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A new Mexican restaurant in town celebrates Cinco de Mayo with mariachi

By Ingrid Marie Rivera, La Prensa Correspondent

LORAIN, May 15, 2010: The owners of a new Mexican restaurant on Oberlin Avenue wanted to celebrate the Cinco de Mayo holiday properly. So they held off on their formal celebration until the local Mariachi band, Joya de México, from Cleveland could arrive and perform at their site.

The restaurant “Cinco de Mayo Puebla” was finally able to host the festivities, Saturday, May 15, 2010.

Trumpet and acoustic guitar sounds filled the dimly lit restaurant that gave off a red hue and a festive yet cozy and welcoming feeling. The ceiling is painted to resemble the blue sky, small banners displaying “Corona de Mayo” are hung from the ceiling, the chairs are painted with colorful cowboy images and sombreros are hung on the walls - all helping to transport the attendees to México.

Roughly 50 people filled the restaurant at one given time and enjoyed a variety of authentic Mexican foods while they were serenaded by the Mariachi Band Joya de México.

The Cinco de Mayo holiday is not México's Independence Day celebration; instead, it commemorates the victory of the Mexican militia over the French Army at the Battle of Puebla in 1862.

Authentic Mexican food is what the restaurant, “Cinco de Mayo Puebla,” at 4290 Oberlin Avenue, strives to have every day and what sets it apart from other Mexican restaurants, the owners said. The restaurant has been open since January or four months.

Owner Rosa Malin, her daughter, Katie Malin, 14, and Associate Luis Garza in front of their restaurant, "Cinco de Mayo Puebla"

Rosa Malin
, owner of the restaurant and also a Spanish teacher for Pre-K and Kindergarten children, said she always dreamed of opening her own restaurant but she wanted to remain a teacher; both are her passions, she said. With the help of her husband, Gregory Malin, and her family friend Luis Garza, they were finally able to make that dream a reality.

“We just opened the restaurant and if all goes well we hope to open more restaurants in the future,” said Rosa Malin, originally from the State of Nayarit, México.

Malin, from Shaker Heights, OH, said many of her frequent customers are not Mexican or from a Latino background.

“When you hear them say that they love the Mexican food, that they would love to learn the Spanish language, that makes you feel so good,” she said.

Luis Garza, manager and associate of the restaurant, said their location offers Mexican dishes that are often difficult to find in other Mexican restaurants, but are very popular dishes in México including the “Mole Poblano” and “Chili Poblano.”

“All of the recipes that I have here are authentic,” Garza said “I wanted to make this restaurant different from all the others,” he said.

He added their food is always fresh because all dishes including the salsas and rice are prepared daily.

Garza, with origins in México City, México, said his favorite dish at the restaurant is the “Burrito Chilango,” also called “México City,” - the dish he created.

The burrito carries three different types of meat including Shrimp, beefsteak and carnitas, or pork, plus vegetables like green peppers and onions. It comes with rice and beans.

“There are people that travel to México and they eat there, and then they come here asking ‘hey, do you have this? No? Come on, and you’re a Mexican restaurant?,’” Garza said “It’s just that the preparation of those Mexican dishes are very difficult. And here we have those dishes that are hard to find in other places.” he said.

Mariachi Joya de Mexico

The guests that Saturday evening agreed.

Mike and Nan Salvatore, from Erie, PA, were staying in a local hotel when they were recommended to visit “Cinco de Mayo Puebla” after they asked where they could find Mexican food.

They said they did not expect to find a live Mariachi band, but welcomed the great surprise.

“We have lived in Guadalajara, (the capital of the State of Jalisco, México); he was there for Med school, and I asked (the Mariachi band Joya de México) to play ‘Guadalajara’ for me. It was great. It was perfect,” Nan Salvatore said.

They said they were also greatly pleased with the menu.

“I had enchiladas. We know Mexican food. Some places, sometimes, you can tell the food was brought in frozen. But this was very good. This wasn’t out of a microwave. And tamales, we don’t see that on menus very often,” she said.

The menu includes many of the popular and cherished Mexican dishes including enchiladas, tamales, tostadas, chalupas, fajitas, and burritos. They also serve seafood, taco salads, chimichangas and other dishes of beef, chicken or pork. For dessert they offer a special “Chimi Cheesecake” and Flan. Plus, they offer Margaritas and both U.S. and Mexican beers.

The couple, Evelyn and Ivan Arocho, said they have visited the restaurant several times because they enjoy the food and good service. The Arochos of Puerto Rican background also have Mexicans in their family, Evelyn Arocho said.

“I love enchiladas. His favorite is carne asada. We came for Mother’s day actually, and brought both our moms,” Evelyn Arocho said, “I would recommend it highly for people to come here. I mean the food is authentic. It has really good taste. But the excellent service just brings the package together.”

Garza, who worked previously in construction, said plans are to create a natural fence in the front of the restaurant to add privacy by planting several 6-feet-tall trees and even placing a water fountain near the trees.

They plan to have a grand opening party soon this year when the construction is complete.

Malin said she is optimistic their restaurant will be successful.

“I don’t lose the faith,” Rosa Malin said “I believe that we will be able to push this restaurant forward. Because sometimes we are sad because not very many people visit. That’s the way it is in the beginning. But here we are.”

On the Internet: For more information on this restaurant visit its Web site at http://www.cincodemayopuebla.com/  

See Video coverage of this event at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qyXd6YN7uDI  

Or see http://www.youtube.com/user/LaPrensaWeekly  

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Copyright © 2010 by [LaPrensa Newspaper]. All rights reserved.
Revised: 07/23/12 11:55:07 -0700.





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