First Look

A Chihuahuan Touch in Hallandale at Chapultepec Mexican Bar & Restaurant

Ciudad Juárez in the state of Chihuahua in Mexico might get a dubious reputation for its many years of crimes concerning the safety of working class women and the ongoing war on drugs. That's unfortunate because the state boasts some of the best Mexican cuisine and it is a real treat to find some of it in our neighborhood without too much of a Tex-Mex influence ruining the attention to grains and proteins Chihuahuan chefs bring to the table. Chapultepec Mexican Restaurant, a stone-throw north of Hallandale Beach Boulevard has maintained a quiet, almost sleepy existence for the last decade.

Unfortunately, the only ones who were really asleep were us.

Owned by Silvia Ayala and her children, Karla Nuñez and Juan Carlos Marín, with Silvia's voice being the defining authority in the kitchen, the restaurant opened ten years ago as a means to provide for the family. It has now become a cornerstone of a thriving Mexican and Central American community in Hallandale.

The kitschy décor lends itself more to a dance bar, which is in essence what the restaurant transforms into on Friday and Saturday nights from 9 p.m. to 4 a.m., but the continuous buzz of patrons stopping in for a bite or picking up orders is proof positive of what's happening in the kitchen.

See also: Chapultepec Mexican Restaurant in Hallandale: Cheap Beer and Slow-Roasted Meats

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Abel Folgar