Flagler Beach, FL – Restless thrill seekers have been feeling adventurous in 2021, and while not everyone is ready to hop on a plane and fly overseas, residents in northeast and central Florida can feel like they’re escaping to Mexico while still staying relatively grounded.

With a menu of tasty options, it’s hard to decide which one to pick at Dahlia in Flagler Beach.

Giving diners a bit of spice in their lives, fans of Dahlia Mexican Kitchen in Flagler Beach or Daytona Beach can plan their dinners to coincide with the monthly Mariachi night on the third Wednesday of the month over the summer featuring Mariachi Nuevo Guadalajara, and really make their evenings sizzle.

It was a steady stream of guests that kept Flagler Beach general manager Ali Moreno busy at Dahlia in Flagler Beach on Wednesday night, and as the sounds of the guitar, violin and trumpet began to strike the chords of the beautiful music, even the most reserved diner could be seen unconsciously smiling as members of Mariachi Nuevo Guadalajara made the rounds to each table.

“It’s a new thing we’re bringing out now after what we went through in 2020,” said Moreno. “We started doing this a month ago. We were doing it before but since the pandemic we had to stop big gatherings and now that we started doing it again, I see people are really enjoying the mariachi.”

Guests joined in singing songs they knew or made requests, as others filmed the professional four man mariachi band out of Orlando.

It’s an authentic profession Alan Gomez learned from his father Hugo, and the two played side-by-side, during the evening.  Alan says he has developed an appreciation for the special talents their band brings to an occasion as they travel across Florida playing at places like the famed Florida Strawberry Festival and Sea World, in addition to corporate and private events.

“My dad, the guitar player, is from Mexico,” shared Gomez in between performances on Wednesday evening.

“It’s exciting. One day I came down to a party where they were playing and I saw my dad, and said I want to do this. It’s great to see people smile whenever we sing for them or play for them,” he said.

Alan Gomez (right) plays as part of Orlando-based Mariachi Nuevo Guadalajara, at Dahlia Mexican Kitchen in Flagler Beach.

While guests sipped house margaritas and the hot, fresh dishes were quickly delivered, Delia Mendez Mayo was among the many relaxing with friends or family for the evening.

Invited by friend Fanny Herrera to see the performance, the Mariachi band helped make her first trip to Dahlia a memorable one.

“(I had a) really nice time with friends and the restaurant was a nice experience,” she said. “We welcome more restaurants like this one. (It was my) first time there. The performers were great and very talented.”