You could say Nanda Ranes was born into the restaurant business. He spent his late
teen years helping out in the kitchen with his mother, Pat McMahon, when she built
and opened her first restaurant at 220 South Main Street in La Veta. With his natural
given talents and a passion to pursue a career in the food service industry, Ranes
left the area to attend and graduate from the Culinary Institute of America in Hyde
Park, New York.
| Nanda has now returned! Not only has he returned to the area, but
he has returned to the exact address where it all began over 25 years ago. Located
in the courtyard of the adobe complex that is now also home to Capture Colorado,
Nanda Ghan's Cantina is serving up fresh, traditional Mexican food, red and green
chile, home-made pies and specialty flans. The Tequila Sunrise flan, made with Patron
Tequila and Grande Marnier is fast becoming a "must have" item, but the Chocolate
Espresso flan is quickly becoming a strong second choice.
Nanda could not have opened
the doors to the restaurant on 4th of July weekend without help from his family
who owns and operates McMahon Construction. Brother Jimi Chambers jumped in to help
with design challenges and everything else from framing to tile work. Mother Pat
McMahon and step-father Random Factor all shared the vision and the work load that
turned the abandoned office space into a cozy cantina. Nanda kept the honors of
designing his own kitchen and workspace.
And now, another Ranes has emerged, Nanda’s
five year old son Gavin has already carved out a spot for himself with a lemonade
and fruit skewer stand inside the plaza area. Gavin's hospitable personality clearly
demonstrates he's destined to follow in the family tradition. Nanda Ghan's Cantina
is a great place to gather, and you'll be pleased to know catering services are
available; and remember, they'd love to cater your company Christmas party with
any cuisine request. Next spring, Nanda will expand the menu to feature some favorites
from Pat McMahon's Fine Art and Café, where Nanda served as executive chef. Nanda
Ghan's Mexican Cantina is open Tuesday-Saturday; 11 a.m. to 8 p.m.
220 S. Main Street
La Veta, CO 81055