For almost 25 years, El Azteca has welcomed both Fox Cities visitors and residents. The family owned and operated business has three locations: one in Appleton, Kimberly and Neenah. To celebrate this milestone of the longtime Fox Cities restaurant the Fox Cities Convention and Visitors Bureau interviewed El Azteca manager, Michael Montalvo.
Michael grew up in the restaurant industry and in the Fox Cities. For him, El Azteca is more than a business - it’s a family legacy steeped in the rich history of Mexican cuisine, culture and tradition. Many of the dishes on the menu are passed down from Michael’s grandmother, inspired by staff members or influenced by the different regions of Mexico. At its core, El Azteca works to provide high quality, authentic food and friendly customer service all at a fair price. From trendy delicious tacos served in a sombrero, to a sizzling molcajete inspired from the taqueria scene of Mexico City, to hand-crafted margaritas that are made in house daily – El Azteca provides a wonderful experience for anyone seeking a taste of Mexico. (A note to any Instagram foodies, we recently posted a reel featuring the food and drinks offered by El Azteca on our profile).
While the food and drink at El Azteca are tasty, there are other aspects of the business that add distinction. The majority of the furniture and artwork in each location are custom made. Over the years, staff members and family friends have showcased their skills as designers and artists by lending their talent to create beautiful tables, chairs, paintings, and murals. In the main dining room of the Kimberly location, there is a beautiful portrait of a woman dressed in the style of Día de los Muertos or the Day of the Dead. The artist and Montalvo family friend, Priscila Martinez Almeida, painted the portrait in the likeness of Michael’s mother, Fe and the Mexican icon "La Catrina".
In the same dining room, there is also a large mural that has various symbols and people who played key roles in Mexico’s history. The mural specifically includes objects from Aztec and Mayan culture, important figures such as Miguel Hidalgo, José Maria Morelos, Don Benito Juarez and Pancho Villa - individuals who represent significant points in Mexico’s history (the Mexican War of Independence, Cinco de Mayo, and the Revolution). The massive and intriguing mural was created by artist and former El Azteca manager, J. Francisco Nevarez.
Whether you're visiting for the day or staying for a long weekend, be sure to stop by El Azteca for an original dining experience in the Fox Cities.