Renowned Chef unveils two restaurant concepts at Mission Reach

Chef Johnny Hernandez recently announced he is opening two new restaurants, Burgerteca and Villa Rica, at Mission Reach, which will be the first restaurants in the area. (Courtesy Photo)

Local Chef Johnny Hernandez recently unveiled two new restaurants called Burgerteca, set to open this month, and Villa Rica set to open in early 2018.

Both will be located at 403 Blue Star directly on the Riverwalk Mission Reach, the eight-mile stretch that provides visitors with a historic view of San Antonio. Burgerteca and Villa Rica are situated close to walking and biking trails, each the perfect place to pop in after a run or outdoors activity.

“Due to the fact that the location that we were looking at and considering was so large, I did not want it to be just one restaurant,” said Chef Johnny Hernandez to La Prensa. “I loved the space so much that I wanted both concepts to be the first restaurants on the river on Mission Reach, so I divided the large space into two.”

Influenced by Mexican cuisine, Burgerteca offers custom-made burgers with ingredients and flavors distinct to traditional Mexican food such as chiles, spices, moles, queso, flavors like al pastor, pibil and chilaquiles served on hamburger yeast buns which are baked daily.

The frozen Mexican desserts on the menu include items such as paletas, fresh fruit popsicles; nieves, traditional Mexican ice cream; and raspas, shaved ice made with seasonal, from-scratch syrups. Other unique menu items include the house made signature ice cream nachos—Mexican buñuelos piled high with ice cream, fresh fruit syrups, and Oaxacan chocolate fudge.

The restaurant will also include a range of local craft beer and spirits, like a creative Mexican rum cocktail program. Burgerteca’s décor is inspired by the imaginative and colorful work of Pedro Linares, who created the art known as “Alebrijes”, an art form famous in Oaxaca.

“No one has done anything Mexican focused in terms of burgers, and I have wanted to do this concept for five years” said Chef Hernandez. “I have been keeping it to myself, and I have bounced that ideas to different partners and chefs, and it has slowly been coming together.”

Villa Rica features Mexican seafood, ceviche and a mojito bar. A variety of fresh seafood is used to create coastal inspired tacos and tostadas, where they are prepared from non-GMO stone-ground corn.

The menu touts a ‘Gulf Shrimp Aguachile’ with spicy Serrano peppers, lime and cilantro broth-marinated shrimp, cucumbers and red onion plus a ‘White Fish Ceviche Veracruzano’ featuring lime-marinated fish, tomato, onion, cilantro and chile Jalapeño. Villa Rica’s cocktail program is Latin-inspired and includes coastal inspired cocktails like mojitos and pisco sours and Mexican and South American wines.

The décor of Villa Rica is inspired by the Mexican tiles made famous in Puebla and includes hand selected custom designed china, artisan blown glass and intricately woven chairs.

“We have dedicated our growth to Mexican food and being very focused on steering our direction,” expounded Chef Hernandez. “We want customers to leave with a great dining experience. Success to us is when a customer comes and dines with us and before they have left, they are already planning for their next visit. I love it when we hear the good, and when we become attentive with what people want to see and how it can be done differently.”

Burgerteca hours of operations will be Sunday through Thursday from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. and Friday and Saturday from 11 a.m. to 12 a.m. Villa Rica hours of operations will be Monday through Sunday from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. and Friday and Saturday from 11 a.m. to 12 a.m. Brunch at Villa Rica will also be available on Saturday and Sunday from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. For more information on Burgerteca and Villa Rica, please visit: www.chefjohnnyhernadez/ and www.chefjohnnyhernandez/