Xavier offers ethnic food choices in a special event to promote cultural and interfaith awareness

Locally-owned Taqueria Mercado is the featured restaurant this month | January 25, 2011

Xavier is offering students and others a chance to learn about Mexican culture, faith and food on Thursday, Jan. 27, as it hosts Taqueria Mercado, a local restaurant owned by a family from Mexico. Adalberto Leon is serving his home-cooked Mexican cuisine from 4:30 p.m.-8:00 p.m. in the Hoff Marketplace at the Cintas Center as part of the Different Foods, Different Faiths, One Community program.

Leon opened the family’s first restaurant in 1999 and now has locations in Fairfield, Ohio, Florence, Ky., and downtown Cincinnati. He has worked with Hoff Marketplace chef Tom Turnbull to create authentic Mexican food to expose students and others to new foods and a new culture. Students may participate as part of their meal plan while faculty, staff and others may participate for $5 per person.

The event is sponsored by the Office of Interfaith Community Engagement, founded at Xavier by Rabbi Abie Ingber to create and strengthen a sense of community among diverse faiths on the campus, in Cincinnati and on the regional and national levels. One of his most enjoyable engagements has been Different Foods, Different Faiths, One Community. He invites ethnic restaurant owners to share their culture, background and foods to show that no matter where people come from, or what faith they practice, we are all very similar.

The program is a collaboration of Xavier Dining Services, the Office of Interfaith Community Engagement and Auxiliary Services. Previous meals have been provided by Dusmesh Indian Restaurant, Song Long Vietnamese Restaurant and Andy’s Mediterranean Grill. Xavier chefs learn how to prepare the dishes from the restaurant owners and together they prepare the dishes for the Xavier community.