Spanglish Mexican-American kitchen comes to Glenwood Springs
Alejandra, Pedro and Sarah Martinez all speak English and Spanish and also love cooking American and Mexican cuisine at their new, family-run restaurant, Spanglish.
Located in the heart of Glenwood Springs, 1605 Grand Ave., Unit H, Spanglish quickly gets to the heart of breakfast and lunch with a medley of menu items ranging from avocado toast and breakfast burritos to Philly Cheesesteak and camarones a la diabla — otherwise known as shrimp covered in a spicy chipotle sauce.
When Alejandra and Pedro moved to Glenwood Springs in the late 1980s and early ’90s they arrived from Las Vegas and Mexico City, respectively.
“When I got here, there were no tortillas,” Pedro Martinez laughed as he recalled the transition from one of the world’s largest cities to the Roaring Fork Valley in 1988.
Now, seven days a week, the Martinez family begins preparing their mom-and-pop recipes, homemade tortillas included, long before opening their doors to customers at 7 a.m.
From spreading avocado on sourdough bread with two over-easy eggs, sliced tomatoes, Burratina cheese and a special green salsa to rolling breakfast burritos stuffed with chorizo, refried beans, green chili, sour cream, and cheddar and pepper jack cheeses, at Spanglish the Martinez family loves bringing other families together over food.
They also enjoy working together as a unit.
“When I grew up in Mexico my family was not together that much,” Pedro Martinez said. “So when I married my wife and we had our kids, I wanted us to all be together.”
When Sarah Martinez, the couple’s daughter, found out that her mother was diagnosed with cancer, the 24-year-old immediately let go of her studies to hang on to her mom.
“It was hard, but not as hard as it could have been had I been alone,” Alejandra Martinez described of her battle with cancer, and her daughter being by her bedside every step of the way. “I said to myself, ‘If it’s my time, I will go happy.’”
It was not her time.
And, after doctors informed her that she was in fact cancer free, Martinez, with the help of her husband and daughter, decided it was instead time for Spanglish.
Originally, the family wanted to open a coffee shop by the name of, “The Green Machine.” But, because of Colorado’s relaxed marijuana laws, they thought that name might bring in customers looking for cannabis as opposed to caffeine.
Instead, the Martinezes decided on the breakfast and lunch eatery, and to continue to add old family recipes to its menu.
“Mostly, everybody that is working here is family,” Sarah Martinez said of the restaurant’s staff.
Currently, Pedro’s brother serves as Spanglish’s chef. However, whether cooking, cleaning, or waiting tables, each family member plays an integral role in the family business.
It’s not the first time the Martinezes have worked together. Pedro explained how he worked alongside his wife for 14 years in Aspen.
“We were married and working together and having lunch every day,” he fondly recalled. “For me, now getting to work with my wife and kids, that is everything.”
Spanglish’s hours of operation are 7 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday, and from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday.
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Several Carbondale businesses are scrambling to relocate and others are just plain calling it quits following plans for one of the town’s oldest strip malls to be redeveloped.