Familia Rodriguez

Fiesta Jalisco

Add some spice to your life (reprinted from Vail Daily)

Connie Steiert - February 22, 2006

There's a reason you'll find Fiesta Jalisco restaurants from Avon to the mountains beyond to the Front Range. The restaurant's amazing success story owes much to family recipes, but even more to a tried-and-true formula of great food, great service and a welcoming, enjoyable atmosphere.

Now there is a Fiesta Jalisco even more conveniently located for downvalley residents, right in Eagle, caddy corner to the Eagle Post Office on Chambers Avenue. If you've yet to discover this "real Mexican" restaurant, don't wait another minute. You'll be delighted by what you find.

"People like good service and good food at a reasonable price," Carlos Diaz, partner in the Fiesta Jalisco restaurants, explains simply. People just can't seem to get enough of Fiesta Jalisco. In just four-and-a-half years, Carlos Diaz and the Diaz and Rodriquez families have opened nine Fiesta Jalisco restaurants, from the Eagle River Valley to Summit County, from Evergreen to Golden, from Winter Park to Steamboat Springs. In six months, their 10th Fiesta Jalisco will open in Colorado Springs.

If you like what you find at the Fiesta Jalisco in Eagle, explains Diaz, you're guaranteed to like what you find in any other of the family-owned restaurants across the state.

"We have changed each one a little bit, but it is the same idea," assures Diaz, who runs the Eagle restaurant.

A touch of Old Mexico

Stepping into the Fiesta Jalisco in Eagle is a little like stepping into a bit of old Mexico.

There are tall-back, wooden booths and an impressive bar, both hand-carved in Mexico. The tile, which lends a bright splash of color throughout the restaurant, is from Mexico. Vibrant paintings by Mexican artists adorn the walls. The charming ceramic horse statue and whimsical iron, cactus chandelier are from Mexico. Mexican music offers a lively backdrop to your meal.

"It makes you feel like a little bit of Mexico," Diaz says.

Fiesta Jalisco meals are billed as "real Mexican" cuisine, too, with delicious family recipes that date back many decades, passed down from one family member to the next. Diaz explains that Fiesta Jalisco's cuisine is real Mexican, but California-style, with every item on the menu made fresh, daily from scratch. "Nothing is pre-made," he promises.

Fiesta Jalisco offers an extensive menu and affordable prices, which ensure that every diner will find something they love, from appetizers to an eye-popping array of entrees.

Start out with Fiesta Jalisco nachos or a cocktail campechana appetizer, with shrimp and octopus. Then choose from the small or large combination plates. (Here's a tip: the enchiladas and burritos are always among Fiesta Jalisco diners' favorites.) Or, select a tempting dish from the carnes (meat) menu, the pollos (chicken) menu, or the mariscos (seafood) menu. There is also a pleasing variety of salads, vegetarian meals; children's choices, and American or "Gringo" dishes."

Two entrees have proven perennially popular wherever there is a Fiesta Jalisco. Carne Asada, with flame-broiled skirt steak, served with salsa and guacamole on a warmed tortilla is always a favorite. And, the Arroz con Pollo, the restaurant's signature item, with tender sliced chicken breast, fresh mushrooms, onions and green peppers, served on a bed of rice, with jack and cheddar cheeses, and warm tortillas - is a house pleaser.

"These two dishes, once you try them ...," says Diaz, stopping and letting his expression do the rest of the talking, letting you know that once tasted, you'll be back for more.

Fiesta Jalisco in Eagle also has a full bar, serving not only fantastic margaritas, perfected over generations, but just about any other drink you might have in mind.

As superb as the food is, Diaz says the service in his family's restaurants is just as vital in keeping happy customers. "We just tried to give good service, to be good friends to everybody," he says.

Generations of expertise

Although the Fiesta Jalisco restaurants have been open less than five years, they come with generations of expertise behind them.

"Jalisco" is the name of the Mexican State where Guadalajara resides, and where Diaz's father started one of the family's first restaurants many years ago.

"Guadalajara is where we come from," Diaz notes.

Diaz says his family more recently moved from Washington State, where Jose Rodriquez, the main partner in Fiesta Jalisco still owns and operates a popular restaurant named Rancho Viejo in Spokane, while overseeing the Colorado chain as well. Much of Diaz' family also resides in California, where many of Fiesta Jalisco's California-style recipes come from.

The first Fiesta Jalisco opened in Silverthorne four-and-a-half years ago, followed by one in Breckenridge, then opening in Avon, Frisco, Evergreen, Steamboat Springs, Winter Park, Eagle and, lastly, Golden.

Fiesta Jalisco in Eagle is open for lunch and dinner, seven days a week. Happy Hours are offered twice daily and on Sundays. In addition to private meals, Fiesta Jalisco will serve parties. The restaurant offers take-out lunch and dinner, too - usually, in just five to 10 minutes.

To make reservations or order takeout, call (970) 328-9300. Fiesta Jalisco is located at 701 Chambers Ave. in Eagle and in Avon at Chapel Square.

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