By Bruce Karnick [email protected] Hastings finally has another small business to support, El Original Mexican Restaurant located at 1789 Market Blvd, is officially now open. Owned and operated …
By Bruce Karnick
Hastings finally has another small business to support, El Original Mexican Restaurant located at 1789 Market Blvd, is officially now open. Owned and operated by Guillermo Mesa Gonzales, El Original Mexican will be open Sunday to Thursday 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. and Friday/Saturday 11 a.m. to 11 p.m.
The restaurant features an expansive menu full of traditional Mexican foods with beef, chicken and seafood options all priced in line with other area restaurants. The most expensive food item on the menu was $32, but that stated it was meant for two people, so $16 per person. The food that was being served during the interview looked delicious and smelled even better.
The kid’s menu includes a small selection of Mexican and American fare including tacos, burritos, burgers, pepperoni pizza, hot dogs, chicken nuggets, and macaroni to name a few, with each item including a drink for the kids at under seven dollars.
There is also a full bar with a variety of margarita options, according to Gonzales. “Our specialty drinks will be our margaritas.”
Gonzales did face some delays opening in an effort to make sure everything was just right when they were finally able to serve customers. El Original Mexican did open after one small delay on July 4th. Originally, they planned on opening Friday the second, but the last inspection found a small issue with the alarm system and something in the kitchen so that was pushed back by two days. As of the opening, they were still waiting for the ability to take credit/ debit cards but hope to have that resolved quickly.
Upon entering the restaurant, you will see beautifully decorated booths and chairs in a well-lit, open space. It does not feel cramped at all. The walls are simply decorated pictures and there are TVs that can be seen from any spot in the restaurant. The staff was very friendly, as was Gonzales, and the location is quite big inside, able to accommodate 88 guests.
After speaking with the staff a little in the mid-afternoon, I was able to convince my parents to join me for dinner. The place was packed at 5:45. We took a seat at the bar at 5:50, had ordered by 6:10 and were done eating by 7:15. It was their first day open, and they were getting slammed, so it was pretty much as we expected for timing.
What was not expected was my father, who dislikes Mexican food, really enjoyed his meal. My mom and I both commented on how flavorful the rice was without being spicy. The tacos were delicious and again, not too spicy. Like my father, I do not like spicy food, and all three of us enjoyed the meal we had, agreeing that everything was very good.
The three of us ate for just under $30 with two pops and a water. All of the employees, even though they looked a bit overwhelmed, were very friendly and many of them checked on us often enough that we did not feel neglected, but not too much that we were getting annoyed. One of them even made a joke about the size of their margarita glasses. The one we thought was pretty big was actually the medium, she showed the large and extra-large.
When she grabbed the extra-large glass, she said “One of these and good night, adios, buenas noches.”
Overall, the experience in the restaurant was a good one and it is logical to expect the timing to improve significantly after the team gets more experience under their aprons. For now, plan on patience being your best friend when you go there and treat them with kindness, they are learning on the fly.
For a full copy of their menu, random pictures of their products, details on the opening and to learn of their specials, find them on www.facebook. com/eloriginalmex/ Make sure to stop in for a bite to eat and wish them the best!
El Original Mexican Restaurant, owned by Guillermo Mesa Gonzales, opened on July 4th. Here, the staff members pose with Gonzales (middle) behind the bar for an opening day picture. Congratulations on the new venture, may you have all the success in the world! Photo by Bruce Karnick