Vallarta’s garners Best Mexican Restaurant for Moffat County |

Vallarta’s garners Best Mexican Restaurant for Moffat County

Community service, friendly demeanor complement popular food

Michael Neary

Macho Nuñez is one of the owners of Vallarta’s Restaurant, in Craig.

Macho Nuñez is one of the owners of Vallarta's Restaurant, in Craig.

— Macho Nuñez, one of the owners of Vallarta's Restaurant, can recall some of the most popular food items on the menu. Nuñez, who also works as waiter, mentioned asada tacos, super burritos and crispy chile rellenos as among the favorites.

But the 2016 winner of Best Mexican Restaurant in Moffat County endears itself to customers in ways that transcend food — as a group feasting on dinner recently explained.

"The atmosphere is awesome," said Margaret Perez.

"It's very family friendly," added Camaron Hammond.

Leta Kernen also noted the way "you're never rushed" in the restaurant.

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Vallarta’s also won Best Cocktail in Moffat County in 2016 for its margarita.

Nuñez said that his four older brothers — Roy, Mario, Pepe and Cubas Nuñez — started the restaurant back in 2008. He said his mother, Margarita Gomez, is the restaurant's main chef.

"Without my mom, I don't think we'd be in business," he said.

Macho Nuñez described the sort of interaction that occurs among people in the restaurant.

"We try to be friends with everyone," he said. "We talk about how life is, how they've been doing during the week."

He said that professional labels tend to drop away during conversation with customers.

"They don't treat me like a waiter but more like a friend," he said. "And I treat them more like a friend than like a customer."

Vallarta's has also gained a reputation for community service. Macho Nuñez said the restaurant has helped out children playing sports and recently helped raise money for a resident with cancer.

"We try to do something for the people who need it," he said.

The Craig Chamber of Commerce named Vallarta’s the Large Business of the Year for 2013, noting the restaurant's commitment to community service.

It’s a commitment that radiates beyond the restaurant — but based on the customers’ reflections, it radiates within the restaurant, as well.

Contact Michael Neary at 970-875-1794 or or follow him on Twitter @CDP_Education.