Jannette Marmolejo co-owner of Origen Latin Fusion Restaurant located in Sinking Spring where Tom Cat Café used to be located tells us that it all started as a thought when she moved to Berks County from Queens NY. She was born and raised in Queens, NY. She moved to Berks in 2018, looking for a family-oriented atmosphere for her daughters and herself. While here she saw the need for a family oriented, sit-down restaurant, where one could be served with excellence, in a warm and enjoyable atmosphere and with top notch food. A restaurant that would truly represent the essence of her Latin Culture!
She called her sister Grace, in NY, and explained the vision, asked her to help bring the idea to life and she immediately agreed. They truly became the “Dream Team” Origen would’ve not been possible without her.
Once the business plan was established, they started the quest of finding the right chef, one that would understand and become part of their project. After some searching and several interviews, Chef Almanzar came along, and they immediately knew he was the one! His passion, love and respect for cooking was palpable. He understood the vision and fell in love with the project. He agreed to take on the responsibility and didn’t disappoint. Chef Almanzar has become the heart and soul of the restaurant! Leaving his heart and art in every plate. His charisma and talent are undeniable, one can really taste the love in his food!
He makes specialty plates like Tropical Red Snapper, Biftec Chino (Chinese Beefsteak), a Havana Burger and much more. I’m not sure if it’s because I’m a Caribbean girl myself but I absolutely loved their special house mofongo, it’s called Origen Mofongo. (Mofongo is a fried and smashed plantain usually with butter and garlic) also it’s either stuffed or accompanied by your choice of a protein, however their specialty Mofongo comes with a great trio of Latino sausage, pork belly and shrimp. It also had a secret sauce that tied everything together. I loved it! If you’d like to enjoy a glass of wine with your meal, then make sure to make a stop before arriving as it’s BYOB. But no worries they have some great tropical juices as well, my favorite is passion fruit juice, and the expresso was impressive as well.
We were told Chef Almanzar has an intensive background as a chef in New York, he’s worked in several high-end and well-known restaurants in Manhattan and the Bronx as both, chef and advisor. They feel it’s truly a blessing to have him as the head chef at Origen Latin Fusion.
Make sure to stop in and tell them Rosa from Palo Magazine told you about them, and don’t forget to compliment the staff if you enjoyed your experience. Our server Dary Garcia is another excellent component of Origen. He has served me twice and it’s been top notch service every time.
Tip: Always inform the manager or crew and let them know how well they are doing; this goes along way and creates continued great experiences in our local restaurants. Also take food pics and make sure to tag them on social media everyone loves those, and it really helps others looking for wonderful places to eat. It’s the perfect time of year to treat someone to lunch or dinner at Origen, make sure to let me know your experience and tag me as well. Happy Holidays!!!!
Rosa J. Parra