After three years of running Los Agaves Grill in McCordsville, Hugo Zavala and his brother-in-law Paul Arechiga decided to open a second location in Westfield.
“Westfield had a lot of fast-food places but not many sit-down ones, so we wanted to bring another option to residents of Hamilton County,” Zavala says.
Of course, when they decided to make that leap, little did they know their grand opening would take place during a global pandemic. They didn’t let that deter them, and they opened their doors in October of 2020.
Despite the difficult year, Zavala says they feel blessed by the community that has wholeheartedly embraced them.
“We expected it to start a bit slow just like any restaurant, and of course during the pandemic we expected it to be worse,” he says. “Thankfully, we’ve had great support from the community and have stayed pretty busy since we opened in October. We are absolutely grateful by how the community has received us here.”
Customer Jonathan Meléndez calls Los Agaves the perfect addition to Westfield.
“The service is always what you expect when eating out and the food selection is magnificent,” he says. “The Mar y Tierra and the Pineapple Margarita are, by far, my favorites.”
Though there were restrictions on occupancy in restaurants throughout 2020, Los Agaves is now open at 100% capacity. The 3,900-square-foot restaurant seats 140, with a patio for outdoor dining that has eight tables and a small lounge. They keep diners safely distanced, and each time a customer leaves, they sanitize tables and chairs. They offer direct-order take-out and delivery via their website.
They have a number of popular menu items from land and sea, including Carnitas, which are pork tips sautéed with mushrooms and onion, served with rice, tortillas and a choice of refried or black beans. They also serve Tacos de Carnitas, which are tender pork tips in three soft corn tortillas with onions and cilantro. Served with tomatillo salsa, black beans and pico de gallo on the side, these traditional tacos are special because of the way they are prepared.
“Anyone can cook carnitas, but it’s the way you cook it that makes it so special,” Zavala says. “The meat has to be very tender, and crispy on the outside but tender on the inside. A lot of people don’t know how to cook it properly and it takes away from the taste.”
They make their tomatillo sauce, ranchero sauce and guacamole dip fresh daily. Customers love the tomatillo sauce so much that some ask for extra sauce to go with their meals, to add flavor and spice.
“The made-from-scratch authentic Mexican cuisine and the upscale atmosphere for an inexpensive price keeps me coming back,” says Derek Manuel, a regular customer. “Whether I eat at the Westfield location or McCordsville, I know I can plan to have a great experience.”
Besides offering a host of options in nachos, salads, tacos, quesadillas, chimichangas, enchiladas and burritos, they also sell draft beer, margaritas and tequila flights.
Westfield resident Amy Jones quickly became a loyal customer after trying Los Agaves once.
“We noticed the high ratings on Yelp and ordered out for my son’s birthday,” Jones says. “The portions were huge and we all agreed that the food was the best Mexican food we’ve had in a very long time – great staff, too. I cannot say enough good things about Los Agaves in Westfield.”
Zavala feels the same way about his customers, and the fact that he is able to make a living in the restaurant industry.
“I love food,” he says with a chuckle. “I think everybody does. Plus, the people who come in regularly become like family. I can name you 60 to 70% of my customers, and they all know me too, and my family.”
Zavala and his wife Laura have two children, Luis, 11, and Alejandrina, 6. The family spends free time either at local soccer fields, ballet practice, a local park or a bowling alley.
“A lot of people lost family members to COVID-19, and unfortunately I was one of them,” adds Zavala, whose father succumbed to the virus last fall. “It means so much to get through this pandemic. Nobody expected it. It caught us all off guard. For a time, people stayed home to take care of their families, but now they are able to go out and meet up with friends and family. It feels good.”
Los Agaves Grill is located at 17471 Wheeler Road in Westfield. For more information, call 317-804-9240 or visit losagavesgrill.com.