ANNAPOLIS, MD — A new Mexican restaurant opened last week in downtown Annapolis. The eatery, named Picante Annapolis, cooks authentic dishes made from family recipes.
“As we close out our first weekend, we want to thank all of Annapolis and all of those who made it in over the last few days,” Picante said Sunday on Facebook. “We can’t wait for what’s to come and really look forward to meeting you all!”
Picante owners teased plans for their restaurant this summer. Workers spent the past few months updating their property at 48 West Street.
Turquoise shutters and a pink door now add a pop of color to the eatery across from Stan and Joe’s Saloon. Inside, a variety of paintings add to the ambiance created by the yellow walls.

The restaurant opened just in time to celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month, which started on Sept. 15 and ends on Oct. 15.

“What a well-timed opening for another great Hispanic-owned business in Anne Arundel,” the Anne Arundel Economic Development Corporation said Saturday on Facebook.
State Sen. Sarah Elfreth, who represents the area, also shouted out the eatery after a visit.
“Congratulations to Picante Annapolis on your long-awaited opening,” Elfreth said Thursday on Facebook. “Thank you for bringing authentic, vibrant food and an incredible family business to West Street!”

Picante means “spicy” in Spanish. That name offers a glimpse of the flavors available at the dining destination.
Fernando Juarez opened Picante with his wife, Megan, and her family.
Juarez grew up in the Mexican state of Oaxaca on the Pacific coast. He also spent plenty of time on his grandparents’ ranch in the mountains of Zacatepec.
“He watched his grandmother prepare meals for dozens of ranch workers daily,” Picante’s website said. “His inspiration for Picante is drawn from the way that his grandmother brought people together around a table to share a meal with one another.”
For more than 50 years, the Juarez family has operated its ranch in the central Mexican state of Morelos.
Juarez has harvested everything from lemons and limes to avocados and mangos. His grandfather still sells fresh queso, milk, meat and eggs at the local market.
The dedication of Juarez’s relatives will continue at Picante.
“They taught him the importance of fresh ingredients and the thought and care that goes into cooking,” the website said. “He has created a menu inspired by the recipes passed down through generations in his family, that brings traditional Mexican flavors and Oaxacan specialties to Annapolis.”
Juarez moved to Annapolis nearly 20 years ago. He started working in the restaurant industry and eventually met his wife in the city.
The Picante owners are now hiring cooks, servers, bartenders and bussers. Interested applicants can learn more at this link.

The eatery opens daily at 11 a.m. The business closes at 10 p.m. on Sundays through Thursdays. It stays open until 11 p.m. on Fridays and Saturdays.
Customers can visit, call (443) 775-5957 or email for more information.

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