Sheila Guzman has been a presence in the restaurant business in Taos for longer than most. She worked at several restaurants here and was the executive chef at two before opening her own business for the first time.
In 2002 Sheila opened Gypsy 360, in Arroyo Seco. Since then she has made a habit of opening restaurants that become incredibly successful, before closing or selling them and showing up in a new location with a new idea not too long after.
After Gypsy360, Sheila opened Maverick County Cafe in the Overland complex but when Gypsy’s new owners closed, she took Maverick back to Arroyo Seco.
Within a year she had closed Maverick and opened a Japanese restaurant (Hiro Hobo) which was a huge success but Sheila, true to style, soon shut that down as well and reinvented the space once more with Hunter Tom’s Burgers and Beers.
Sheila closed Hunter Tom’s after a year and moved into a space north of the Old Blinking Light to open Café Ricochet, where she stayed until a little over a year ago, when she moved into her current location and opened a new lunch time favourite, Hero.
Her comings and goings – now you see it, now you don’t – don’t seem to upset any of her rather large following here in Taos. In fact, if anything it makes people eager for more of what Sheila’s got; great food, no matter the name, concept or style.
Hero, (right off Taos Plaza), is tiny, and the restaurant is open only for lunch. The menu features Guzman’s favorite global culinary influences and changes according to season.
The food is fresh, prepared by Sheila herself (occasionally with a helping hand or two) and delicious as always. There are tables outside which are always occupied at lunch time during the summer, but there are lots of places to sit in the shade and eat your lunch around the plaza and the Dunn House Shops if you don’t mind taking it to go.
I managed to take these pics early on one day, before the lunch rush packed the place and rendered it impossible.
Hero is located at 103 Juan Largo on the North Plaza.