New Mexican eatery will offer octopus, other specialties

Published 3:59 pm Wednesday, October 26, 2022

By Angela Cutrer
The Elizabethton Star
Puerto Nuevo Mexican and Seafood Restaurant may not be open yet, but the anticipation for its lively menu is predicted to be fierce. The eatery in Roan Mountain has shown that those who live in the area — as well as those just passing through — have good taste and good comments about the food.
“Everything they have is fantastic!” said one dinner who showed off a photo on Facebook of her Puerto Nuevo Mexican and Seafood Restaurant food. “But these little beauties are No. 1 on my list — they are the best Carnitas tacos and I would drive here just for these … ”
The former Lone Star Steakhouse building on Highway 19-E is the setting for Elizabethton’s newest restaurant. After Lone Star closed, investor Nicolas Leon and his eight brothers thought it would make a great spot for their next enterprise. They already own and manage restaurants in South Carolina, Georgia, North Carolina, Virginia and Tennessee.
“We always focus on the local people because they are always local,” he told the Star in April. This is the group’s 14th location and seats at least 200 people. While alcoholic beverages are not sold in the Roan Mountain location, Leon told the Star he would seek a permit to sell alcohol at the Highway 19-E restaurant.
Leon also said his restaurants are known for their quality offering because they focus on fresh ingredients. “We do everything fresh and nothing is frozen; we use good quality products on everything — even beans and rice,” he said, adding that in many locations seafood is as popular as the Mexican dishes on the menu.
“We have different dishes with seafood. We have perch, shrimp, scallops, catfish, octopus, tilapia and lots of other seafood.”
Roan Mountain’s manager Bernie Belasco said there will be something for everyone when the restaurant opens. “We have Mexican, of course, but also seafood, like seafood platters,” he said. “We have a very nice seafood platter — it’s very popular. We’ll have a lunch special, combos, dinners and kids meals.”
The menu will include combinations, such as “El Combo” (one chalupa, one chile relleno, one enchilada one taco and one beef burrito served with rice and beans) down to the more simple La Mejor (one chalupa, one burrito and one chile relleno). There will also be 30 choices of other particular combinations that each cost a flat amount, as well as vegetarian combos.
But that’s not all — you will be able to order ribeye steak plates and other meat plates that feature different Mexico enhancements, including Chile Colorado (beef tips in red sauce, rice, beans, flour tortillas and choice of salad) and Bistec Mexicano (ribeye steak with sizzling onions, peppers and tomatoes served with rice, beans and tortillas).
There will also be chicken-based dinners, fajitas, quesadillas, seasonal oysters and fresh salads. Want something less saucy? Try their fish, oyster or shrimp hoagies served with fries or baked potato or a dinner plate like fish and shrimp or scallops and oysters.
Hours for the restaurant are typically 11 a.m. to 9:30 p.m. The lunch menu will be served 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. and will include such delights as Speedy Gonzales (one taco, one enchilada, choice of rice or beans), Lunch No. 10 (one Puerto Nuevo cheese steak burrito with rice or beans) or a Coctel de Camaron (lunch portion of shrimp cocktail with chopped avocados, green peppers, onions, tomatoes and cilantro.
According to social media, Puerto Nuevo Mexican and Seafood Restaurant is the place to stop when hiking, kayaking or meeting up with friends on Roan Mountain. Photos show families getting together there for birthday parties as well as for business meetings.
And once Puerto Nuevo Mexican and Seafood Restaurant has its location in Elizabethton up
and running, the crew behind the scenes will welcome you as well.
“We are looking forward to serving them,” Leon said.

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