I’m not always a big fan of change. So when Three Angels Diner transformed into Maximo’s on Broad, I was skeptical. I liked the laid-back diner vibe and steamed burgers at Three Angels. I didn’t rush out to try the new incarnation, but then a friend and I set out for a little shopping jaunt on Broad and we stopped in for lunch.

And this change I like. The space has been jazzed up; the quirky diner turned into a sleek space full of dark wood accented with bright colors. The service was friendly and efficient, and the food was delightful. Amy and Julio Zuniga took over Three Angels from Amy’s sister, Rebecca Severs, and her husband, Jason, owners of Bari. The space reopened as Maximo’s last fall. Maximo’s features separate lunch and dinner menus, an expansive Sunday brunch menu and a full bar with signature cocktails, wine and local beers on tap.

Prosciutto Panini

The prosciutto panini ($12) comes with housemade chips, and both are divine!

The vegetable panini

The vegetable panini ($11) features veggies, sundried tomato pesto and balsamic reduction.

For my lunch at Maximo’s, I ordered the prosciutto panini, $12, a beautifully balanced, crispy, pressed sandwich layered with prosciutto, Swiss cheese, pesto aioli and grilled onions on homemade focaccia. The housemade chips that came with the sandwich were a real treat, something I remember from Three Angels. My dining companion ordered a vegetable panini, $11, which features the same homemade bread, which comes stacked with vegetables, sundried tomato pesto and balsamic reduction that was loaded with complex flavors. She ordered a side of the orange ginger soup, which was nothing special, but there were plenty of the crispy chips for us to share. The lunch menu also offers appetizers, an array of salads and more sandwiches, as well as a few entrées. And it is definitely great fuel for exploring the fun and unique shops up and down the street.

Avocado fries

The house specialty is avocado fries, $6, which are breaded, fried slices of avocado served with a cilantro chimichurri and chipotle coulis. Image: Maximo’s on Broad

salpicon tostadas

The salpicon tostadas feature marinated bite-size cubes of beef with a generous serving of pickled onions layered with lettuce and avocado on a crispy chicharron for $8.

brandied shrimp

The brandied shrimp, $12, includes tender shrimp and cherry tomatoes with a tangle of soft onions in a flavorful brandy sauce.

The dinner menu is broad and varied, but on our dinner visit, we couldn’t resist a selection of hot and cold tapas for our meal. We ordered several to share, which made for a filling and diverse dinner. The house specialty is avocado fries – that’s right, breaded, fried slices of avocado served with a cilantro chimichurri and chipotle coulis. The first order was polished off, and we ordered a second, so let that be the review. The brandied shrimp was particularly good; tender shrimp and cherry tomatoes with a tangle of soft onions in a deeply flavorful brandy sauce. The Peruvian shrimp ceviche was fresh and tangy, lime-marinated shrimp layered with cucumber, onion and cilantro. A small plate of ravioli, generously filled with a creamy goat cheese and spinach blend, came covered in a lovely red pepper sauce with a chard of crispy prosciutto. I could easily have worked through a whole plate of these. I found the salpicon tostadas a very refreshing bite, marinated bite-size cubes of beef with a generous serving of pickled onions layered with lettuce and avocado on a crispy chicharron – an inventive take on a taco salad. A cocktail of honeysuckle vodka with basil lemonade was a perfect tipple with the meal.

Maximo’s is a great addition to the Broad Avenue Arts District, gracefully straddling the line between a sophisticated menu and a casual dining spot. You’ll be equally pleased, whether you’re gearing up for a shopping trip, grabbing a drink and some tapas with friends or planning a date night.

Maximo’s on Broad is located at 2617 Broad Ave., Memphis. Hours are Wednesday through Friday, 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. (lunch), 5:30 to 10 p.m. (dinner); Saturday, 12 to 3 p.m. and 5:30 to 10 p.m.; and Sunday brunch, 10:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. To learn more, call (901) 452-1111 or visit them online at Maximosonbroad.com.

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