To add a little spice to your life, try the bold flavors of Tortilla Flats.

To add a little spice to your life, try the bold flavors of Tortilla Flats.

After 18 years in business, Rick and Alma Esobedo's restaurant and lounge has become a landmark in Sunrise Beach. Rick credits their longevity on outstanding food and hospitality.

They moved to the Ozarks from Denver to drop out of the rat race, Rick says. He was looking for something more than what he could find in the construction business.

It has been home for Rick and Alma ever since.

Tortilla Flats is marked in front by Rick's prize-winning roses. Inside, you'll find more personal touches from the Escobedos. Much of the Mexican and Native American decor originally came from their home.

The hands-on owners operate the small establishment themselves. Rick is the manager, and you'll often find him telling stories at the bar. Alma does the cooking.

"My stories go so far, but I know it's her cooking that keeps people coming back," he says.

The dishes at Tortilla Flats represent generations of Mexican home cooking, passed down to her by Rick's mother and from her mother before that.

"It's personal —  something special that we share with everybody," Rick says. "People are always amazed at the food."

Not only is the food authentic, it is fresh. During the summer, the Escobedos harvest tomatoes and sweet and hot peppers from their garden to use in salsas, sometimes different colors depending on the type of pepper, and other specialties.

"There's no gimmicks here — just good cooking," he says.

That and some of the best margaritas the area has to offer.

In addition to Mexican food, they also offer a few Cajun dishes.

"I love Cajun food too. I just love food that's flavorful. For me, there's nothing worse than bland food," Rick says.

He invites everyone to stop by and see what they have to offer.

Hours: 4-9 p.m. Monday-Wednesday and Friday-Saturday year round
Owners:  Rick and Alma Esobedo
What to order: Any of Rick's Ragin' Cagun dishes
Fun fact: Bob's Bad Boys pool team plays here and will be heading to Las Vegas for 8-Ball Team Nationals in August.