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same commitment to authenticity that first inspired the venture. For Zaragoza, culinary shortcuts used in the restaurants he worked for in the past have no place in the kitchen at Cancun. “Here, we marinate our beef in a special marinade. Most places won’t do that because it takes longer and is more expensive. Maybe they used to do it, but they don’t anymore,” he said. “We also have much more variety.” Zaragoza’s efforts have earned the restaurant a growing fan base. “Mexican food has so much variety and that’s what I wanted to offer here. My customers do notice the difference. One lady, it was her first time here and she had our chili rellenos. She said, ‘You know, I love Mexican food and I love chili rellenos. These are the best chili rellenos I have ever had.’ The reason is because we make chili rellenos the way they make them in Mexico,” he said. Zaragoza pays attention to what his customers want and like. As he chats with diners, he hears frequent comments about real Mexican flavor and picks up on the favorite dishes of his regular customers.

WANT TO GO? CANCUN MEXICAN RESTAURANT & GRILL ABOVE From left,Cancun Mexican Restaurant & Grill features a new exterior sign to welcome patrons; a lime margarita is among the specialties at the bar. BELOW Cancun’s interior provides plenty of seating for patrons as well as a number of TVs, usually tuned to sporting events.

Address 13383 B.T. Washington Hwy., Moneta Phone 540.719.2884 Hours Monday-Thursday 11 a.m.-10 p.m.; Friday-Saturday 11 a.m.-10 p.m.; Sunday Noon-9:30 p.m.

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Smith Mountain Laker JanFeb2012  

Smith Mountain Lake, Virginia's premier lifestyle and entertainment publication. Visit our web site at www.smithmountainlake.com.