Karlee’s Paleteria y Neveria is quickly growing in popularity after opening an authentic Mexican food truck serving fresh, slow cooked tacos, quesadillas and more.
Tucked between an auto shop and a gravel road on 266 County Road 101 in Oxford, patrons driving into the parking lot are greeted with the smell of fresh tacos. You can stop by the food truck and sit outside to grab some quesabirria tacos and then walk through the front doors of Karlee’s ice cream and popsicle shop to snag a cup of tres leches homemade ice cream for dessert.
With the recent addition of the food truck parked right outside of Karlee’s, business has increased. Karlee’s owner Itzel Gonzalez says that the idea for the food truck stemmed from her realization that local, authentic Mexican food was difficult to find.
“I just felt like there are a lot of Mexican restaurants, but they’re more like Tex-Mex, so I felt like there was still something missing that’s more Mexican, since I am Mexican,” Gonzalez said. “I wanted something more authentic.”
Karlee’s opened its doors just over a year ago.
Inspiration for the ice cream shop came from La Michoacana, a chain of ice cream parlors in Mexico. Gonzalez says that when living in Mexico as a child, she and her family would visit La Michoacana frequently, but after moving to the United States, the closest option for her was in Memphis.
Karlee’s, named after Gonzalez’s daughter, specializes in authentic Mexican recipe ice cream and popsicles, but also offers quesabirria tacos, quesadilla pizzas and sweet bread.
Gonzalez says that serving people outside of the Latino community was unexpected, but she is happy that she is able to share her culture.
“At first I thought it was just going to be Hispanics or Latinos, but we have been having a lot of (people from) other backgrounds here, too,” Gonzalez said. “When we have different people come, they always ask about the snacks other than just ice cream, and I always get excited and talk to them about it. I’m glad to share it.”
K.C. Kellum, manager at Chicory Market, enjoys having Kaylee’s next door. Most people assume that the only things going on in Oxford are on the Square, Kellum said, so it is great to have another local business on the north side of the city.
“It’s nice having something a little different. It’s not just another cheeseburger pizza joint,” Kellum said. “It’s neat to have a restaurant down in this area, especially one with some cultural significance to it.”
Nick Husbands, an Oxford local, said that the quesabirria tacos and quesadilla pizza are his favorites from the spot. He said that what he enjoys most about Karlee’s is the food is more authentic than other options in Oxford.
“I’ve been to Mexico a few times, and their food reminds me of Mexico,” Husbands said. “I’ll try anything on the menu. It all looks good.”
Ice cream is a staple at the parlor and soon will be made in-store. New ice cream and popsicle flavors can also be expected. More information on Karlee’s can be found on their Facebook and Instagram pages.