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Felipe's Taqueria opens on Old San Carlos Boulevard
July 11, 2018

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Ordering a margarita at Felipe's Mexican Taqueria means having a little patience: your bartender is making your marg with individually fresh-squeezed Key limes.

Old San Carlos Boulevard's newest restaurant opened in late June with an aim at being a different experience. It took the place of the Fish House.

"Everything is made fresh, daily," said General Manager Sasha Muske. "A lot of people say that, but we make everything fresh every day."

Muske boasts that his restaurant only has one freezer, mostly for the ice cream and churros.

Felipe's is a small, but growing, chain of restaurants headquartered in New Orleans with roots in Guadalajara, Mexico. It has five other locations, with Fort Myers Beach being the newest. But the brand plans to expand in Florida with a new location on the horizon in Estero and potentially Fort Myers. The Fort Myers Beach location is the first to be a full-service restaurant; the other locations are made-to-order in front of the customer, similar to Chipotle's or Moe's, Muske said.

Muske said the recipes the restaurant uses, especially in cooking its meats, are "authentic," recipes someone might see homecooked on a family table in Mexico. Its chicken is tinga de pollo, shredded in a spicy tomato and chile Guajillo sauce, and the cochinita pibil is achiote marinated and slow roasted pork shoulder. The menu consists of appetizers, tacos, burritos, chimichangas and quesadillas, with options and desserts.

"Our menu is simple now, but we'll be expanding it," Muske said.

*Felipe's is open from 11 a.m.to 8 p.m.on weekdays, and until 10 p.m.on Friday and Saturday. Muske hopes for the restaurant to grow a local following this summer. It will close in September for an interior renovation for a few weeks to put in a new, larger bar and other upgrades.

"You have to have that local support," Muske said. "They carry you."

With its bar and several big-screen TVs, Felipe's is also a good spot to catch the last of the World Cup matches.

* Correction: in a previous version the hours were incorrectly listed for this location.

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Regular Size Fort Myers Beach Bulletin, Fort Myers Beach Observer