It was Tiburcio’s daughter who inspired her to open Wanda’s Mofongo House at 1001 S. Main Ave., Scranton, last March. The restaurant serves breakfast, lunch and dinner with a menu offering a variety of international options.
Tiburcio loves everything on her menu; however, her favorite dish is mofongo, a combination of deep-fried green plantains mashed together with other ingredients, such as garlic and olive oil.
Chef’s Table recently chatted with Tiburcio about her love of food and providing a warm, welcoming atmosphere for Scranton’s diverse community.
Q: What made you want to open up a restaurant?
A: I loved to eat at different places, and that is what drove me to start this restaurant with Spanish cuisine and international food. Also, my daughter, who inspires me every day, she strives to accomplish her goals and is completely determined to achieve whatever it is she puts her mind to. It amazes me that no matter how difficult the task is, she always manages to succeed. So, it’s because of her dedication to fulfilling her dreams (that) I decided to fulfill my dream as well.
Q: What’s your specialty?
A: Our specialty would have to be the Mofongo with Chicharon de Pollo, which is chicken breast, and for our drink, Morir Sonañdo, which is a drink with orange juice, milk and sugar cane served over ice.
Q: How did your menu come to be?
A: The menu comes from my hometown back in Dominican Republic and what people like and ask me to do for them. We offer daily specials for our customers between 11 a.m. and 4 p.m.
Q: What do you love about cooking?
A: What drives me to love cooking is the fact that it’s fun, and I love that every ingredient brings in a delicious component to my dish. I also love being able to have complete control of what flavors I want to include in my dishes. The admiration I get from people makes me happy. Knowing that people enjoy the dishes I put out makes my heart warm.
Q: What type of seating do you have?
A: We have table tops of four, and at full capacity we can seat 60 guests.
Q: Do you offer catering, event space, etc.?
A: We offer catering for any event, including weddings and birthdays.
Q: How does it feel approaching the restaurant’s first anniversary?
A: It feels pretty amazing. I’m still in complete astonishment that this idea I had turned into reality. I just want my restaurant to keep leveling up and for my customers to always be pleased and satisfied with what I give them. I’ll forever be grateful for this opportunity. We are planning to keep growing in our community and plan on moving into a bigger place to provide much better service.
Wanda’s Mofongo House
Address: 1001 S. Main Ave., Scranton
Established: March 2019
Owner: Wanda Tiburcio
Cuisine: Spanish and International cuisine
Hours: Thursdays through Saturdays, 8 a.m. to 9 p.m., and Sundays, 10 to 6 p.m.
Laura Rysz is the features copy editor and calendar editor at The Times-Tribune and runs the Talk of the Times column, which focuses on local fundraisers and other events. She also writes Chef’s Table that profiles restaurants around the region. Additionally, Laura curates events online on AccessNEPA.com. Laura is involved in the special Mother’s Day edition and curates occasional features Marry Memories and Times Travelers. She is a graduate of Haddonfield Memorial High School, New Jersey, and earned an English professional writing degree with a minor in mass communications from King’s College, Wilkes-Barre. She also earned a certificate in Social Media Marketing from Rutgers Business School. Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org; 570-348-9100 x5228.