Moab Happenings Archive
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Fiesta Mexicana: A Continual Celebration
By Linda Schmidt

Walking into Fiesta Mexicana is like being transported into old Mexico. Brilliant colors, lively music, and the aroma of good food surround the customer with an exciting and festive welcome!

At the heart of this fiesta is Tony Ramirez, as enthusiastic and friendly as the restaurant he has managed for fourteen and a half years. His smiling face is well known around Moab, not only as the manager of the Fiesta, but also as a conscientious supporter of the community, happy to help wherever he can, especially in those projects which involve children and families.

With delight, Tony relates the events which led him and his family to Moab. He recalls speaking to his mother, expressing his desire to move out of California and start a new life. Coming home one day about a month later, he found the owners of the small chain of Fiesta Mexicana restaurants waiting to speak to him; they asked him to take over management of their new restaurant in Moab. He discussed it with his wife and they visited Moab on the 4th of July weekend that year. In just two days they agreed that they should make the move.

Tony beams at this memory and at the thought of all the good that has come of their decision. His family has thrived here, and so has the restaurant. His motto: “wherever you are happy—that’s the name of the game,” adding that whatever makes his wife happy makes him the happiest. Today their children have grown up; the older son just married and the younger is in college. Mrs. Ramirez happily drives a school bus, enjoying the students as much as they enjoy her.

Tony works enthusiastically in the restaurant, continually making it more festive, ever conscious of taking good care of his customers. Last year the tables and floors received an upgrade that adds wonderfully to its atmosphere. New Mexican folk art decorates the back of every bench and chair, creating a rich feast of color and themes. This year three new characters have entered the cast of employees, but these only stand around, waiting to provide photo opportunities for customers. Walking in the door, you will be met by a lovely senorita in a flouncy red skirt, sporting a sombrero and bandoliers. Nearby are two men, one who looks like her partner (be careful!) and the other who is smoking a big cigar and recommending tequila as a cure-all.

Concern for customer satisfaction drives all decisions made for Fiesta Mexicana’s menu. Tony says that he will add a few new things for this next season, but 90% will remain the same. He believes that consistency is most important, and rather than change what people really like, he will just make ordering those items easier. And he has no problems with keeping his employees; many have been with the restaurant for years. Tony knows how to treat people well, both customers and employees, and their loyalty to him and the restaurant proves it!

The restaurant is open year round, offering great food at great prices. The lunch special is aimed at the local clientele, enabling them to have a tasty meal, served quickly, at a remarkably low price. And he is planning some low-priced evening specials as well, perhaps a burrito night and an enchilada night. “For my locals,” he says. “Making them happy.” The restaurant sales have increased steadily over the years. Fiesta Mexicana has become a Moab fixture, and Tony thanks his local customers for their support. He says the restaurant wouldn’t be here without them.

Treat yourself to a fiesta! Step into the unforgettable atmosphere of Fiesta Mexicana for authentic Mexican food and fun. “Enriching lives one taco at a time by serving the highest quality Mexican food at the lowest price possible.” Located at 202 South Main Street, on the corner of Main and 200 South, with ample parking. 435-259-4366

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