Tequila Real in Milton has opened its doors and its owners say the positive reception has been great.
Owners Maria Ruiz and Jose Herrera opened Nov. 7 to a packed house.
“We didn’t even have a chance to eat lunch!” Ruiz said. “Monday they gave us a chance to breathe. It’s good.”
Ruiz and Herrera have lived in Milton before, although they live in Maryland now where they run three Mexican restaurants. The couple took over one of the most visible spots in Milton, the former Goodfellas pizza shop on Mulberry Street, and went to work, completely renovating the interior and exterior of the restaurant.
The vision for Tequila Real comes from Herrera, an experienced cook who came up with much of the menu, which features his own personal takes on classic Mexican dishes.
“He likes to cook,” Ruiz said. “When he came to the U.S. in 1994, he started working as a dishwasher and he wanted to learn.”
The menu offers chimichangas and fajitas, but also Herrera’s own dishes, such as spinach burritos, burrito asado, lime chimichangas and his version of street tacos.
Herrera is helped at the restaurant by his brothers, Jesus and Ignacio, and his cousin, Paolo.
The name Tequila Real pays homage to the owners’ roots in Mexico. They grew up the city of Penjamo in Guanajuato; the city is also home to Real de Penjamo tequila, inspiring the name of the restaurant.
Ruiz said they had hoped to open in the spring, but miscommunication during construction and inspection slowed the work and delayed the opening. Ruiz and Herrera live in California, Md. in St. Mary’s County, a three-hour commute to Milton. While it was a bumpy ride, Ruiz and Herrera are glad to be up and running.
“The customers are very nice. Everyone said they were waiting for the opening. They’re very happy and us too,” she said.
Tequila Real is open 11 a.m. to 10 p.m., Monday through Thursday, 11 a.m. to 10:30 p.m. on Friday and Saturday and 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. on Sunday. For more information, call 643-0031 or visit them on Facebook.