Di Maria Fresh Food survives pandemic to offer a taste of Mexico and beyond

Beef Fajita Tacos ($13.50): This dish comes with three corn tortillas, green peppers, tomatoes, onions, nopales and cilantro, and guacamole. (Wesley Gardner/Community Impact Newspaper)
Beef Fajita Tacos ($13.50): This dish comes with three corn tortillas, green peppers, tomatoes, onions, nopales and cilantro, and guacamole. (Wesley Gardner/Community Impact Newspaper)

Beef Fajita Tacos ($13.50): This dish comes with three corn tortillas, green peppers, tomatoes, onions, nopales and cilantro, and guacamole. (Wesley Gardner/Community Impact Newspaper)

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From left: Owners Luis Maldonado and Alejandro Flores stand in front of the bar at Di Maria Fresh Food in Humble. (Wesley Gardner/Community Impact Newspaper)
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The Shrimp Sizzler ($15.50): A plate of fried shrimp is served with garlic mojo with ginger and sautéed vegetables. (Wesley Gardner/Community Impact Newspaper)
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Shrimp Ceviche ($15): This dish comprises shrimp, cucumber, cantaloupe and red onion. (Wesley Gardner/Community Impact Newspaper)
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Di Maria Fresh Food offers items influenced by cuisine from around the globe, including a number of dishes for vegans and vegetarians. The restaurant uses the following symbols on its menu to help customers know what they are ordering. (Ronald Winters/Community Impact Newspaper)
When Luis Maldonado and Alejandro Flores opened Di Maria Fresh Food in Humble in December 2019, they had no idea a global pandemic would force shutdowns nationwide less than four months later.

“It was a struggle,” Maldonado said. “We’d just barely opened, and everything started shutting down.”

By Maldonado’s account, opening the restaurant at all was a long shot.

“People kept telling us is, ‘You don’t have the capital to open a business,’” he said, noting they were told it would take $350,000 to get the restaurant running. “We didn’t have the capital; we had much less.”

Still, Maldonado believed in the concept he and Flores wanted to achieve with Di Maria, which was based on 100% Natural, a restaurant Flores ran for 15 years in Guerrero, Mexico, before moving to Houston.


According to Flores, the Humble eatery is heavily inspired by 100% Natural’s mixture of healthy, fresh foods used to create authentic cuisine from around the world.

Maldonado said the menu’s diverse offerings helped build enough loyalty with early customers to keep the fledgling eatery afloat through the pandemic. He added customer reviews were instrumental to the business’s success.

“The only reason we’re here is because of the community,” he said.

In addition to Mexican-inspired dishes, including enchiladas, fajitas and tacos, the restaurant’s menu is also filled with items from around the globe, such as chicken teriyaki, Thai fish and Danish bread.

Flores said the use of fresh, natural ingredients is the cornerstone of every item on the menu.

“We choose the freshest and best products to make each of our dishes to feed the body and draw a smile on each customer,” Flores said.

The pair’s ultimate goal is to open another location, although Maldonado said nothing is set in stone.

“People keep telling us, ‘This would be great in downtown Houston,’” Maldonado said. “I don’t know if that’s going to be possible or not, but we’re looking forward to opening another location.”

Di Maria Fresh Food

20669 W. Lake Houston Parkway, Ste. P, Humble

832-777-1585

www.dimariafood.com

Hours: Mon.-Fri. 7 a.m.-9 p.m., Sat. 9 a.m.-9 p.m., Sun. 9 a.m.-6 p.m.