For 23 years, Mariachi Mexico has been an Armonk institution. Now the restaurant is spicing things up.
The restaurant has undergone interior and menu makeovers thanks to new head chef Joana Herrera, who started in February. Herrera, a Hastings-on-Hudson resident who emigrated from Mexico when she was 11, previously worked at Mariachi Mexico as a waitress.
“I want to create a totally different vibe,” Herrera said. “This is one of my dreams. I want people to feel comfortable and relaxed.”
Herrera said she said wants customers to feel like they can come in and have a little bite to eat, and not have to order entrees.
“They can come in and have tacos and drink,” Herrera said. “I want them to enjoy the company.”
All types of music plays throughout the restaurant, from Spanish music to European techno to tango. The walls have been painted white, and a blackboard hangs in the back offering specials. Herrera, who graduated from culinary school in New York City, wants her passion for life to shine through.
“I believe in living each day to the fullest,” Herrera said. “You truly don’t know what’s happening tomorrow.”
A sign hangs in the center of the restaurant imploring customers to eat, drink, smile and love. The restaurant’s interior is inspired by Mexican artist Frida Kahlo. Herrera visits the Frida Kahlo museum whenever she is in Mexico City.
Herrera said she feels fortunate to be head chef of a restaurant, knowing how few get the opportunity.
“I am extremely excited that I have gotten to this point,” Herrera said.
Working on the strip in downtown Armonk is also something Herrera enjoys. Herrera said she enjoys people watching outside the restaurant, and is glad she is not working in an isolated area.
When it comes to the menu, Herrera is very high on the restaurant’s chips, offering homemade plantain chips and blue tortilla chips. She described the food as Mexcian with a New York flare. Herrera cooks her food using epazote and guajillo chili.
Herrera said she loves street food, and has a real affection for tacos.
“Tacos are so enjoyable,” Herrera said. “You cannot turn down a taco.”
Tacos al pastor is her personal favorite, but the rest of the menu comes at a close second.
“I like everything,” Herrera said. “It’s hard to grow up in Mexico and not end up loving food.”
Mariachi offers light and healthy food, that Herrera said will fill patrons up and she is always working on the menu to satisfy the needs of customers.
“I want people to walk out with a big smile,” Herrera said. “From the food, décor and music to the smiles of the staff, I want them to have a good experience that reflects how hard we work.”
Mariachi Mexico is at 405 Main Street in Armonk. For more information, contact (914) 273-6805 or visit the restaurant’s website.
Armonk’s Mariachi Mexico Restaurant Gets Makeover | The Chappaqua Daily Voice.