37+ restaurants and growing
Reinhart has been amazing at sourcing, pricing and tracking some very specific regional spices and ingredients to achieve our Jalisco-inspired menu.
Plaza Azteca has a large and diverse footprint of 37 Mexican restaurants up the East Coast. While each restaurant has a homegrown personality unique to its own community, the Plaza Azteca call to dinner is always present: “your shortcut to Mexico.” When diners come to Plaza Azteca, they are escorted into an upscale, but casually comfortable resort from the Jalisco region of Mexico.
“We have a very close relationship with our customers, they keep us in check,” explains Maria Saez, VP Operations Manager. “We are not a corporation so we are flexible with menu variations and very good at listening to diners to ensure an experience that is tailored and personal.”
Distancing itself from cookie-cutter chains, Plaza Azteca insists on fresh, authentic ingredients to achieve its unique, homemade flavors. Procuring unique ingredients such as oxtail, cilantro sprouts, pumpkin seeds, Yuzu limes and Oaxaca, Chihuahua, Cotija, Queso Fresco and Requeson cheeses could have been a challenge, but Saez credits Reinhart for making it happen.
“Reinhart has been amazing at sourcing, pricing and tracking some very specific regional spices and ingredients to achieve our Jalisco-inspired menu,” said Saez. “They have really gone above and beyond to find these ingredients that truly set us apart.”
Besides its menu loyalty to Jalisco, Plaza Azteca is always striving to infuse new ideas to keep the menu fresh. Starting with traditional enchiladas and burritos when they opened the first restaurant in the late 1990s in Virginia Beach, Plaza Azteca has a reputation for staying on trend and blending other cuisines and flavors to achieve a memorable fusion of foods. For example, ‘la revolucion’ sliders mixes chorizo sausage with ground beef, and tuna tostadas and the Pina Loka raises the bar for traditional American-Mexican fare. For diners who want to stray from resort indulgence, Plaza Azteca is on trend with healthy options such as their popular kale Caesar salad.
“Plaza Azteca’s menu is always evolving to appeal to our customers’ tastes,” says Saez. “We insist on giving our customers a special experience without being fancy. We do fun modern dishes and drinks that bring our own special Mexican touch to dishes Americans love.”
The Jalisco region is known as “the land of agave,” so of course Plaza Azteca has a strong following among the Margarita crowd. Creativity is blended with Tequila and fresh-squeezed juices such as watermelon, papaya, melon, cantaloupe and cucumber for a memorable cocktail.
Plaza Azteca will soon be branching out to Sicklerville, NJ, located between Philadelphia and Atlantic City, with a slight departure from the traditional model. The location brings a more diverse customer base of tourists, businesses and well-traveled locals so Plaza Azteca will focus on contemporary and healthy presentations in a slightly more formal environment. To achieve that, the restaurant group has recruited a well-known chef from Chicago who will have creative license to blend the Plaza Azteca style with contemporary menu trends.
“This will be our stage to really shine,” says Saez. “It’s a big leap for us and an opportunity to reach a higher level. Fortunately, our flexible approach and desire to grow and evolve provides a very comfortable environment for our chefs and staff.”