Grand Junction’s Las Marias to move one last time
WHAT: Las Marias
WHEN: Tuesday through Saturday, 6 a.m. to 9 p.m. and Sunday 6 a.m. to 3 p.m.
WHERE: 118 S. Seventh St., Grand Junction
Maria Maestas, a Grand Junction resident, is the owner and operator of Las Marias — a family Mexican restaurant operating downtown. While her restaurant location has changed a few times over the last eight years, one thing remains constant — her service to customers and her food.
“When I bring the food to the table, it’s an honor and a pleasure to bring it to customers,” Maestas said. “It’s a good feeling when people like what you do.”
Las Marias is currently located at 118 S. Seventh St. It temporarily moved downtown last year while Maestas was to build a stand-alone restaurant in Orchard Mesa. With business booming downtown, however, she decided to stay in the area.
Las Marias is moving again, but just a few blocks down the road. Maestas hopes 421 Colorado Ave. will become the restaurant’s permanent location. The move will happen in the next few months.
With the moves, Maestas said she has encountered challenges, like maintaining consistency in different kitchens.
“I think we have overcome that challenge, and we have figured it out now,” Maestas explained. “The restaurant business is hard because you have to have good food and good service, but I think we do both of those well.”
Las Marias currently employs 21 people, with some being family and friends. Hours for the current location are Tuesday through Saturday, 6 a.m. to 9 p.m., and Sunday, 6 a.m. to 3 p.m.
“We have reasonable prices and good food,” Maestas said.
MENU MADE WITH LOVE
Maestas comes from a family with eight younger brothers and sisters, so she often cooked for them to help her parents out. Since then, she dreamed about opening her own restaurant. In 2007, that dream came true with Las Marias opening on North Avenue.
Her menu includes traditional dishes like enchiladas, chile relleno, and fajitas. Prices range from $8-$20 depending on the dish. Breakfast, lunch and dinner is served Tuesday through Sunday.
Maestas’ favorite dish on the menu is the chile relleno. Her most prized recipe? Her mother-in-law’s “New Mexico” green chili.
“People really love it,” she said.
According to Maestas, her food may have a slightly different taste than other Mexican restaurants because she is from Chihuahua, Mexico.
She added there are also many gluten-free items on the menu and all sauces available are gluten free, too.
Clint Puritt, a Grand Junction resident and frequent customer, dines at Las Marias for the seafood soup and tamales.
“I love it here,” he said. “It’s great.”
Maestas moved to Grand Junction in 1978; and then she lived in Utah for several years before landing back in Grand Junction.
Her advice to those cooking at home: “Put a lot of love into what you do. If you are happy, you will have a wonderful time.”
When she isn’t working, she enjoys to eat at Sergio’s and Suhieros Japanese Restaurant.
For more information, call 970-241-2398 or visit www.lasmariasmexican.com.
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