The recent closings of Real Fire Brazilian Grill and La Fiesta have left a void for those hoping for a taste of Latin food in Edgewater. Hispa, located on Mayo Road, is hoping to fill that void.
The restaurant started out serving food about two months ago from the back of the Hispa Market & Grill at 183 Mayo Rd. The food was so well received that when space opened up next door to the market, proprietor Henry Mejia decided to approach his landlord about opening up a restaurant.
"People were standing up and eating, so when this space opened, I asked if I could lease the space," Mejia said.
Mejia did a lot of the work to revamp the space into a full service restaurant with seating for 45 to 48 people.
What makes Hispa unique? The real, authentic Latin food, all made to order, according to Mejia.
"Everything is authentic. We try to have the real authentic food, how we really eat in our countries," Mejia said.
Mejia has been living in the Edgewater area for more than a decade, but originally hails from Guatemala. His staff come from all over South and Central America, from countries including Mexico and El Salvador.
Mejia has partnered with Chef Jose Ayala, formerly of Piccolo Roma in Annapolis. Hispa's menu includes authentic Latin dishes like pupusas and ceveche as well as Latin inspired pasta dishes.
Entree prices range from $6.99 to $14.99, and includes some authentic items customers would be hard pressed to find elsewhere in the Edgewater area.
One such dish is called mariscada—a Spanish shellfish soup—that includes crab, lobster mussels and shrimp. Other customer favorites include fajitas with handmade corn tortillas, carne asada and pasta with seafood, said Mejia.
Though they don't currently serve alcohol, Mejia said they have applied for a liquor license and hope to offer customers a full bar soon.
Hispa is open from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. and serves breakfast, lunch and dinner. It's located at 183 Mayo Rd. in Edgewater.