Amaya’s Fresh Mexican Grill in Maumee is keeping things fresh

Tino Amaya has traveled the country building restaurants for others, but now he’s brought his expertise home to the Toledo area.

Tino Amaya has traveled the country building restaurants for others, but now he’s brought his expertise home to the Toledo area.

By Chris Galford

The restaurant market in Toledo may be jam-packed, but in Amaya’s Fresh Mexican Grill the area may have found the freshness its palate deserves. Family-owned and operated by Tino Amaya, his brother Marcos, and their parents Larry and Sue, Amaya’s just opened its doors in May but is already coming forward with what Tino describes as an aggressive entry into the market.

“It’s fast casual during the day, so 11-4, but after 4 p.m. we change the entire menu over to a dinner menu and we’re full service. We have a full bar, so we offer margaritas, wine, beer. I actually changed the menu and we’re getting to roll out our winter menu this weekend. That’ll be good until right around March, then we roll out our spring menu. Basically, we add and subtract things throughout the year,” Tino said.

Tino’s family knows their trade as well. His parents began their way as migrant workers, and the restaurant business is how they made their way. His grandparents owned a restaurant on the north side of town, called Los Amigos. In fact, that’s where Tino got his own start at 11 years old, learning to cook and wash dishes for his grandmother. In all, his family has made food their trade for around 40 years.

His big break came in college though, wherein he moved to Texas, got a job in a restaurant, and ended up working his way up to become a corporate trainer. They dispatched him around the country opening up restaurants, allowing him insights into the business above and beyond the culinary, to the actual economics of it as well.

Amaya’s bestselling items right now are their wet burritos and chimichangas, made fresh to order for every customer. It’s that sort of service Tino’s pointed to for setting his restaurant apart.

“It’s unique in that, if you go to Texas, if you go to Miami or California, you’d find fresh made like this — but not so much in Toledo,” said Tino.

Show your support for local businesses! Call Tino at 419-865-3535; email at tinoamaya@live.com; visit the website at http://amayasmexicangrill.com; or visit Amaya’s at 1470 Ford St., Maumee, Ohio.