Real Mexican Restaurant Opens Up In Flemington By Stephen Van Etten Courier News

Real Mexican Restaurant Opens Up In Flemington  By Stephen Van Etten  Courier News


January 20, 2014



FLEMINGTON – Hunterdon Country now has an authentic Mexican restaurant courtesy of an enterprising young man and his family.

Viva Mexico opened at 117 Broad St. in the building most recently occupied by Roberto’s Ristorante, and Italian eatery. The restaurant is run by Librado Arias, 26, of New Hope, and his father, Filiberto Arias, , both of Lambertville. The family moved here from Oaxaca, Mexico 10 years ago and has lived in Lambertville since.

Librado Arias began working in some area restaurants such as the Church Street Bistro in Lambertville, where he honed his cooking techniques. Afew more tips from his mother and he was well on his way. “I learned some stuff from my mom, like how she cooks at home … That’s what we try to do here” he said. The family has always had a love for cooking and he had always dreamed of having his own restaurant, Mr. Arias said. “since I came here and I started working. I really wantedto open a restaurant with Mexican food”, he said. The restaurant opened on Dec. 22 and business has been good. Mr Arias said that the restaurant has been good. Mr. Arias said that the restaurant has been getting a lot of newcustomers through word-of-mouth.

“That’s why I think we’ve been having a lot of customers because people recomend the food because they really like it”, he said. Mr. Arias has been working six days a week, 12 hours a day, to make the restaurant a succes. He’s the main chef, and his father comes in and helps with the cooking duties sometimes as well as his brother, who is a cook at a New Hope restaurant.”We’re all family working here… It’s fun, because we’re like a family team,” he said.

One of Mr. Arias’ Favorite dishes is Mole Oaxaca, named after the town he grew up in. The dish is half- roasted chiken with mole, a sauce made with a variety of traditional Mexican spices. Like all the entrees on the menu, it’s served with rice and beans. Unlike the run of the mill “Tex-Mex” restaurant, Viva Mexico focuses on traditional Mexican dishes such as Chiles Rellenos, a pablano pepper stuffed with beef or chiken and salsa verde; and Puerco en salsa verde, a pork dish with green sauce with cumin, one of their most popular entrees.

The restaurant also offers some more familiar Mexican fare such as quesadillas, enchiladas, fajitas, burritos, and tacos, as well as a tammale of the week. “One week we do verdes. One week we do red sauce. We change it up”, he said. Everything is made form scratch-“Nothing here comes from a can”, as Mr. Arias puts it, and some of the ingredients are so hard to come by, he has to travel to a specialty shop in Philadelphia to find them. Among them are cotiga and quesillo cheeses and jicamas and hopolitos, both vegetables.

Mr. Arias also makes some traditional Mexican dessert for those who haven’t already filled up on the entrees. Except for Mondays, when the restaurant is closed, Viva Mexico is open for lunch from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. every day and is open for dinner from 5 to 9 p.m. Tuesday through Thursday. It’s open from 5 to 10 p.m. for dinner on Fridays and Saturdays.


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