When Jerry Lombardi moved his small grocery store to Pilsen in 1960, he immediately recognized the local market for authentic Mexican ingredients. To satisfy the cravings of the neighborhood’s Hispanic community, he began importing cilantro, jalapenos, serrano peppers, and canned goods directly from Mexico. A few years later, Doña Maria took Lombardi’s baton and ran with it, setting up a small taqueria inside the grocery store. Maria’s take on Mexican cuisine proved to be a bigger hit than a piñata at a baseball game. Long lines soon forced her to assume a larger space just next door, where today her daughters continue to pay homage to her original recipes for tacos, sopes, and chile rellenos.