March 23, 2006 in Voices

Tecate Grill offers Southwestern cuisine

By The Spokesman-Review
 

A new restaurant is spicing up Shadle Center.

Tecate Grill opened at 2503 W. Wellesley Ave. on March 8.

Co-owner Hector Ramos describes the cuisine as Southwestern, different from the more Americanized Mexican food most people are used to.

Mexican dishes typically use a handful of spices, but at Tecate, 30 herbs and spices are used to create a much different flavor profile, he said. People will experience five or six flavors in every bite, said Ramos.

Tecate is a casual sit-down restaurant with a full-service bar. “We don’t cut corners but put a lot of time and effort into our cooking and presentation,” said Ramos. The restaurant has 25 employees and seats 100.

Ramos is no stranger to running a restaurant. At 32, he’s a second generation of the Ramos family, owners of the Azteca restaurants throughout the Northwest. Ramos had worked at Aztecas in the Seattle area since he was a teenager and has an interest in some of the chain’s restaurants in Spokane.

He and his partner Carla Barajas also own the Desert Fire Restaurant in Redmond, Wash., one that the new Tecate Grill is modeled after.

Carla Barajas’ husband Kiko Barajas is Tecate’s chef.

The Latin music that plays both inside and outside adds to the ambience. “We want people shakin’ before they even walk in,” said Ramos.

Their margarita is hand-shaken, served on the rocks and made with fresh lime juice. Some menu favorites include the pecan-crusted crab cake, banana burrito and Santa Fe steak.

The grill serves lunch and dinner and is open from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m., Sunday through Thursday and from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. Friday and Saturday.

Lunch prices are $6 to $12, and dinner entrees are $10 to $15.

Tecate Grill can be reached at 327-7817.

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