GREENBURGH, N.Y. – When Jesus Aguliar noticed there weren't any Mexican restaurants in the northern part of Greenburgh, he saw an opportunity to share his favorite cuisine with the community.
On July 4, Aguliar opened the doors to his new restaurant "Azteca Paradise," located at 210 Saw Mill River Road, on the corner of Route 9A and Payne Street.
"People can enjoy a real Mexican atmosphere here," Aguilar said. "The food is excellent. It is authentic Mexican cuisine. We come from the south part of Mexico in Puebla. We're the real deal. We are what real Mexican cuisine is about. We are not on the Tex-Mex side, we do more authentic Mexican food."
Diners can eat traditional Mexican fare, like fajitas, enchiladas, quesadilla and soft tortilla tacos. Aguilar's favorite dish is Azteca Paradise's "Platter for Two" – a meat plate featuring skirt steak, Mexican chorizo, marinated pork and chicken breast.
Aguilar is no stranger to the restaurant business. He moved to the United States at age 15, where he became a dishwasher. Over the next 20 years, he worked his way up the ranks – from bus boy to waiter – and is now the owner of two restaurants. Along with Azteca Paradise, Aguilar owns Plaza Garibaldi in southwest Yonkers, which opened in January 1998.
"This is my creation," he said proudly of his two restaurants.
Aguilar is also no stranger to the Greenburgh area. From 1984 to 1989, he worked at the El Dorado Diner located on West Main Street in Elmsford.
Although he lives in Yonkers, Aguliar said he chose Azteca Paradise's Route 9A location because he liked the friendly community, the open space and the big parking lot. He also noted that it is near the connections of I-287, the Saw Mill River Parkway and the Sprain Brook Parkway.
Aguilar encouraged the Greenburgh, Elmsford and surrounding communities to visit Azteca Paradise as he said that residents will enjoy the food and ambiance.
"The most important thing now is that people leave the restaurant with a smile on their face because the food is excellent," said Aguliar. "That is the most important thing right now. We want them to leave satisfied with the service and the food."