When a customer walks into Mi Fiesta — in Downtown Frankfort on St. Clair Street — they not only walk into a premier Mexican restaurant, they become part of a family.
Nearly one year ago, on June 9, Mi Fiesta began welcoming customers into their doors to celebrate each person’s mini-fiesta.
Raquel Valles said she and her husband, Ismael Valladares, decided to name the restaurant “Mi Fiesta” to remind customers that everyone is welcome to celebrate at Mi Fiesta. Individual fiestas can range from a birthday party to celebrating a new job to meeting up with friends you haven’t seen in a while. No fiesta is too big or small to celebrate, the couple says.
“Everyone has their own fiestas, but we are very glad that they come here and let us celebrate with them,” Valles said.
With a year under their belts, Valles and Valladares said they want to thank the customers that come and visit. Valles and Valladares said they consider Frankfort their home and love being apart of the Downtown Frankfort community. Both said they want to thank God for blessing them with their restaurant and allowing them to be open in downtown Frankfort.
Customers enjoy Mi Fiesta, not only because of its great food, but because of the personalized experience, Valladares and Valles said. The pair stressed they’re not the kind of restaurant owners who hide behind walls and let employees do all the hard work. The pair said they enjoy mingling with their customers, getting to know who they are and what kind of food they enjoy.
Valladares recalled an instance where a regular customer said he wanted to try something new. Because Valladares knew what kind of food the customer enjoyed, he was able to prepare a special dish combining some of the customer’s favorites.
Valladares specifically recalled a regular customer who comes all the way from Georgetown to eat at his restaurant.
“On the way here, they pass so many restaurants before me, before us, and they come all the way here to Mi Fiesta,” Valladares said.
When people come to the restaurant, Valles said customers feel at home and many customers have become friends, too. She said that she truly appreciates that they keep coming back to eat and visit.
Nearly one year ago, Mi Fiesta started from scratch. There were no tables and no artwork on the walls. Valles and Valladares said many stressful, sleepless nights preceded the opening. After seeing the joy on people’s faces once they opened, the stress was worth the happiness they saw on customers’ faces.
The Valladares family has three children, who enjoy working in the restaurant — Elizabeth Valladares-Valles, 15, Arantza Valladares-Valles, 13, and Ismael Valladares-Valles, 9.
By coming to downtown Frankfort to enjoy Mi Fiesta, customers are able to enjoy the hospitality, food and friendship that the restaurant provides, while also gaining friends within the restaurant’s staff.
If you’re looking for a taste of Mexico with a splash of Kentucky, the bourbonrita at Mi Fiesta should quench that desire.
While trying to come up something special to serve his customers, Mi Fiesta owner Ismael Valladares decided to try swapping out the tequila with bourbon when making a traditional margarita.
“I tried it that night with my customers,” he said. “They liked it.”
Now, it’s one of the most popular drinks on his menu.
“Everyone has more than one.”
1 ½ oz. Bulleit Bourbon
1 oz. Margarita mix
1 oz. sour mix
3/5 ounces of Grand Marnier
1 slice of lime
1 slice orange
Shake with ice, rim glass with salt and pour over ice.
Camarones a la diabla
If you’re looking for a little spice in your next home-cooked meal, trying making Mi Fiesta’s camarones a la diabla.
This recipe of shrimp, your favorite spicy sauce and cheese will surely be one you’ll want to keep in your back pocket next time you’re looking to heat up your taste buds.
Ingredients (recipe makes one serving):
10 jumbo shrimp
½ tablespoon butter
½ teaspoon Sazon Goya
¼ cup Monterey Jack cheese
½ cup homemade spicy sauce (your favorite spicy sauce)
Over the stove, melt the butter in a pan and add the jumbo shrimp. Season with Sazon Goya. When the shrimp turn pink, add the homemade spicy sauce and Monterey Jack cheese. Cook until the cheese is melted.
Serve over Spanish rice, shredded lettuce, fresh diced tomatoes, shredded cheese and avocado slices.