By Jessica Jenkins
Atlantic News / Beach News, Thursday, August 12, 2004
HAMPTON BEACH — Craving something other than fried clams and French fries while at the beach? Perhaps a meal that is exotic, ethnic and unique? Stroll on in to La Chiquita under the Surf Motel on Ocean Boulevard and you'll feel like you traveled South of the Border!
On May 15 of this year, brothers-in-law Richard Crow and Fernando Castellanos (originally from Mexico) decided to bring authentic Mexican cuisine to this popular summer spot. When you taste one of their highly-acclaimed fajitas or mouth-watering combination plates, you'll be glad they did.
Fernando learned to cook in the heart of Mexico and was a chef at El Derby in Rosarito Beach in Baja, California. Richard, originally from Rowley, Massachusetts, ended up in Mexico when stationed there by the military. So, the brothers-in-law decided to put Fernando's culinary talents together with Richard's business sense and create a new delicious eating spot for this area.
Family-owned and operated, Fernando's wife, Rosa, and Richard's wife, Soky hand-make the tortillas for the tomales, and all of their cooks are from Mexico and areas surrounding Mexico. Richard's daughters, Marena and Monica, and son, Richard Jr. help host and serve, and even Richard's father, Richard Sr., can be found there in the mornings. They pride themselves on the authenticity of their food and family friendly atmosphere.
and Manager Ricardo Cuervo bring the taste of Old Mexico to the Seacoast.
[Beach News Staff Photo / Photo by Jessica Jenkins]
The staff at La Chaquita is warm, welcoming, and entertaining and gives the feeling of a big family. People drive in from as far as Canada to sample their cuisine after hearing about this new restaurant even that far up north. Forty percent of their customers have dined there before and keep coming back. In fact, one family visiting Hampton Beach for a week ate a record 21 meals at La Chiquita. For that week, they were part of their family.
Offering delicious delights like traditional Mexican breakfasts, enchiladas, burritos, tacos, salads, seafood, chicken, beans, hot dogs, hamburgers, and sweets, they have quite a menu selection. Also, they feature a full bar with 27 types of tequila to make their signature margaritas, and an 8' television featuring cartoons in the mornings and baseball in the evenings. Their large windows overlooking the surf are perfect for viewing the fireworks on Wednesday evenings.
Currently, they are in negotiations to open a full time, year-round restaurant on Route 1 in Hampton where they will offer fine dining Mexican cuisine. The La Chiquita at the beach will remain and will operate seasonally as well. This would be a great addition and a provide a new option to the offerings in Hampton.
La Chiquita is open seven days a week from 7 a.m. to 11 p.m. for food, and the bar closes at 1 a.m. They are located three blocks north of the Casino Ballroom at 279 Ocean Boulevard and can be reached at: (603) 926-1250. They offer eat-in or take-out and certainly something refreshingly outside of the ordinary.