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The Scarlet & Black

The Scarlet & Black

Las Fajitas opens up downtown

Las Fajitas, Grinnell\’s newest Mexican restaurants, recently opened up in the old location of Grinnell Fiberworks. – Cait De Mott Grady

By Jai Garg

Taking a stroll through downtown Grinnell, it is easy to feel somewhat out of place. Jimbo’s and Grinnell Coffee Company are gone and where once stood the entrance to Grinnell Fiberworks is Grinnell’s newest Mexican restaurant—Las Fajitas.

Despite the sudden explosion of similarly themed restaurants, Las Fajitas stands in a league of its own. Walking inside, one is greeted with a spacious restaurant in a space only prolific knitters and crafters had previously occupied. The staff is friendly, the décor is wonderful, and the environment is comfortable.

However, it is the food that truly separates Las Fajitas from its competitors. Creating a twist on a classic favorite, all meals are accompanied with not only the usual combination of chips and salsa but also a bowl of refried beans.

“[What separates us] is the water service, the beans with the salsa and chips and the larger selection of seafood on the menu,” said Luz Niño, who started this business with her husband.

Niño and her husband moved to Grinnell in 2000, after time spent in Minnesota and Northern Iowa. Since moving here they always had aspirations of opening a restaurant.

“My husband has always dreamed of having a restaurant,” Niño said. “He loves Grinnell and downtown is a great spot.”

Aside from the quite pleasant surprise of beans, the menu is full of unique and adequately priced choices. While the food took longer than at other similar restaurants, it was well worth the wait. The Grande Burrito is aptly named and unlike at many other places, is not overly smothered in cheese. The fajitas were delicious due to them being doused in lime and cilantro sauce. The chef’s special, like most of the dishes, came with ample amounts of food and easily brought smiles to our three open-mouthed faces.

Of course, like any new restaurant, Las Fajitas does have some drawbacks. Going through the menu, the lack of margaritas is quite evident. Because of delays, the restaurant has yet to get a liquor license.

“A lot of college students have been here, but a lot of people say daily that they like alcohol,” Niño said. “But we are getting a license soon, hopefully within the month.”

While Grinnellians now have a myriad of options to choose from when going out for their favorite Mexican delicacy, Niño is hopeful that the uniqueness of Las Fajitas will win them over.

“Its kind of like playing Russian Roulette, you just give it a try and see,” Niño said. “It is going well, we love to serve the community and be as friendly as we can be.”

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