Guillermo Leon is a man of few words, but they’re backed up by integrity.
The restauranteur has opened a second Mexican-themed eating establishment in Batavia, this time on the west side of town.
“Batavia is growing, and there’s more room for different kinds of restaurants,” Leon said Wednesday at Señor Leon Mexican Restaurant. “People go to Walmart and then can come here to eat. It’s very convenient.”
He owns Rancho Viejo in the city’s downtown, and thought a second restaurant closer to the popular Big Box stores would be a good location. Señor Leon, with an investment of more than $300,000, is tucked into the plaza at 4140 Veterans Memorial Drive.
Double oak and glass doors greet visitors before entering the spacious site. Deep blue, high-backed booths and Mexican decor — gold-trimmed hats, paintings and other themed wall art — plus seating of tables and similarly deep blue, padded seating are ready for a comfortable dining experience.
Leon had the furniture shipped in from Mexico, he said, to provide that authentic touch.
“I wanted to make it look different than other restaurants,” he said.
His place has 10 employees, and he is currently hiring for full- and part-time positions, he said. It may take more than a glance at the menu to place your order, as it is an extensive offering of lunch and dinner options — including assorted burritos, enchiladas, tostadas, tamales, hard or soft tacos and quesadillas.
There are grilled and “authentic Mexicano” dishes, such as Pollo Asado, chicken breast with grilled onions and cheese sauce served with rice, beans and two tortillas; nachos supreme loaded with cheese and toppings; Chicken Popeye, a grilled chicken breast topped with creamy spinach and queso fresco with rice; and Chile Colorado, beef tips cooked with red chile sauce and served with rice, beans and tortillas.
Feeling peckish before dinner? Appetizers include fresh guacamole, chicken wings, fajitas nachos, tortilla soup, and ceviche with shrimp and/or octopus.
A native of Mexico, Leon wanted to expand upon Rancho’s menu with more seafood and “a bunch of different things,” he said. Seafood entrees feature red snapper, prawns, salmon or tilapia, and there’s a seafood soup with shrimp, fish, scallops, calamari, mussels, octopus and a king crab leg. If meat’s not your thing, there are also vegetarian and vegan options.
To top it all off with a little sweetness, there’s the fried cheesecake, churros, Mexican custard (flan), raspberry donut cheesecake, the “ultimate” chocolate cake with layered chocolate mousse and butter cake with buttercream chocolate icing, or a banana chocolate swirl cake and high peanut butter pie to choose from.
If you go soon, you may notice the bar area, which will be open once Leon receives his liquor license, which has been in progress with the state Liquor Authority, and he hopes to have soon.
Asked for his favorite, Leon didn’t name one of the Mexican dishes, and instead admitted “I’m more a steak person.” He added that the steaks are served on a rack and cooked “to taste” for each customer’s preference.
Newly opened, Señor Leon has been drawing customers, he said.
“Everyone who walks in walks out happy,” he said. “I guarantee if you don’t like it, you don’t pay.”
Hours are 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Sunday through Thursday and 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Friday and Saturday. For more information, call 585-250-4484.
Top Photo: Staffer Felix Ramirez shows a portion of the large dining space at the Veterans Memorial Drive restaurant; Sergio Suniga is about to serve a plate of Señor Leon house appetizers: fried chicken taquitos, sauced chicken wings and a chicken quesadilla with pico de gallo, sour cream and a special touch of the Mexican flag, above. Photos by Joanne Beck.