The Whole Enchilada is Guam’s newest restaurant offering Mexican dining. The restaurant "" located in upper Tumon held its soft opening on Sept. 1. Michelle V. Garcia general manager and owner of the restaurant told the Journal. "It’s actually just a soft opening now so we’re still trying to get power into the system but from the time we opened up business has been really good. It’s been packed " she said. A date for the grand opening has not been finalized but Garcia is planning for a date in October.

Garcia said that she’s received a lot of positive feedback from her customers. "They say the food is really great."

One of the restaurant’s most popular dishes is the Spanish dish paella which Garcia learned from her grandmother. "I cook that myself."

The paella is Spanish rice cooked with mussels crabs shrimp and Mexican chorizos. She said that she adds other ingredients such as spices but didn’t want to disclose the recipe. The restaurant’s other popular dishes are puerco adobo carne asada enchiladas burritos tacos and quesadillas. Under burritos tacos and quesadillas The Whole Enchilada offers a variety of choices. Customers can also order variety of Mexican beverages including horchata "" a sweet milk-based drink; margaritas; and sangrias "" all of which are made from scratch.

Garcia put the entire menu together herself. Menu items range from $4.99 to $17.99. She is no stranger to the food industry. Garcia doesn’t have formal training but said she’s been cooking since she was 12 years old and she used to run a catering business in the Philippines called SG Catering and used to own Club Manila in Harmon. The restaurant also provides a children’s menu.

The 1 000 square-foot restaurant can seat about 50 people. The restaurant has 15 employees but she is looking to increase that number. "I’m hiring more because I want to make sure that the service is very fast. Our food had excellent reviews. Everyone is happy. The only thing we have to work on now is expediting the service " Garcia said.

Garcia said she was surprised at the amount of business the restaurant’s had because she is not advertising. "The restaurant has been getting business just by word of mouth and it’s already been crazy. I’ve been bouncing back and forth all day."

Garcia has a background in interior design and decorated the restaurant her self. "My main goal is to have a happy upbeat ambience where as soon as you walk in you feel at ease. You feel cheerful about everything." The walls are painted bright green orange and yellow and decorated with Mexican décor such as piñatas and the Mexican flag.

Garcia would not say how much was invested into getting the restaurant up and running but she did say she invested more than originally planned. "Let me just say ‘a lot.’ You think about your restaurant equipment; your inventory; your construction; your renovation; cleaning up; permits "" I went through the whole nine yards. I went over what I originally projected."

The Whole Enchilada does not offer catering services but she said the restaurant would offer it in the future. "I have already been approached about catering but I will eventually do that when everything is already set." Garcia said that the restaurant is also already being booked for Christmas parties.

The restaurant is open every day from 11 a.m. until 10 p.m. MBJ