Situated within shouting distance of the 17th Street Farmers' Market in Shockoe Bottom, Aztek Grill is in a great position to obtain fresh ingredients, a plan that's solidly on the menu.
"Mexican cuisine can be very healthy," says Jose Santos, owner of the weeks-old restaurant, which also offers dishes from Colombia, Argentina, Ecuador and El Salvador. Santos is originally from Colombia, and chef Norma Chavez is Salvadoran. The restaurant's seven types of guacamole, ceviches, "tortas" (sandwiches) and fish dishes all feature local ingredients, notes Santos, who managed the Innsbrook branch of Mexico restaurant before starting Aztek Grill (1726 E. Main St., 225-7208) in September. It's open for lunch and dinner every day, and brunch on Saturdays and Sundays.
Aztek's menu also features Salvadoran "pupusas" (stuffed corn flatbread pockets) and "arroz con pollo" (rice with chicken). "Food is like an art," Santos says. "I want to show people how beautiful is the Latin-American cuisine." —Kate Andrews