Patricia Avilés with her homemade sangria.

“This is my homemade sangria,” said Patricia Avilés.”It’s made with red wine, with special berries … and with special secrets.”

Avilés is the owner of Patty’s Taquizas, a catering company that serves up Mexican food for all sorts of events. But each year on 4/20, she eschews the weddings, baptisms, and graduations in favor of her sister’s garage on 20th Street. From that basecamp near the southeast corner of Dolores Park, Avilés makes taquitos, tacos, and ceviche for passing customers.

“We like to cook,” said Avilés. “And we love to introduce people to Mexican food. But we don’t usually cook out here. This is extra.”

At the back of the garage sat Avilés’ helpers, her brother-in-law and her husband, who had the honor and responsibility of grilling up meat for the taquitos.

“Fresh meat every day,” smiled Avilés, who then spotted some previous customers heading back into the Mission from the park. “All right, guys, how are the nachos?” she asked the group of teens. They yelled back their satisfaction en masse.

Salsas and toppings at Patricia “Patty” Avilés house.
Huge tubs of sauces and garnishes for the taquitos and other snacks.

Avilés once lived in the Mission, but the high prices in San Francisco ultimately forced her out, she said. Now, she lives in San Pablo: “It’s a better price over there.”

Business so far in the day had been slow, she added, but she hoped that it would pick up.

One satisfied customer said that the sangria was “fruity and spicy, but not overwhelming, so it is really drinkable.” This reporter could not confirm the tastiness of the alcoholic drink during work hours, but intends to double-check the customer’s characterization later this evening.

Patricia Avilés alongside a satisfied customer.

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DATA REPORTER. Will was born in the UK and studied English at Oxford University. After a few years in publishing, he absconded to the USA where he studied data journalism in New York. Will has strong views on healthcare, the environment, and the Oxford comma.

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