What's up?

¿Que Pasa? Mexican Kitchen and Tequila, that's what

Heather Osbourne

DESTIN — Customers may feel they are stepping into a Day of the Dead celebration rather than a restaurant at ¿Que Pasa? Mexican Kitchen and Tequila.

Brightly colored skeleton carvings decorate the booths and walls of ¿Que Pasa?, which means "What's Up?" in Spanish. The restaurant, opening at 985 U.S. Highway 98 in Destin on Monday, is an authentic Mexican eatery serving up an array of dishes.

Jesus and Blanca Valencia, owners of ¿Que Pasa?, said they decided to open the restaurant after seeing a need for authentic Mexican food while visiting family in the area.

"The space is very beautiful," Blanca Valencia said. "It makes you feel like you're in Mexico. We bought all of our furniture from Mexico, too.

"I really recommend the fresh guacamole," she added. "We make it fresh in front of the customers so they can see how it is prepared. We try our best to make the best food."

The Valencias own several Mexican-style restaurants in Jacksonville, Cocoa Beach, Palm Coast and Port Orange. This is their second restaurant called ¿Que Pasa? Mexican Kitchen & Tequila, known for its unusual Mexican decor such as Frida Kahlo murals and sombrero-wearing skeletons. This will be the couple's first restaurant in Destin.

Menu items include the $8.75 chimichanga, $8.25 Mexican burritos and $17.99 shrimp and steak fajitas. For dessert are sopapillas, flan, churros and more.

"People are also going to love our margaritas," Blanca said. "We have our own secret recipe. We will offer happy hour from 2-7 p.m. every day. It will be 2-for-1 house margaritas and draft domestic beer."

¿Que Pasa? will be open every day from 11 a.m.-10 p.m.

"I feel very very excited because we really feel like Destin is welcoming us very well," Blanca said. "We are excited for the people to come and try us. We feel like they are going to like us a lot."