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One Monticello Life: Frank Lizarraga

January 7th, 2007 by
What is a week in Monticello without eating at least once at Ameca? This Mexican food restaurant came to Monticello five years ago. It is not only the food that everyone loves but also the friendly staff and great service that keeps you coming back for more chips and salsa. A favorite Ameca employee is Frank Lizarraga. This is his story.

Frank grew up in Mazatlin, Sinaloa, Mexico. His father worked in the transportation business. His mother was a busy housewife, with three sons and eight daughters. Frank was the second oldest. He was schooled in Mazatlin and went to college in Guadalajara, Jalisco. He has an accounting degree from the University of Guadalajara.

After graduating he worked for Rooster Products of Mexico in the accounting department. However, life changed for Frank five years ago when his friend, Gustavo, told him abuot the new Mexican restaurant  that was to open in Monticello, Arkansas. Frank decided to join the group on their adventure to America to start Ameca.

Ameca has 12 employees. The group branched off a year ago to open La Palacio Restaurant in Warren. The staff in Warren numbers 10. All of the Ameca and La Palacio staff are friends and/or family from Mexico.

Frank is single and has one sister that lives her in Monticello. The rest of his family lives in Mexico. He keeps up with them through monthly phone calls. Two years ago, he was able to travel home to visit for a month.

"The people, the city, and the money," Frank says is what he likes most about living in Monticello.

When Frank is not working, he enjoys an Ameca burrito and a Mountain Dew. Frank’s contagious smile and fun nature are a big part of the Ameca experience. With Ameca being an integral part of the city of Monticello these days, Frank Lizarraga is deservingly, one Monticello life.

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Newer article: One Monticello Life: Robert Rosegrant

Older article: One Monticello Life: Chelle Danley

12 Responses to “One Monticello Life: Frank Lizarraga”

  1. Diana says:

    We love to eat at Ameca. They are always so friendly and the restaurant is clean and has a great atmosphere. I am glad to know Franks name. He is usually our waiter and is always very gracious and kind. I sure am glad that Frank and friends decided to settle in Monticello.

  2. Frank is great with my two year old granddaughter, Madyson. She calls him the “bean ‘n rice man”. He has my drink at my table usually before I land in the seat.
    He is an awesome asset to Monticello and I know Ameca is proud of him.

  3. Steve says:

    Frank always greets you with a smile..and if you know or have eaten there long enough with him, he knows you by name, knows what you eat (if you dont change) and what you drink without asking! That is one things that makes Ameca so great! Plus Frank never lets you leave without giving you one of his trademark smiles! keep up the HARD work Frank…yoru awesome!!!

  4. Mark W. says:

    I still remember fondly the opening of Ameca in Monticello. We are VERY fortunate to have such a great restaurant in our community. I have so many great memories tied to that place, as I’m sure many other Monticellonians do – a big thanks to Mr. Lizarraga and all the other employees there. You just can’t beat an Ameca burrito – they are awesome!

  5. Kellie Nichols says:

    mmmm…Ameca! I miss it so! Having moved some 3 hours away, I can honestly say that I have yet to find a Mexican restaurant I enjoy more! The atmosphere was always friendly and the service always exceptional!! Every time I return home, I have to stop in for a Chimichanga and a smile from Frank!!

  6. Martha Barbee says:

    Ameca is one my favorite places to eat here in Monticello. The staff is always working so hard to make you dining experience enjoyable.
    They always have a smile on their faces. Great job; keep up the good work!!!!

  7. David Atwell says:

    My family and I eat at Ameca every Sunday after church. My wife and I regularly discuss what keeps up going back to Ameca, and all we can come up with is the Salsa and Service. The service is real. It is an authentic Mexican atmosphere. You feel as if a piece of you is in Mexico and you feel special because the service is great. When my family and I eat at Ameca, Frank, Jose, Maria, and others, already know what we want to drink without asking. Now that is service. Ameca is a good recipe for other food establishments to emulate. They keep you coming back Sunday after Sunday, after Sunday….You got to get the Ameca Grill.

  8. Annie says:

    I am also a Frank fan, I just did not know his name. With that being said, I would like to applaud the entire staff at Ameca. They are so friendly and you leave there with the feeling that they were genuinely pleased to serve you (well, that and the feeling that you might explode from eating too much)! It is our favorite place to eat because of the superior service and the excellent food!

  9. TIM RAWLS says:



  10. Lin Harvey says:

    I LOVE AMECA!! i’m addicted! Every wednesday night at 5:15 my friends and I go eat there. We order cheese dip and chicken quesidillia EVERY time we go. lol…its never gets old! Frank is very sweet and always has a BIG smile on his face!! Everyone of the employees are sweet! GREAT JOB AMECA!! love you guys

  11. Phillip Slaughter says:

    I MISS AMECA!!!!!!!! You cannot separate Frank and the rest of the crew from the restaurant. They make Ameca the best place in Monticello to eat. There were times when I lived in Monticello that I went to Ameca even though I could care less for Mexica cuisine that day. I went because I knew I would be greeted with smiling faces and cheerful voices.

  12. Ameca is the best Mexican Restaurant in town..or Drew County for that matter! I dearly love the fast service that you get when entering! My favorite is the Shrimp Chimechanga..the way that they put that cheese sauce on it, just makes it that much better! Keep up the great work!

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