558 N. Main St., Prineville, OR 97754 | (541) 447-6205
Mazatlan Restaurant celebrates five years and offers new menu items
The local eatery opened its doors in 2008, and is managed by Francisco Robles
January 28, 2013
Central Oregon’s Mazatlan restaurants have been serving tasty Mexican food since 1992, when the first was opened in Bend. Since then, Mazatlans have opened their doors in Prineville, Madras, and Redmond, where there are two.
All five are owned by Salvador Robles, of Redmond, in partnership with Salvador Galván of Portland, who also owns several Mazatlan restaurants in that area.
The Prineville eatery opened for business in 2008, after extensive remodeling of the former Barr’s Cafe. Known for its vivid interior color scheme, including wall-size murals, it’s currently managed by one of Robles’ nephews, Francisco Robles.
Robles, 21, said he’s been manager for about a year since transferring from Redmond, where he worked since his sophomore year in high school. The oldest of several cousins in the area, Robles said many relatives choose to join the family’s business — a cousin also works in Prineville — although some do not.
“We used to have more family members,” he said, “but they left us. They left to open their own business.”
According to Robles, Mazatlan offers food that is generally less spicy and milder than would be found in Mexico, though they do have some authentic plates on their menu, such as carne asada (beef) and chile colorado (a beef stew). Enchiladas Mazatlan — which is fairly new to them, he said — features enchiladas topped with lettuce, tomatoes, and crumbled Mexican cheese.”
“That’s how you’d get it in Mexico,” he explained.
New management often means a new menu, and such is the case for Mazatlan. While carne asada and other old standards remain, such as camarones a la mantaquilla (sautéed prawns), and polla a la crema (chicken with creamy parmesan sauce), there are also some new offerings.
Before, the combination dinners were listed by number. A number four, for example, might have been a taco and cheese enchilada, with rice and beans. Now, they’re simply listed by number of items and price.
“You can make your own combination, mix and match whatever you want,” said Robles.
There are new appetizers, such as seafood marinara dip, and guacamole fresco. The latter adds a bit of bravado to the presentation.
“Tomatoes, cilantro, onions, jalapenos, and two ripe avocados,” listed Robles. “We come out to your table and make it table side.”
Some of the dinner plates that weren’t ordered that much were eliminated from the new menu, he said, but just because they’re gone doesn’t mean they’re forgotten.
One such item no longer advertised is the burrito relleno, a chile relleno with rice, beans and chicken. However, it’s still available if you ask.
“Occasionally people who saw our old menu, they still order that,” Robles said.
Special requests aren’t just for food. Robles said they’ll also concoct special cocktails, no matter how seemingly odd.
“For drinks, we had (requested) an avocado margarita,” he related. “We tried it out. And some people like that. Not everybody, they think like I’m going to be drinking guacamole dip. That was strange, but she (the customer) told us how to make it.”
Mazatlan offers specials each day. Their deluxe burrito is featured every Sunday, but you’ll never know what will be offered the rest of the week. They’ll change from day to day and from week to week, although seafood will often be highlighted on Fridays and Saturdays.
“During the week we’ll do combination specials, enchilada, taco, chili rellenos, rice and beans. Chili colorado, a lot of people like that. Our prices (specials) change every day. We’re going to try to keep on bringing new dishes, maybe not on the menu, but on Fridays and Saturdays we’ll be trying out new dishes, see how people like them.”
Perhaps the most noticeable change in the works is the addition of a buffet to their Sunday brunch menu.
“It’s going to be all you can eat, with some of the same food we have already in the kitchen,” Robles said.
The buffet will debut this month, he said, but soon they will add other “days” to their weekly lineup. Mondays will have a margarita night. On Tuesdays, kids will eat free with an adult. A lunch and dinner buffet will be available on Wednesdays and Thursdays, and seniors (60 and over) will get a 20 percent discount on Saturdays.
Kyle Niezgoda considers himself a regular with a usual menu order. He said his background as a waiter at both Dillon’s and Club Pioneer helps him to appreciate the service he gets at Mazatlan, one of the main reasons he eats there.
“Once you wait on tables you kind of know what to expect,” Niezgoda said. “I can come in here, just close my menu, and he (Robles) knows what I want.”
It’s much the same for diner Donna Olsen, who frequents Mazatlan during her lunch break. She categorized the service as “quick.” Olsen’s lunch buddy, Mary Knudson, said she likes everything about the restaurant.
“The food’s good. I like the atmosphere. I like the color. I just like everything — it’s a happy place in here.”
Mazatlan Mexican restaurant is located at 887 N. Main St., in Prineville.
Hours are 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Sunday through Thursday. On Friday and Saturday the restaurant closes at 10 p.m.
Menu items are available for both children and seniors.
The restaurant offers a full complement of cocktails, as well as Mexican and domestic beer, and house wine.
For more information call 541-447-7437.