Their Mt. Pleasant restaurant Congress closed back in February of this year, but that wasn’t going to stop Mark and Adrienne Ciaburri from sharing their cuisine with the rest of Charleston.
Since the closure of Congress, Mark and Adrienne have started popping up around town with Ciaburri’s Interior Mexican Flavors, an itinerant concept that extends their reach from the Mt. Pleasant area to Folly Beach, downtown, and Sullivan’s Island.
Doing business together is familiar territory for the couple, who first met working together at a restaurant in Austin, Texas. After leaving the Lone Star State, they moved back to Mt. Pleasant, Adrienne’s hometown, and bought the old La Hacienda restaurant space, opening Congress in 2016.
Their Congress menu was a fusion of Italian and Mexican dishes, reflecting Mark's heritage — he's the primary chef. With the new venture, "Ciaburri’s" will tighten up their menu, featuring only the most popular Mexican dishes from Congress.
Their standout item? That would be their made from scratch mole poblano sauce. The sauce is usually paired with their enchiladas. (They even sell it by the jar so that customers can take the magic home with them.)
"The mole poblano sauce is so well composed and balanced, it’s very complex and [Mark] nails it," Adrienne says.
So far, the pop-ups have proven to be a fun and beneficial experience for the couple. Appearing outside the Mt. Pleasant area, they are able to establish regulars in each location. Beyond that, the spontaneous nature of the pop-ups make for much more flexible hours than working in a traditional restaurant.
"In a restaurant, having been the owners, we had to be there all the time. The pop-ups definitely have better hours, which we love," say the Ciaburris. While the couple’s end goal is to eventually open up another brick and mortar spot, for right now they are focusing on having fun with the pop-ups. To know when and where you can find the Ciaburris, check out their Instagram and Facebook.