Janitzio

South shore eateries, markets help make a neighborhood

Janitzio

1422 Town Creek Dr., 442-6275

Monday-Sunday, 7am-1am

Although it's located in a shopping-center parking lot just across I-35, a meal at Janitzio feels like a trip across the border. This cozy little place has the air of a neighborhood hangout, complete with a serve-yourself paletas icebox, a variety of fruit liquados, and a chiller full of Cokes in glass bottles and Mexican soft drinks. There always seem to be congenial groups congregating to pass the time -- from midmorning coffee klatches to evening beers and snacks. The jukebox is rich with Norteño tunes, and the TV plays Mexican music videos.

Standard egg and taco dishes are available on the breakfast menu; the migas have got to be some of the cheesiest around. At lunch, there is a different special every weekday, ranging from $3.95 to $5.95. The Tuesday and Thursday buffet is especially tasty and quite the bargain, offering a variety of meats and vegetables, rice, beans, potatoes, an artfully arranged salad platter, and free iced tea.

At dinner, choose from among the northern Mexican-style steak dinners, seafood platters, and numerous types of gorditas, tacos, and enchiladas. The pork stew with green chiles is definitely a winner. There is a small bar in the evenings, with beer and a limited number of mixed drinks.

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