Atilano's Tex-Mex Burrito Station and Restaurant

5300 N. Lamar, Ste. 103, 452-5955
Breakfast daily 6:30-10:30am; Lunch daily 11am-2pm; Dinner Mon and Tue, 5-9pm; Thu-Sat, 5-10pm.

Burritos at Atilano's Tex-Mex Burrito Station are torpedoes bursting at the seams with meat and vegetables. Inside the mom n' pop establishment, piñatas, Mexican music, brightly colored blankets, and a beachfront mural add color to the restaurant's otherwise drab, strip-mall style ambiance. But people don't go to Atilano's for the decor, they go for the burritos -- whole wheat or flour tortillas bulging with homemade carne guisada, beef or chicken mole, or pork with chile verde sauce.

Atilano's Tex-Mex Super Special Burrito ($4.99) is more than most can get around in a single sitting and must weigh in at well over a pound. A tortilla the size of a serving platter is filled with a choice of two entrees (meats and/or the vegetables of the day), Spanish brown rice, beans, lettuce, tomato, jalapeño, and guacamole. The Regular Jumbo Burrito ($3.99) -- note that Atilano's "regular" burrito is also known as "jumbo" -- includes a single entree, Spanish rice and beans. Vegetarians will get their fill from Sally's Special Veggie Burrito ($3.99), stuffed with rice and beans (cooked in canola oil) and a mess of vegetables of the day, such as zucchini, bell peppers, onions, and tomatoes. Breakfast burritos (any two items $1.35; 10 cents for each additional item) are also a big draw at Atilano's and are served until 10:30am daily.

I recommend filling your tortilla with Atilano's carne guisada, pork in chile verde, or vegetables instead of the mole dishes, which tend to lack the rich color and deep chocolatey flavor expected of mole sauce. If you eat in -- Atilano's does a mean take-out business -- save plenty of room for the chips and hot sauce which come with your meal. The restaurant's fiery bowl of red salsa is served warm, and I couldn't get enough of the stuff. Atilano's recently acquired liquor license means beer, wine, margaritas, and cocktails are now available with meals, and the restaurant has added dinner service, offering a variety of specialty plates in addition to its increasingly famous burritos.

-- Rebecca Chastenet de Géry

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