Rene Corral is not very talkative, so he lets his wife Maria, and more importantly his cooking, do the talking for him.
Rene and Maria are the owners and operators of Fajita Rita’s in Fort Gibson. The buffet style Mexican restaurant has been in business for 14 years. It is located on Lee Street, and is perfect for those wanting to pick and choose their Mexican food favorites.
Just ask Charley and B.J. Ford, who spend nearly every Saturday eating there.
“We’ve been coming here since it was opened,” said B.J. “The service is awesome, and truthfully, it’s the only Mexican restaurant we like to eat at.”
The Fords pastor God’s Powerhouse in Muskogee, and Charley said that a lot of their congregation comes over for lunch on Sundays.
“The food is impeccable,” said Charley. “They really make you feel like you’re at home.”
That has always been the goal for Rene and Maria, and it is what they had in mind when they moved from Houston, Texas, to Fort Gibson to start the restaurant. Rene’s uncle owned a Fajita Rita’s in Broken Arrow, and he gave them the name to use here. And Maria said that ever since then, business has gotten better every year.
“We have had some customers with us all 14 years,” she said. “It has really motivated us to see people coming back time after time. If they’re coming back, we must be doing something right.”
Fajita Rita’s offers the buffet, full of Mexican favorites, but they also offer a menu full of options for those who don’t want to over indulge. They also offer daily lunch specials, and all of the food is made to order, from scratch.
Rene said that’s the way he’s learned how to do it from his family.
“I’ve got 25 years of restaurant experience,” he said. “I started washing dishes in my uncle’s restaurant when I was 20.”
Rene and Maria have three children; Rene Jr. 19, Jackie 15, and Louis 14. Rene Jr. is in college at NSU, while Jackie and Louis attend Fort Gibson High School.
When asked if any of them were planning on taking over the family business, Rene laughed and shook his head no.
“The youngest says he’ll be a cook,” said Rene. “They all work here on and off, and if they are working, we pay them by buying them things that they want.”
Another employee is Stefani Ross, who is 18 years old and has been working there for a few months now. Stefani said that she really enjoys working for the Corrals.
“I like it,” she said. “They are a really good family. The customers are friendly most of the time, and I really like their enchiladas.”
As for Rene and Maria, they both enjoy the enchiladas as well, but Rene said his favorite thing was the shrimp fajitas.
“I enjoy the experience of them,” he said. “The smell, the sight, the sizzling on the skillet. It all comes together for an amazing meal.”
Maria nodded her head and said she wanted to take a moment to thank the town of Fort Gibson for their loyalty and patronage.
“Fourteen years would not be easy or possible without our customers,” she said. “I encourage anyone who has never eaten here to come try us. I can promise you this, you’ll come back.”
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