Fajita Fiesta is officially no longer with us. But don’t mourn them just yet. The family behind the restaurants is running two other restaurants in town.
To catch you up: Fajita Fiesta once had three locations — one on Shaw Avenue, another at Cedar and Nees avenues and the little one downtown that was open for 25 years. They’re all gone now. The Shaw Avenue one is now Guri’s GrubHouse, a farm-to-table gastropub that we’ve written lots and lots and lots about. The Cedar and Nees location closed in 2009 after 10 years (and then became Mateo’s and most recently Uncle’s Bar & Grill, which last week had an eviction notice on the door and a disconnected phone number).
The Fajita Fiesta at Van Ness Avenue and Divisadero Street is now Papi’s Mex Grill Express, with the same family running it. Owner Raul Gutierrez saw the changes happening downtown — new lofts and young people coming in — and decided to tweak his restaurant. Instead of the traditional sit-down meal with waiters and waitresses, the restaurant is now a faster-paced order-at-the-counter affair.
It has a simplified menu (look for the “el menu” portion of the menu boards). Customers pick what kind of meat they want — chicken, beef, pork, seafood, etc. — and then decide if they want it as tacos, in a quesadilla, as a torta, a burrito bowl or a salad.
If the name Papi’s sounds familiar, it’s because Gutierrez and his family have run Papi’s Mex Grill at Cedar and Shepherd avenues for nearly two years. The downtown Papi’s is an express version of the more traditional Papi’s up north. Expect to see dishes that are popular at the northern Papi’s, such as the chile relleno burrito, at the downtown location too.
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