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Maria’s Restaurant is family owned and operated with Maria Chavez greeting customers and Martin Morales cooking the delicious authentic Mexican meals.

The husband and wife team want their guests to feel comfortable and warm like they are at home, from the moment they walk in the door, upstairs at 217 W. Main St., in Hamilton.

“I want customers to feel welcomed and like they are part of my family,” Chavez said.

The restaurant’s friendly atmosphere has family photos on the walls and a great view of the Bitterroot Mountains and Main Street.

The key is the authentic Mexican food and small menu.

“Everything is fresh and that’s what we love about it – everything is cooked with love,” Chavez said.

Antojitos include asada nachos, asada quesadilla, torta and gravy boat fries. burritos and tacos are on the menu as are kids plates, drinks (horchata, jarritos and sodas), side orders and desserts.

All the menu is fresh and homemade, including the salsa, and there are some customer favorites.

“The street tacos may be the most ordered item,” Chavez said. “They are something that not many people around here have. They aren’t fancy but something I call comfort food, my comfort food.”

Three four-inch corn tortillas are filled with choice of adovada, asada or chicken then topped with cilantro and onions, and served with beans and rice.

Chavez moved from California to Hamilton in 1997 as a sophomore in high school, initially working at Pizza Hut to learn the restaurant business and make friends with community members.

The couple opened for business in July and have made special arrangements to bring loaded to-go boxes downstairs to faithful clientele as the building has no elevator but a long steep stairway.

“Customers want to support me, so I have them call me and I meet them downstairs,” Chavez said. “They want to come up here but many of them can’t, so we do what we can to accommodate them.”

Maria’s Restaurant is open 11 a.m. to 8 p.m., Monday through Friday, unless there is a note on the door saying Chavez had to go pick up something for the restaurant or attend one of her son’s Hamilton Bronc games.

The menu is posted on the Main Street door and the blackboard at the top of the stairs.

Visit Maria’s Restaurant at 217 E. Main St., in Hamilton, call 406-363-7710 or message via Facebook.

“This is what I love to do – to be able to talk to people and be able to have a conversation with someone and make their day,” Chavez said. “We are a family restaurant and a lot of people know me and my son, Michael Graves.”