Fridas celebrates 16 years

Fridas owners Lola Aycinena and Maggie Mondragón

Fridas owners Lola Aycinena and Maggie Mondragón

What started out as a tiny neighborhood taqueria with only two tables celebrates its 16th anniversary this month as well as a prestigious honor from Trip Advisor.

Now a dining favorite with 30 tables in La Antigua Guatemala, Fridas Cocina Mexicana & Bar serves authentic Mexican cuisine seven days a week in a spacious location at Calle del Arco #29, just a few steps north of the Santa Catalina Arch.

Indicating positive reviews from its patrons, Fridas last month received a Certificate of Excellence for 2011 from Trip Advisor.

Long before Frida became a pop icon, the artist-wife of muralist Diego Rivera had already been a favorite of restaurant co-founders Maggie Mondragón and Lola Aycinena. In fact, they used Frida posters and memorabilia from their own homes to decorate the original location on 4a calle poniente when it opened in 1995.

“We opened a small bar with stools down each side, two tables in the center and the grill in back where we cooked the beans and made the tacos, burritos and nachos,” Lola recalled.

“Like most people opening a business, we never knew what to expect. But we were really packed–of course, it was small, it was easy to be packed,” Maggie said. “Maybe it was our margaritas, maybe it was our enthusiasm, maybe it was our lucky star, but after the first three months, we were counting the money and we said, ‘Wow, we sold a lot of margaritas last night!’”

In 1996, about a year after opening, Lola and Maggie moved Fridas to its present location near the landmark arch. In 1998, they opened El Atico lounge upstairs in the same location. The place looks better than ever after remodeling in 2010 following a fire that affected neighboring Nim-Pot and the former Librería el Pensativo.

Just as seating has expanded, so has the menu, still offering mouth-watering tacos but also such cuisine as cochinita pibil, mole poblano and crepes with huitlacoche (a real Mexican delicacy), with home delivery available, too. There’s live music on Wednesdays and Thursdays, and Thursdays come with an added bonus—two-for-one margaritas and mojitos. There are different ofertas all the other weekdays, too. The kitchen usually opens at 11 a.m. Salud!

For reservations or delivery call 7832-1296 or visit www.lasfridas.com for more information.

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