Ramon Ramos is one of those kinds of human beings who have taken advantage of every situation, especially with regard to his career, to learn as much as he can no matter how small or unrelated it might seem to others.
Within moments of talking to Ramon, you notice something unique about how he approaches his experience in the food and beverage industry. It is all learning-centric, leaving his accomplishments to speak for themselves. And they do. He will tell you far more about what he learned from his first job in the restaurant business at the young age of 15 as a dish washer for Manny’s Beach Club than he will about how hard it was, or how hot it was amongst all the pots and pans and scalding water.
Instead he will tell you that dishwashing gave him the opportunity to learn the entire inventory of pots, pans, dishes, serving trays and all the utensils used by the cooks in the kitchen. This knowledge got him to the next level as a kitchen helper where he was able to watch the cooks more closely and study recipes, ingredients, spices, food handling and all the details required by a good cook or chef. This knowledge prepared him to become a cook when the next opportunity arose soon after he became a kitchen helper.
After five years at Manny’s, Ramon had learned enough to take over the kitchen at Chaplin’s Restaurant in the Fiesta de Cortez Hotel at the age of 21. And guess how he described his five years there. “I learned all about the hospitality business working at the Fiesta—how the front desk worked, how the reservations system worked, the cash registers systems, house cleaning, maintenance, food and beverage ordering and management—I learned everything I could about the hotel business.” He leaves it to assumption—obvious assumption—that he was an excellent cook, otherwise he might not have left on his own accord after five years to become the chef at Plaza las Glorias in 1992.
Another attribute that stands out when talking to Ramon about how he evolved into the successful restaurateur that he is today is his character and consummate professionalism with regard to the business. Ramon tells the story of how he came to be the manager of The Old Port Galley, a position he held for 12 years. “The owners interviewed me and when they decided to hire me, they wanted me to start in two days. I had to tell them I could not do that because I would give a two week notice to Plaza las Glorias. They began to say that I didn’t have to do that and they could not hire me if I couldn’t start in two days. I apologized and said I guess we won’t be able to work together because I will not leave the hotel without a chef. I would not leave you without a manager either.” They waited two weeks for Ramon to take over the restaurant.
It was here that Ramon introduced “All You Can Eat Fish and Chips” to the Puerto Peñasco market, a tradition he continued for 12 years at the Old Port Galley and carried over to his own restaurant which he opened after marrying his high school sweetheart, Lupita, a native Peñasqueña who works with him as his partner in life, love and business.
Even though they converted their home into La Cocina de Ramon (Ramon’s Kitchen), one of the cutest and most colorful representations of Mexican culture in town, Ramon’s successful recipe for All You Can Eat Fish and Chips is still his most popular menu item. Of course he serves other Mexican and American dishes as well.
This little piece of Mexicana with its consistently good food has been a local favorite since the day it opened and Ramon’s reputation has grown with it. In fact, that is how he came to take over the restaurant space in the Sonoran Sea Resort on Sandy Beach last year. Ramon was persuaded to rent the spacious restaurant and kitchen facility by the resort management who knew it needed his expertise and reputation.
Ramon’s philosophy of the importance of always learning had taught him how to recognize opportunity when it knocked. He saw the potential to expand his catering and wedding business, the demand for which exceeded the limited capability of the smaller kitchen space at La Cocina de Ramon. Thus, on November the 4th of last year, Ramon’s Restaurant opened for business in the Sonoran Sea Resort much to the relief and glee of resort management and guests alike.
And, yes, the specialty at Ramon’s Restaurant at the Sea is All You Can Eat Fish and Chips. Although there are many locals who will argue that his specialty is providing the best Sunday Brunch on Sandy Beach. Ramon’s menu at the Sea also serves American and Mexican dishes.
Ramon has three brothers who are also in the food business. You see one of them almost every day you’re in Puerto Peñasco. They each have a bright red truck with “Mariscos El Doctor” painted on the side. They are parked strategically along Benito Juarez and always have several locals eating their seafood cocktails from a bar along the side panels of the trucks. One brother is almost always in front of the Santander Bank at 13th Street.
The Ramos family isn’t native to Puerto Peñasco, but it’s safe to say they all got here as soon as they could—in 1975!
This blog is brought to you by Sonoran Resorts Sales Group, Jim Ringquist, Director of Sales