La Familia Mexican Restaurant in Rossville

La Familia Mexican Restaurant in Rossville is a family-owned business with a top chef and bright plans for the future. From left: Chef Eduardo Amoedo, owner Paulina Martinez, chef and co-owner Carmen Guzman, and Moses Guzman. (Messenger photo/Josh O’Bryant)

La Familia Mexican Restaurant sits in the heart of Rossville and offers up Cuban Caribbean cuisine by a chef who's worked as the personal chef for a four-star general.

La Familia owner Paulina Martinez, along with her mother, Carmen, have brought unique restaurant that's the first to offer beer and wine sales in the city of Rossville.

Now, with the recent passing of liquor-by-the- drink sales, as well as Sunday sales of beer and wine, the Martinezes are looking to the future and see the city of Rossville on the cusp of change.

Voters on March 21 approved two referendums: the sale of liquor for drinking with a meal at a restaurant, and allowing businesses to sell malt beverages and wine on Sundays between 12:30 p.m. and 11:30 p.m. The referendums passed 87-45 and 83-49, respectively.

Paulina sees the sale of liquor as a means for other restaurants to move into town and she welcomes the competition as it's good for the community as a whole.

Look who's cooking

Eduardo Amoedo, executive chef at La Familia, has been with the restaurant for three months. The establishment opened a year-and-a-half ago.

Amoedo moved to Chattanooga in December 2014 and opened his own restaurant in the Northshore. He followed that with another restaurant opening in Ooltewah, Tenn.

With more than 20 years of experience, as well as being selected out of the top three chefs for West Point United States Military Academy, Amoedo adds a nice touch to the city of Rossville.

Instead of taking a position with West Point, Amoedo decided to partner with Paulina at La Familia instead.

Amoedo said the Martinez family inspires him, as they were able to build their establishment up from humble beginnings in just nine months.

All the recipes, however, are Carmen's, and Amoedo serves as a mentor to the family, where he manages the day-to-day operations as well as expanding the restaurant's international catering service.

Carmen is a graduate of Georgia Northwestern Culinary School.

Amoedo has served 23 years in the Army Reserves and graduated from the Cordon Bleu Institute, as well as the U.S. Army Culinary Academy.

La Familia Mexican Restaurant is located at 516 Chickamauga Ave. in Rossville. Hours of operation are Mondays through Wednesdays from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m., Thursdays through Saturdays from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m., and Sundays from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m.

Josh O'Bryant is a general assignment reporter and covers the Walker-Catoosa County area. He can be reached at the Walker County Messenger office at 706-638-1859 and by email at jobryant@npco.com.