Extended hours and expanded menu gives fresh food a fresh face

Under the management of Alex and Maria Figueroa, Heidi’s Cafe Fine Mexican Food in the Wells Fargo shopping center at Spring and 6th streets is open longer and serving more variety — bringing more than 20 years of restaurant experience to serve a menu of American and Mexican food.

“Since I was a kid in high school, I started washing dishes in high school,” Alex said, “like everyone else. Then I started helping prep and learning how to cook the food.”

Learning hands-on, Alex served and learned locally as he moved through positions within numerous restaurants.

“I worked in the back, learning to cook the food, then I moved up front and started bussing tables and waiting tables,” he said. “Then I started doing the ordering and inventory.”

He spent many years in the Cambria area, at San Simeon Beach Bar & Grill and 10 years at the Cavalier in San Simeon, before moving to Paso Robles.

“I moved here in 2005,” Alex said. “I worked at the Downtown Grill, at Wilson’s, Buona Tavola and Paso Robles Inn.”

The couple now works to establishing the reputation of Heidi’s Cafe as a home for great homemade meals made to order.

Recently, the breakfast and lunch spot extended hours and created a dinner menu to serve the demand of their regulars. Also adding specials to the menu and making sure they pass the taste-test of Maria.

“I learned a lot from working at restaurants but they were not Mexican food,” Alex said. “I learned pasta, steaks, and other American food, but she is making great Chile verde and all the sauces, and helping a lot with the taste.”

The current evolution includes new items, where Maria’s taste and Alex’s experience are forming the future of the menu.

“We started up something new, with sandwiches and burgers,” Alex said, “and people noticed we are not the same as the people who were here before in this location. It worked, and people liked the food, but they started asking for Mexican food. So we started putting some Mexican food on the menu. Now it is about half and half on the menu with American and Mexican food. One of our best dishes is the Chile verde. It is good for breakfast lunch or dinner. We also have a special crepe dish, breakfast burritos and molcajete.”

The dining room can hold dozens of customers, and the flat screen TV is ready to host the big games for those who want to enjoy some happy hour time or taco Tuesdays with Alex and Maria.