The décor is bright and cheery, and the food is simple and authentic … authentically Mexican and Tex-Mex, according to Los Tios owner, German.
“Just German,” he said. “That’s what everybody calls me.”
German opened Los Tios Grille at 2615 Mount Vernon Ave. in August, fulfilling a dream he has had since coming to the United States in 1983. German is from El Salvador.
“I have always worked in restaurants since I came here,” he said. “I’ve worked in every capacity — as a bus boy, as a waiter, as a cook and as a manager. I always wanted to own my own restaurant, and now I do.”
He chose Mount Vernon Ave. because of the community. “There is a large Latino community here, and this area is growing so much that I wanted to be a part of it,” German said. “The people have been so welcoming that I think we will do well.”
One of those who have been welcoming is Bhassin, the owner of Bombay Curry Co., a neighboring restaurant. “You can tell that a restaurant is good when the local community goes there to eat,” he said. “I see many members of the community here. The food is good; the ingredients are fresh, and the service is friendly. That’s what you want in a restaurant.”
Cathleen Dameo agreed. “I have traveled all over Central and South America,” she said. “I was hesitant to come in here because of the way it was before. It used to be dark and not very clean. Now look at it. It’s bright and clean and welcoming. And the food is wonderful. I couldn’t decide what I wanted, so I had some of a lot of dishes. The food really is authentic, especially the tortilla soup. It’s hard to get really good tortilla soup in the states,” she said.
German said that the house specialty is fajitas from the grill, but the tacos, enchiladas and, of course, the soup, were all delicious. Lunch is served with black beans and rice and is moderately priced, ranging from $5 to $7 a plate.
Currently German does not have a liquor license. “We hope to get our liquor license next month,” he said. “We have a public hearing, and I hope things will go well. If we get it, we want to serve beer, sangria and margaritas. That will make things complete,” he said.
The restaurant is open from 11:30 a.m.-10 p.m. It is small and has a neighborhood flavor. Reservations are not necessary.