Mexican restaurant now open
Pedro Mena has worked in the food industry since he was 15 years old and is putting his 40 years of service to work in Dickinson. He recently opened Don Pedro's Family Mexican Restaurant, formerly the China Doll. Mena's career in the restaurant b...
Pedro Mena has worked in the food industry since he was 15 years old and is putting his 40 years of service to work in Dickinson.
He recently opened Don Pedro's Family Mexican Restaurant, formerly the China Doll.
Mena's career in the restaurant business began when he started washing dishes in Mexico "by hand, no machines," he said.
Later, Mena moved to Los Angeles and then Seattle, and cooked in restaurants.
"Then I cut loose and went to Wyoming on my own," Mena said. "That's a lifetime goal, to have your own restaurant."
The dishes available at Don Pedro's are his favorites from his work in the food industry.
"I picked the best of everything and I kind of enhance it with my own touch," Mena said.
Cooking and running his own restaurants was Mena's calling, he said.
"I think I was born for it," Mena said. "You can always improve, you can always give people what they like and what they enjoy, at a fair price."
He likes his profession even more now that he has family working for him, he said.
His nephew, Omar Montes, is a cook at the Dickinson restaurant and says he enjoys working with Mena.
"He knows how to work with people," Montes said.
Don Pedro's restaurants stand out in the way employees treat their customers, Montes said.
"It's about the service," Montes said. "You have to visualize how you like to get your food so you can see yourself as a customer and that way you know how to serve the customer."
Mena, who is founder and CEO, may step down in the next few years and allow his family to run the business.
"I think the younger generation is coming along to take over, I'd say within the next two or three years," Mena said.
Don Pedro's also has locations in Williston, Wyoming and Utah.
Mena spent about seven months remodeling and giving the Dickinson restaurant a "hacienda" feel.
Other Don Pedro's locations feature similar décor, but Mena said he likes the Dickinson location best.
"The way it's laid out helped a lot to make it look good," Mena said. "It's similar, but I think it's the best looking one."
Customers can choose from seafood, chicken, steak and vegetarian dishes cooked Mexican style.
"Some of them are more authentic and some of them are Tex-Mex style," Mena said.
The top seller is the sizzling fajitas, he said.
Everything is cooked on the grill, flame broiled or sautéed fresh daily.
"A lot of other restaurants just use a grill," Mena said.
Don Pedro's Family Mexican Restaurant is at 582 12th St. W. and the phone number is