On this week's episode of "What's Eric Eating," Ramon Soriano Tomka joins CultureMap food editor Eric Sandler to discuss La Calle Tacos & Tortas. Tomka begins the conversation by explaining how a career working for corporate restaurants led him from Mexico City to the United States and, eventually, to Houston where he opened his downtown restaurant in 2016.
Tomka opened La Calle (Spanish for "the street") to serve the authentic street-style tacos and tortas he grew up eating. Two years in, the restaurant has been a hit. Sometime soon, Tomka says he will sell his 1,000,000th taco. Between now and then, he's holding a contest for people to guess the exact number sold; the winner will receive 1,000 tacos.
He credits a significant portion of La Calle's success to social media, especially Facebook, where over 17,000 people have liked the restaurant's page. Sandler asks Tomka about his strategy for social media.
"What does work is just to be extremely participant. Every single day I post about something. What works the best is when you post something and you see it's getting traction . . . boost it. That's what has worked the most," Tomka says. "What doesn't work is just posting about your business and trying to sell. Post about other things. I frequently post memes that have nothing to do with it. I post about food from other places, even my competition. I think people appreciate that."
Prior to Tomka's interview, Avondale Food & Wine owner Mary Clarkson joins Sandler to discuss the news of the week. Their topics include the closings of Cane Rosso's Montrose location and the Canino Produce Company, Steve and Shaun Sharma's purchase of Vara's Sports Bar, and the unusual way celebrity chef Andrew Zimmern eats crawfish. In the restaurants of the week segment, the hosts discuss their meal at Flying Fish, a new seafood restaurant in the Heights, and Sandler shares some first impressions of Blood Bros. BBQ.