If you go
Vallarta's Mexican Restaurant hours
• Monday to Thursday: 11 a.m. to 9 p.m.
• Friday to Saturday: 11 a.m. to 10 p.m.
• Sunday: 11 a.m. to 8 p.m.
Craig What can a new Mexican restaurant bring to Craig?
Rogelio NuÃ±ez believes there's room for a little family, and a little Mexico.
"We just bring a little part of Mexico here, and we hope everyone gives us a try," NuÃ±ez said.
NuÃ±ez is the cook at Vallarta's Mexican Restaurant in Centennial Mall, a recently opened eatery immediately noticeable by the adobe and wood storefront toward the mall's east end.
It's not that other Mexican restaurants in town lack something; it's more that Vallarta's offers a little homemade flair.
A little flair from momma, who makes the green tomatillo, chipotle and mole sauces.
The three are something of a gamut of Mexican sauces. Tomatillos make a sweet green sauce, where chipotles make a tangy red.
Mole is something different altogether, created with a little peanut, a little chocolate and other ingredients.
The kitchen has some house specialties, as well, NuÃ±ez said.
Its most popular so far has been the rellenos, fried peppers stuffed with cheese and a choice of other things.
Vallarta's offers rellenos made with the traditional poblano pepper and a "crispy" rellenos made with anaheims.
"People really seem to like those kinds of chiles," NuÃ±ez said.
The menu has other differences from Mexican restaurants familiar to the Craig palette, he added.
"We have different sopapillas," NuÃ±ez said. "And our tamales are really homemade. We wrap them in corn leaves before they cook."
The NuÃ±ez family hails from the Mexican state Jalisco and came to this country to try its fortunes in the restaurant business, NuÃ±ez said.
Vallarta's is a regional chain, with two other locations on the Western Slope.
So far, business in Craig has been good and steady, NuÃ±ez said.
"Everything has gone OK," he said. "It's nice being here and have people come try us for the first time."
Collin Smith can be reached at 824-7031, ext. 209, or firstname.lastname@example.org