Back in business

By Anita Miller

Life changed for all of us in March, when mid-month, the first case of COVID-19 sickened a Hays County resident.

But for many in the northern part of the county, something else happened around the same time that affects how they go about their daily routine — Helen’s Casa Alde in Buda caught fire.

No one knows exactly what happened in the fire March 15 and Remy Fallon, the granddaughter of founder Helen Alcala, says the restaurant will not be able to reopen in its original location on Main Street.

A destructive fire in March put Helen’s Casa Alde down but not out. Earlier this month, the restaurant, manned by the founder’s granddaughter Remy Fallon, began serving up specialties from a food truck. Photo by Anita Miller

But those needing their signature Tex-Mex fix are in luck. Fallon is once again serving up all the restaurant’s specialties, but out of a food truck.

After a “soft opening” for family and friends, the red-and-white food truck tucked in at North Main Street just north of the railroad tracks opened for the public Aug. 10. For now, they are open 7 a.m. to 2 p.m. seven days a week. When it gets a little cooler, Fallon says those hours will likely be extended to 3.

Alcala, the restaurant’s founder, started it in July of 1980, when she was almost 57 years old after a career of being a “lunch lady” in school cafeterias. Fallon, who is also a member of the Buda City Council, has been working there since she was 16. “We were sad to leave downtown Buda but we won’t go far, for sure,” she said. “For now, we’re going to stick with the food truck until we can find another location that better fits our needs.”

She said that judging from the success of their soft opening, the appetite for what Helen’s Casa Alde has to offer hasn’t diminished. “There was like an hour wait to get food — it was just insane.”

To provide faster service, they encourage online orders and prefer their hungry customers do that or call in before arriving. That way, they can get customers their food in 20 to 30 minutes.

“Online ordering has been phenomenal. It goes to my printer and gives us 30 minutes to make it. It’s awesome and I wish we had done this before.”

To get that fix, call 512-295-2053.

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