez, for considering his employees during the economic downturn.
“It feels great,” said Guerrero. “(Hernandez) was more worried about us. That’s the great part about it.”
Hernandez was a top chef in Seattle when, in 1995, he made the decision to move his family to Missoula and open his own Mexican restaurant. It has long anchored a corner in downtown Missoula, becoming one of the city’s favorite places to eat.
Guerrero applied for a job at the restaurant 10 years ago and was hired as bus boy. He now prepares meals in the El Cazador food truck off South Avenue, where the business was looking to expand before the pandemic set in.
Guerrero enjoys the work and said food trucks are catching on in Missoula as restaurants look to extend their reach and service.
“As the weeks have gone on we get more and more people,” he said. “I really like the people. They’re really excited that we’re out here right now.”