Tucson, Ariz.- Restaurants and shops along Fourth Avenue have a particular vibe of art, culture and tradition.
Martin’s Comida Chingona Mexican Restaurant fits this vibe perfectly.
Like many of the restaurants along Fourth Avenue, Martin’s is a small business independently owned by one man…. who is the one and only chef in the restaurant.
He grew up in Nogales, Ariz. and attended the University of Arizona several years ago. He says that he opened his restaurant in Tucson on account of the subtle vibe and people that make him feel at home.
He takes pride in his cooking and feels that ” his cooking is unique and can be served to all audiences” . He explained how Tusconans often get the wrong idea of what real Mexican food is. They typically are looking for something “deep fried and smothered in sour cream and guacamole,” said Martin.
“The trilogy of what makes this restaurant function is healthy food, art and music,” he said.
Walking in, one would immediately notice the brillant colors and loud mexican music. The walls are filled with pictures and paintings of Lucha Libre, a term used to describe professional wrestling in Mexico.
Martin’s offers a unique style of Hispanic food consisting of natural ingredients and less fats than typical Mexican food restaurants. He reflects on how he began to experiment with healthy ingredients when his mother was diagnosed with diabetes.
“A lot of people come in with dietary restrictions” he says as he explains his reasons for wanting to cook more nutritious and wholesome meals, but still maintaining the typical style and flavor of Mexican cuisine.
Carne asada, soy chorizo and carne con chile are some of the items that you may find in the course menu along with naturally made agua fresca beverages of jamaica, horchata and tamarindo.
Martin makes his food with healhier ingredients that appeals to those who can appreciate unique cooking.
“I normally appeal to younger and healthier people who have had some education through diseases and doctors,” he said.
Martin took the liberty of showing us around the kitchen where we observed his everyday working environment. He explained how everything he makes is made fresh.
“I am Martin. I am not 70 years old with fifty grandchildren. People try to categorize you- you got to believe in your need and this is what it is,” he said.