Peanut butter tamales? Wow. I had never heard that you can make tamales with peanut butter filling. Yummy. My guests for today’s holiday special are Javier and Mary Vasquez- the proud owners and founders of the Mexican restaurant Miguel’s Jr in Los Angeles. In this episode, we dive into their Mexican specialties around this time of year – particularly tamales and pozole – and understand how the family and their festive flair makes the holidays come to life. Happy Holidays everyone!


“Once we develop a recipe, we test it out. This is not the hard part. The hardest part is to mass-produce it. ”

  • Mary & Javier Vasquez

“The family, the flavor, and the taste drive the business.”

  • Mary & Javier Vasquez


 About the restaurant:

Our passion for fresh food comes from our founder, Mary Vasquez. Throughout her childhood in Central Mexico, she cooked with her mother and grandmother, helping to prepare family meals. When she moved to the States, she married Mike, had children of her own, continuing to make her favorite recipes from her childhood.

Her burritos soon became the best on the block, and pretty soon, kids from all over the neighborhood gathered at the Vasquez’ home for a taste of real California Mexican food. People began to ask her to open a restaurant.

In 1973, Mike and Mary took over an existing restaurant in Corona, CA and renamed it “Miguel’s” in honor of Mike’s grandfather. Over the next two years, business improved to the point that they decided to lease a fast food restaurant just two miles down the road and named it “Miguel’s Jr.” This became an instant favorite with locals and travelers on Interstate 91 going between Orange County and the Inland Empire. Now, there are two full-service Miguel’s California Mexican Cocina Restaurants and 20 Miguel’s Jr. fast food restaurants throughout the Inland Empire and Orange County.

Today this family tradition continues. It is our promise to deliver the freshest, best tasting California Mexican food each and every day.


2:19                Panasonic makes your cooking experience extraordinary

3:57                Meet our guests for this holiday special

4:21                1964 – Transitioning from Mexico to the States

6:00                Making the tamales – the secret of a great dish

7:11                We solve the mystery

7:42                Does it actually take 3 hours to make tamales?

8:45                Origin of the recipes – we get these handed down

9:26                What are the secrets? Do you wanna know more?

12:13             The three flavors you all want to taste

15:40             Could we go vegetarian?

16:44             Corn husks? Can you cook tamales in anything else?

17:38             Pasole – did you know how this soup/stew is made?

21:00             Christmas vs the year around- the menu in the restaurant

23:03             Honoring the tradition and execution of the best part

24:17             It’s a family business and your secrets stay secrets

27:47             I always ask- what would be the dish and who would make it?

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