El Maguey opens in Martin City
By Kathy Feist
It’s been a long time coming. El Maguey Mexican Restaurant has finally opened in Martin City at 13612 Washington Ave, off 150 Hwy and 135th St.
Owner Francis Jaime began renovating the 3000 sq .ft. former Pizza Shoppe in February. Due to the shutdown, Covid, and lagging permit inspections, the family chain opened almost nine months later on November 20.
It is worth the wait.
The transformation inside the building is a nice step up from the pizza restaurant. Keeping the red brick walls, the decor now includes new slate tile floors, studded high back leather booths, stucco walls with tile trim and decorative touches that brighten the rustic Mexican decor. An outdoor patio awaits the warmer seasons.
El Maguey’s menu items go beyond the typical Mexican fare. Yes, there are tacos, burritos, enchiladas, etc. But most are creative combinations on a theme, incorporating freshly grilled beef, chicken and/or shrimp. In all, there are over 100 entrees on the menu, some regular standbys and others newly created by the franchise owner (hats off to Jaime for the Carnitas BBQ Nachos for the Kansas City crowd).
The most popular dish, according to Jaime, is El Toriado made up of grilled chicken, beef, shrimp and bacon served on a bed of rice, and covered in cheese dip. Jaime says his favorite is the Pollo a la Parilla, a grilled chicken breast topped with grilled mushrooms, onions and bell peppers, topped with melted cheese and served with beans, guacamole salad and tortillas.
What seems to set El Maguey apart from the rest of the Mexican restaurants is its seasoned grill which adds a tantalizing flavor–and smell–to each dish.
The restaurant does not skimp on meaty fillings, either. Order a shredded beef or chicken quesadilla, and expect to eat the rest for tomorrow’s lunch.
The restaurant features a full bar, with oversized frozen margaritas, a specialty.
Jaime’s uncle and father, Javier Jaime and Manuel Humberto, opened the first El Maguey in St. Louis in 1992. Within a couple of years the brothers had opened a second location in Columbia and a third in Blues Springs. There are now 30 El Maguey restaurants individually owned by Jaime’s relatives throughout the state. Jaime owns three, including one in Harrisonville and Maryville. Not bad for a 27-year-old entrepreneur.
El Maguey is open 10 am to 10 pm Monday thru Saturday. For more information, call 816-585-2520.