Mountain View High School graduates Clay and Jewelia Eagar wanted to follow in her family’s footsteps and open a Mexican restaurant.
They had a menu and the décor in the mind. The location had to be perfect and in Northeast Mesa. About four years ago, their dream was realized with Boca Taqueria at Brown and Greenfield roads. A companion Boca Taqueria opened two years ago on Baseline and Higley roads, and a Chandler restaurant is next.
“Mesa was our first choice, obviously, for the restaurant,” she said. “When we were looking to open a store, we initially looked near Power Road, but my heart was in this location. It just called to me.”
The recipes have been handed down through her family. Boca Taqueria’s signature dish is seafood tacos—grilled fish with cabbage and cheese ($4-$9); grilled salmon with orange mango salsa and cheese ($4-$11.50); and shrimp with pineapple salsa and cheese ($4.75-$10.50).
“They’re probably our No. 1 seller,” said Eagar, whose husband’s family founded the town of the same name. (Clay’s grandfather was the first mayor of Eagar.)
“We offer Taco Tuesday specials. I think my favorite is the salmon taco. The shrimp and chicken tacos are the most popular.”
Pineapple is a heavy hitter on the menu, as it’s also found in shrimp burritos ($10); and the pineapple avocado salad ($7), which sees leafy greens topped with fresh pineapple, avocado, purple onion and poppyseed dressing.
The menu is expansive with Boca fajitas ($12-$14); chimichangas ($10-$12); stuffed quesadilla ($9-$11); tamale plate ($7-$10); Macho Nachos ($8-$10); The Flying Saucer ($8.50-$11); chile relleno ($10.50) and Baja shrimp ($11.50) just on the Boca Specials menu.
Salads, tacos, street tacos, enchiladas and burritos are also offered ($3-$11.50). The chicken taquitos ($4-$5.50) are hand rolled daily. Mexican drinks like Horchata, sodas, margaritas and beer are available as well.
“When we opened, we had a larger menu,” she said. “About a year ago, we cut it down about 30%. We found we were offering too much, and it was a little overwhelming for customers.”
Eagar graduated from ASU with a degree in nutrition management and rolled that and business studies into the fast-casual Boca Taqueria. She and Clay run the restaurant together. The couple have four girls so they know how expensive it can be to dine out. Therefore, they made the experience affordable.
“We’re not obviously full service. It’s a counter service atmosphere. We want to make it affordable to people to go out to eat. They don’t have to sit down, pay higher prices and leave a tip for the server.
“It’s so quick and easy and family friendly. We have four little girls—our baby just turned 2—we know how hard it is to go out and feed a family under $50.”
Like the recipes, the photographs and paintings that pepper the walls are handed down. The restaurant at Baseline and Higley roads has more modern décor.
“I can thank my parents for helping me out with all of this,” she said pointing at the walls. “My parents had Mexican restaurants back in the day and they retired. I took their leftovers and made it my own.”
Because her parents were in the business, it was the last thing she wanted to do. Then she found her way.
“I said I was never going to do that. Growing up in the restaurant business, you don’t want to own a restaurant when you get older. It’s kind of weird, but I’m happy. I’m actually over it and I’m happy we’re doing this.”