Chit Chat with Barbara from La Palapa on International Day of Women
We caught up with Barbara Sibley, the founder of East Village must-try, La Palapa. Not only should every day be Taco Tuesday but also, International Women's Day! So today, we honor both this leading lady, and her delectable Mexican cuisine!
US: Hi Barbara! We can certainly speak on behalf of the neighborhood of Urbanspace Vanderbilt by saying we love La Palapa! What inspired you to open your doors and kitchen in NYC?
BS: I grew up in Mexico City so my cuisine is really driven by what I am homesick for! I love to share the flavors of Mexico with guests at La Palapa and Urbanspace Vanderbilt - these days New Yorkers are so adventurous I can share the deeper more complex flavors and guests welcome them.
US: What's your family favorite recipe that's trickled down into your kitchen?
BS: One of my favorites is my Mother's Lamb Barbacoa - it is Mexican Barbecue which is closer to a slow pit braised meat. I wrap the lamb shanks in chile ancho and cook them until the meat falls off the bone. So delicious in a taco!
US: You have several restaurants in great locations. What does it mean to you to be an entrepreneur in today's world?
BS: I think to be an entrepreneur you have to love solving puzzles because every day is different. It is a broad skill set - you need strong financials, great people skills and every now and then you have to be a mechanic! In the end, I think it is determination and resilience that get you through the day and keep the challenge fun.
US: What should we have for dinner today?
BS: Oyster Mushroom tacos with queso chihuahua melted over it with a dollop of salsa de chile de arbol!
US: What's next for you and what great things can we look out for this year from La Palapa?
BS: I'm always looking at new spaces and am currently looking at a space on the Upper Ease Side. I'm having fun working on recipes for my next cookbook too! Of course every time Urbanspace opens a new location I can't wait! Urbanspace markets have a special energy so it is always fabulous to be included.
Now go visit, La Palapa at Urbanspace Vanderbilt and see what all the fuss is about! Our favorite? The Antojitos - Tostada Salad, hands down!