A year and a half has passed since the sign went up for Villagran, at 1512 West Alameda Avenue. At the time, it looked like Maria Garcia and Marco Angeles, who'd operated the Villa Real food truck at the same address for years, would open their brick-and-mortar restaurant any day; the family had constructed the building from the ground up over several years, paying for it as they went, and were just awaiting final permitting. What looked like a matter of weeks stretched out into months, and then over a year, but Villagran finally turned on the open sign and welcomed customers on May 1.
Villagran is more than a sit-down version of the food truck; a full menu of grilled meats and other upscale entrees join the antojitos — tacos, gorditas, burritos and enchiladas — for which customers have lined up on Alameda regardless of the weather. The setting, too, is quite an upgrade: Stone, tile and heavy wood beams give the dining room the feel of a hacienda, laid out on two floors to accommodate plenty of diners.
Villagran is currently only open for dinner, with a full bar of beer, tequila, margaritas and other Mexican cocktails, but if you need lunch, you can still hit the Villa Real truck, which now parks just a little farther west on Alameda, at Decatur Street.