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Mexican restaurant Xitomate takes over former Donna's spot in Columbia

A Howard County restaurant owner has taken over the former Donna’s space in Columbia with his second Mexican eatery in the county.

Xitomate Mexican Restaurant opened this month at 5850 Waterloo Road, at the intersection of Route 108 and Snowden River Parkway. The 100-seat restaurant had a soft opening Jan. 16 with a limited menu of about 40 items, General Manager Octavio Moreno says. By early next month, it will offer about 100 menu items.

Moreno estimates that owner Julio Soto, who also owns Azul 17, spent about $500,000 to open Xitomate. Moreno says the new restaurant is similar to Azul 17, except “more fun, more colorful.”

Xitomate serves fresh-made guacamole, tacos, enchiladas, fajitas and ceviche. The word Xitomate means tomato in Aztec and reflects the restaurant’s commitment to fresh tomatoes and other fresh produce on the menu.

Margaritas are made from premium blue agave tequila. Moreno says the daring should try Margarita La Diable, made with tequila infused with Serrano peppers and mango.

“We are authentic Mexican cuisine,” Moreno says.  

All the decorations were brought from Mexico, and include Day of the Dead motifs and a display of 25 Mexican wrestling masks.

“We decided to do something more family oriented.”

Xitomate employs 28 and will hire four more to work in the patio when it opens in the spring. Patio seating will let it accommodate another 40 diners, Moreno says. 

Writer: Amy Landsman
Source: Octavio Moreno, Xitomate 
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