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Oral Histories

The SFA oral history program documents life stories from the American South. Collecting these stories, we honor the people whose labor defines the region. If you would like to contribute to SFA’s oral history collections, please send your ideas for oral history along with your CV or Resume and a portfolio of prior oral history work to

< Back to Oral History project: Nashville’s Nolensville Road


Maria Elva Resendiz & Santos Vega

La Estrellita Food Truck

When it comes to food truck concepts, Nashville has its share of burgers, bao buns and pizzas. But for Maria Elva Resendiz and Santos Vega, the brother of Resendiz’s husband, the concept is as much about the kind of food as it is location.

Preparing the dishes they learned to make by watching their elders in their native Mexico, Maria Elva and Santos take their truck to construction sites around town to serve homemade tortillas for fajitas, chile rellenos and enchiladas to hungry workers. The business began in 2015, but the pair is in demand with site managers calling on the truck to visit projects across town.

Maria Elva and Santos are long-time Nashvillians arriving here in 2001 and 1995 respectively. Santos worked in a Mexican restaurant learning various aspects of the business while saving and borrowing money to buy their first truck. With their own business, the work is hard and rewarding; their prep time begins at two in the morning to prepare homemade tortillas to go with all the other dishes. Meanwhile, they’ve added a second truck to keep up with demand, driven by Maria Elva’s husband. They hope to someday open a stationary restaurant of their own.

Date of interview:

Jennifer Justus

Emily B. Hall

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The Southern Foodways Alliance drives a more progressive future by leading conversations that challenge existing constructs, shape perspectives, and foster meaningful discussions. We reconsider the past with research, scrutiny, and documentation.


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