120 N Westmonte Drive
Altamonte Springs,FL 32714
Click Here To See The Menu
When my mother recently mentioned having dinner at the Amigos in Altamonte Springs, I was a little bit dumbfounded!
Amigos In Altamonte Springs you say? Where is this Amigos at? I know of a lot of restaurants in Central Florida, and all the establishments that line SR.436 in Altamonte Springs....but an Amigos Tex-Mex restaurant...???
I could recall no such place.
This immediately sparked my curiosity to find out about this so called Amigos in Altamonte Springs.
Upon arriving to 120 N. Westmonte Drive and seeing a sign down the road in a plaza.....it dawned on me...I had in fact been here. It was many moons ago and I could barely remember the place. Whats even worse is that in my day job doing sales, I drive up and down SR. 436 a few times a week, and never even noticed it was there.
But maybe its not all my fault......
Amigos Tex-Mex Restaurant has recently changed owners. The new owner Mark Follett acquired the restaurant in February 2012 from the original owners, who opened this location in 1988
Being in business for over 20 years, and wanting to get out of the restaurant business altogether made the previous owners a bit lackadaisical. Which is to say they lacked enthusiasm and desire to market Amigos and continue to develop the brand.
Over the years, the trees grew taller, the weeds grew wild, and the bushes branched out. This caused a covering up of the restaurants signage and even blocked a great outdoor patio area.
As you can imagine if they let the weeds go, so too did some things inside the restaurant need to be pruned.
Enter Mark Follett:
Mark has been in the restaurant business for over 20 years. Having worked in the past at Amigos as a server and eventually working his way up to area director, he knows a thing or two about Amigos as well. So when he was given the opportunity to take ownership of the Altamonte Springs location, he jumped at the opportunity.
His first order of business:
Get the trees, bushes, and weeds out of the way that were blocking the sign and covering up a great outdoor patio area.
Get the restaurant back to the consistency and standards that people have come to know and love about Amigos.
In case you are unfamiliar with Amigos Tex-Mex.... they are a chain restaurant that used to have quite a few locations in Central Florida, but now have only two. The other Amigos is in Waterford Lakes Town Center in Orlando.
Amigos serves up authentic Tex-Mex food and Margaritas by the pitcher.
There is quite a bit of misunderstanding of what Mexican food is and what "Tex-Mex" food is.
So let us clarify...
It used to be said that, Texans went to "Mexican restaurants" and ate "Mexican food." Then in 1972, The Cuisines of Mexico, cookbook was released by food authority Diana Kennedy. Her book drew the line between authentic Mexican food and what she called "mixed plates" that are eaten at "so-called Mexican restaurants"
Kennedy and her friends in the food community began referring to Americanized Mexican food as "Tex-Mex," a term previously used to describe anything that was half-Texan and half-Mexican.
Tex-Mex cuisine is characterized by its heavy use of melted cheese, meats (particularly beef and pork), beans, and spices, as well as Mexican-style tortillas.
Texas-style chili con carne, chili con queso, nachos, and fajitas are all Tex-Mex inventions
Texas-Mexican restaurant owners were not too happy about this new name. However as much as they disdained it, it was a huge success.
The words, "Tex-Mex" had an exciting ring. It evoked images of cantinas, cowboys, bullhorns and the Wild West. Thus began the huge popularity of the Tex-Mex restaurant idea all over the world. Serving up heaping piles of tortilla chips, margaritas and chili con carne from Florida to France.