By Lori Lindner
North Liberty Leader
NORTH LIBERTY– Lomitas is a place in the state of Tabasco, a pretty little town of about 4,500 people in the southernmost part of Mexico.
Lomitas is also a new restaurant in North Liberty.
Alfonso Galvan has already brought the flavor of his hometown of Lomitas to Iowa, opening his first Lomitas Mexican restaurant in Fort Dodge 14 years ago. He opened a second location in Humboldt within two years and a third in Webster City eight years ago.
Today, he is helping his relatives– siblings Lupita, Jesus and Fransisco Pacheco– to launch a new Lomitas in the former Iguanas Grill location, at 555 Highway 965.
With the longevity of his other restaurants, Galvan has a strong sense of what it takes to be a success.
“What keeps us open is we’ve been working on the recipes to make them perfect,” said Galvan. “We have many menu items, and we just keep adding new dishes. We don’t take anything away.”
His brother Eduardo helps to bring the best of Mexico’s cuisine, and his family’s traditional dishes, to the kitchen. Some favorites are chicken molé, chile verde and fajitas del mar– scallops and shrimp sautéed with bell peppers, onions and mushrooms– but that’s only the beginning of the extensive menu that includes pork, beef, seafood and chicken dishes, salads and vegetarian choices.
And seven days a week, Lomitas will offer a lunchtime buffet from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., featuring 30 different items to choose from.
The buffet will offer patrons a quick and tasty hot lunch, but Galvan said his service is always speedy.
“Fast and friendly service,” he said. “Always.”
But signs in the restaurant warn customers not to drink the water.
Instead, Lomitas staff encourage everyone to try their award-winning margaritas.
Since 2008, his Fort Dodge restaurant has garnered the local newspaper’s readers’ choice award for the best margaritas in town. With flavors like lemon-lime, raspberry, banana, mango, peach, strawberry and piña colada, there are a variety of margaritas to quench any thirst. Daily specials on margaritas make them even more irresistible.
In addition to daily specials, Lomitas will offer happy hour pricing on drinks from 5 to 8 p.m. Sunday through Thursday. An extra-large rear-projection screen will broadcast select local and national sports, including the Iowa Hawkeyes, so fans can enjoy their games, dinner and drinks as comfortably and conveniently as at home, but with someone else doing the cooking and clean-up.
Last week, Galvan and the Pacheco family were busy preparing the former Iguanas restaurant to shed its old skin; if all goes according to Galvan’s plan, after a couple new coats of paint, several kitchen updates and some additional personal touches, it will emerge as the new, fresh and friendly Lomitas by Monday, Nov. 18.
“We just want everyone to know we welcome them, and look forward to opening the restaurant here in North Liberty,” Galvan said.