New restaurant reminds people of home

Ambassadors from the Scottsbluff/Gering United Chamber of Commerce stopped by Rosalinda's for lunch on Oct. 12. Afterward, owner Rosalinda Palomo-Sabala and her family joined them for a ribbon cutting ceremony to welcome the new restaurant to the community.

SCOTTSBLUFF – Rosalinda (Rosie) Palomo-Sabala has been involved in cooking for most of her adult life, so it was an easy decision when the opportunity came up for her to open her own restaurant.

“I’ve always had holiday dinners at my house, from Easter to Christmas and Thanksgiving,” Palomo-Sabala said. “Everyone just poured into my house. They always like the way I made things so I never asked them to help with anything.”

Her first stop into the commercial food world came when she went to work for the soup kitchen. Using her customers and friends as test subjects, her food continued to be a big hit.

“From there I started catering quinceaneras and other family events,” she said. “The people enjoyed the food more and more so that became a huge inspiration for me.”

As an experiment, Palomo-Sabala started making breakfast burritos and word of mouth spread throughout the community as drivers made more and more local deliveries.

“I was making burritos at home, but now, I was so busy I had to find a commercial kitchen,” she said. “I had no plans of opening my own restaurant but the business just kept growing.”

With a love for decorating, Palomo-Sabala found a building and decided to give it a try. She brought in velvet paintings, traditional art and décor, and Rosalinda’s opened on June 28.

Since then, she’s been asked about extending her 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. hours, but Palomo-Sabala is the only cook and doesn’t share her recipes.

“The reason I’m only open until 2 p.m. during the week is because I promised my kids I’d be at home with them when they get out of school,” she said.

Her entire menu features homemade traditional Mexican food. But another very popular item comes from the Native American tradition — Indian tacos.

"Indian tacos aren’t found in a lot of places around here,” Palomo-Sabala said. “People usually have to wait for the county fair or Oregon Trail Days.”

Palomo-Sabala is from a Native American background and a family member from South Dakota shared the recipe for fry bread. She added her own tweak by making the dough slightly sweeter.

“I’ve shared that with many people and they just love it,” she said.

Palomo-Sabala appears to be on track with what the public is thinking. In addition to great compliments about the food, the restaurant décor is also making an impression.

“A lot of the older Mexican people have told me it reminds them of their mother’s or grandmother’s house, so it’s been great feedback,” she said. “I suppose the best compliment was when one customer told me the décor reminded her of her mother. The only thing missing was her mom.”

Rosalinda’s is located at 1507 19th Ave. in Scottsbluff and the hours are from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. The number is 308-632-5370.

Jerry Purvis is a reporter with the Star-Herald. He can be reached at 308-632-9046 or emailed at jpurvis@starherald.com.

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