Cilantro's Colombian Grill began tentatively as a way to give homesick Colombians a taste of home, says owner Ruby Tenorio. However, she now sees herself as an ambassador of culinary tradition, and the restaurant has become of way of sharing the richness of Colombian cuisine with a diverse population. She points out that few of her customers are actually Colombian, and much of her job is about educating the public. Sometimes that means telling people that she does not serve tacos, or that the meal does not come with chips and salsa.

When Ruby Tenorio decided to open a restaurant she felt pressured by friends to include some Mexican Dishes on the menu because “that’s what customers expect.” She says that she couldn’t bring herself to make burritos and tacos because she’s simply not familiar with that type of food. The items on the menu all come from her childhood traditions in Colombia, and Ruby says that she learned to love food from her father.