Gabriela's Mexican Grill Restaurant

Family-run restaurant aims to please with welcoming atmosphere, fresh food...

Posted: March 23, 2014 at 6:59 a.m.

Gabriela Gonzalez (center) owns and operates her namesake restaurant with her three sons Rene (left), Yovany (right) and Diego, and their long-time friend and manager, Arnulto Navarro.

Gabriela's Mexican Grill Restaurant is a family business operated by Gabriela Gonzalez, her three sons Rene, Yovany and Diego, and their long-time friend and manager, Arnulto Navarro.

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The Carnitas is pork tips served with rice, beans, guacamole salad, jalapenos and tortillas.

"It was always my mom's dream to have her own place," Rene Gonzalez said.

The back wall of the restaurant is a parody of the Diego Rivera’s mural Sueno de una Tarde Dominical en la Alameda Central, a.k.a. Dream of a Sunday Afternoon in Central Park.

Rivera was a famous Mexican painter, and the original mural was painted in 1946-47. The mural features significant historical figures and events gathered in the municipal park in Mexico City. The background is made up of the famous people’s dreams and inspirations.

The depiction of the mural at Gabriela’s was hand-painted directly onto the wall by a friend of the Gonzalez family.

LOCATION: 330 E. Main Street, Farmington

PHONE: (479) 267-3211

LOCATION: 121 N. Pittman Street, Prairie Grove

PHONE: (479) 846-3211

website: gabrielasmexicangrill.com

11 a.m.-9 p.m. Sunday-Thursday. 11 a.m.-10 p.m. Friiday and Saturday. Family-owned and opererated restaurant since 2003. Large menu with fresh ingredients and authentic recipes from Mexico City. Also serving Tex-Mex, grill items and kids menu. Lunch specials from 11 a.m.-3 p.m. weekdays.

Gabriela Gonzalez opened her first location in Prairie Grove in 2003. After several years of customers' requests for a restaurant closer to Fayetteville, she opened a second location in Farmington.

"We first opened a location a few miles from here, but when she saw this location she knew this was it," Rene Gonzalez said, referring to the current Gabriela's at 330 E. Main Street in Farmington.

The location provided the land for a new building to be built less than 2 miles from Interstate 540. The new building has a 75x75 dining room with soaring ceilings and wide-arch transitions that create separate dining sections.

This Farmington location opened last June, and a covered patio off the back of the building is expected to open this summer.

"It's actually a dream come true for us, because we started in a small location and got to move closer in," Rene Gonzalez said.

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The Chile Relleno is a stuffed poblano pepper served with one onion enchilada, rice and beans.

The Farmington location offers an additional feature that is not provided at the original Prairie Grove location: alcohol service. The full-service restaurant has waitstaff that delivers alcoholic beverages to seated guests. The drink menu includes domestic and Mexican beer, wine, margaritas and sangria.

Designated as a private club, the lack of a bar area allows for more tables and a family-friendly atmosphere.

The restaurant provides a children's menu with Mexican and American offerings. The kids' plates are offered for children younger than 10. The Mexican dishes include rice and beans; the American dishes include French fries. All kids' plates are priced under $4.

The recipes served at Gabriela's have been modified throughout the years and originate from the roots of Mexico City, said Rene Gonzalez.

A new menu was printed about a year ago, which added tortilla soup, a sampler platter, tostadas Monterrey, vegetarian fajitas and spinach enchiladas.

The four-page menu offers plenty of traditional Mexican fare, including fajitas, chimichangas, tacos and burritos.

Everything is prepared fresh daily -- the soups, salsa, chips and guacamole. Nothing is from the day before, Rene Gonzalez said.

"We prepare your food with the finest ingredients to provide you with the best meals around," said Gabriela Gonzalez.

Housemade desserts include flan and fried cheesecake. There is also dough-style sopapillas served with honey, strawberries or two scoops of ice cream.

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Gaby's Special Combination serves two cheese enchiladas, two tamales and one beef taco with rice, beans and guacamole salad.

Lunch specials are served 11 a.m.-3 p.m. Monday through Friday and include rice and beans. There are a total of 21 specialty priced items including Chile Verde or Colorado, shrimp quesadilla, flautas, fajitas, tacos, chimichanga, burritos and enchiladas.

In addition to fountain drinks, the restaurant also serves bottles of Jarrito.

The Farmington location is open every day at 11 a.m. and stays open until 9 p.m. Sunday-Thursday and 10 p.m. Friday and Saturday. Free Wi-Fi is available to guests at both locations.

Catering is also available.

More information is available online at gabrielasmexicangrill.com or by emailing info@gabrielasmexicangrill.com. The phone number for the Farmington location is (479) 267-3211. The Prairie Grove location, at 121 N. Pittman Street, can be contacted by calling (479) 846-3211.

NAN Dining Guide Cover on 03/23/2014

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