The Ringgold downtown business district gained another eatery earlier recently when Ana Maria's Mexican Cuisine opened on Nashville Street.
The new restaurant replaces the former Don Lo Lo's that had been a fixture of downtown for many years.
Ana Maria will bring new life to an important part of Nashville Street with a blend of traditional Mexican fare and several interesting Mediterranean dishes. The newly renovated interior offers a bright and welcoming atmosphere and the new owners hope to capitalize on a location close to activities at the historic Ringgold train depot.
“We offer the best Mexican food but also the best Mediterranean food, just because we can,” manager Wanda Ramirez said.
Ramirez is bringing some of that variety from her experience at the Apocalypse Restaurant in Fort Oglethorpe. “I have a team of experts in the kitchen that is capable of pleasing the most demanding taste buds,” she said.
That variety should translate into a more enjoyable dining experience for all visitors of Ringgold. “When Don Lo Lo's closed, it was a surprise to a lot of folks who come downtown,” said Joseph Brellenthin, Ringgold’s director of downtown development. “Within a few months the renovations were under way and we were excited to see what was coming.”
Brellenthin says the city of Ringgold is home to about 17 locally owned eateries and a growing number of fast-food establishments on Ga. 151.
“It's always important as a city that we attract a great mix of restaurants because it can help make downtown into a ‘destination’ for people to eat, shop, and enjoy the downtown environment,” Brellenthin said.
According to owner Ricardo Ramirez, the new dining spot will offer the freshest dishes around.
“Everything you eat here is made here,” he said. “Our suppliers bring ingredients, not processed food, that is free from preservatives and hormones. We offer Angus beef and hormone-free, never-frozen chicken breasts and organic veggies.”
Ana Maria's goal is to cater to a market of restaurant-goers who are concerned about the origin and composition of their food.
“I'm excited to bring to downtown Ringgold a concept like no other — outstanding foods cooked from scratch every day and royal service,” Ramirez said.
Ramirez also suggested some of the “must try” items for new customers such as chimichangas, stuffed poblanos, pollo loco, pollo rico, sizzling fajitas, calzones, gyros, Greek salads, and the Philly steak sub.
Ana Maria's Mexican Cuisine is at 7859 Nashville St. near the corner with Depot Street in the former Don Lo Lo's building. It is open Sundays through Wednesdays from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. and Thursdays to Saturdays from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. For information about the restaurant, visit the restaurant’s Facebook page (facebook.com/anamariarestaurant) or call the restaurant at 706-935-6394.