Charleston’s favorite gourmet burrito spot Minero has found a new home on Johns Island, and this time, the Mexican cantina is bringing so much more with it to the oak-lined enclave. An extension of the former downtown restaurant, the Johns Island location will continue the long-established tradition of making corn tortillas from scratch daily, as well as other familiar Minero staples, including tacos, burritos, wings, and freshly juiced margaritas.
Helmed by chef Shamil Velazquez, the new iteration allows the Puerto Rican chef to channel his Latin influences through stand out dishes like the snapper and shrimp ceviche and Yucatán style fish. The James Beard Award-nominated chef shared his process in creating the new menu and shared a first look with us before the doors open on June 9.
First Look at Minero’s Menu from Chef Shamil Velazquez
What was the process like creating this menu to fit the new iteration, yet please fans of the former Minero dishes?
The process of making the menu was very fun. Mexican was a new cuisine for me, so it’s a whole different thought process and style of food, but I found overlaps with my knowledge of Latin American cooking. I spent time learning the old fan favorites and how I could apply my own techniques and approach to them. There was a lot of trial and error for sure—for example, we’re utilizing local corn to make the corn tortillas, which is the first time ever for Minero.
How does your Puerto Rican heritage influence the menu and your overall approach to cooking?
It’s influenced very vividly in certain dishes, like the Crispy Kan Kan Pork Tomahawk with guava bbq sauce and fried plantains. It’s been fun to be able to apply my culture to another food that has different approaches, techniques, and flavors.
What are a few items you’re most excited to share when the doors open?
In addition to the Kan Kan Pork Tomahawk, I’m really excited about the ceviche. I’m passionate about ceviches, and other raw fish preparations in general, so it was fun imagining what Minero’s ceviche would be like. I’d also say the Pork Carnitas Empanadas and T’s Tres Leches.
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