By Margaret Dent
Before sisters Fattima and Jackie Soliz opened the doors to their new Honduran restaurant, La Cosinita Sabor Latino, in late August, the Honduran-born duo had been selling food from their home kitchen while also cleaning houses around Oxford. They both agreed that they had enough customers, so they decided to open a restaurant to serve both their regular customers and the people of Oxford.
“We are very different from any other Hispanic food. We are Honduran, which is all different,” Jackie Soliz said, with translation assistance from her daughter in law Nayeli Hernandez, who also works at La Cosinita as a waitress.
The new restaurant is connected to the Oxford Spot gas station, giving La Cosinita a very distinct atmosphere. It does not stand alone, but it adds a unique touch of culture to its corner on North Lamar. One of the most noticeable aspects upon arrival is the Spanish soap opera playing in the background.
Jackie Soliz is not only extremely proud of her home country of Honduras but also every Central American country. Around the brightly colored restaurant hangs the flags of these countries.
The menu consists of food the sisters grew up making in Honduras. There are staple dishes that are served every day along with rotating platters that vary. One of the most popular things on the menu is the Honduran soup that is served every weekend.
“Everyone comes here for the soup on the weekends,” Fattima said. The soup is unique to Hispanic food because the main ingredient is coconut milk and is paired with either beef or seafood.
La Cosinita opens at 6 a.m. every weekday to meet their regular breakfast crowd. “Our customers like to come in before work for their coffee and baleadas,” Jackie Soliz said. Baleadas are a typical Honduran breakfast taco with meat, fried beans, cream, cheese, and avocado served on a homemade flour tortilla.
Miguel Orozco, a La Cosinita regular, said he changes his order every time he visits the restaurant because he enjoys every item that the Soliz sisters make. Orozco is originally from Mexico and says the food reminds him of home because of how authentic the dishes are.
According to the Soliz sisters, their main business comes from the Honduran community in Oxford. Many people frequent the restaurant during their lunch hour. “The restaurant will be completely full from noon until one almost every day,” Hernandez said. The kitchen staff consists of four cooks and one to two waitresses.
Lance Lee of Oxford, Mississippi, loves going to restaurants in town run by families like the Soliz sisters.
“I love finding authentic places. It might be from a different country, but it makes me feel like I’m eating something my mom would make,” Lee said.
La Cosinita attempted to open over three months ago, but because of COVID-19, things moved extremely slow. According to Hernandez, every week there was a new challenge. They had to redo several parts of the kitchen to get approved for opening and when they did, there would be another delay of approval.
“We would submit our forms and papers and have to just wait for several weeks for a response,” Hernandez said. “But it is ok because we had time to get everything completely ready for opening.”
Fattima Soliz has been in Oxford for 15 years and convinced her sister to join her here two years later. The sisters agreed that the hospitality of the community is what makes Oxford feel like home for them.
“We love it here,” Jackie Soliz said. “I always tell my son that it is the most beautiful place in the world and we are lucky to live here.”
La Cosinita is located at 1438 North Lamar at the intersection of Molly Barr Rd. Their daily specials and rotating dishes can be found on their Facebook Page. For more information visit their website at https://www.restaurantji.com/ms/oxford/la-cosinita-sabor-latino-/.