South shore eateries, markets help make a neighborhood
Reviewed by Rachel Feit, Fri., Dec. 14, 2001
Taqueria Arandinas2110 E. Riverside, 244-2446
Sunday-Thursday, 7am-3am; Friday-Saturday, 7am-4am
Although this little restaurant doesn't look like much, it may be one of the more popular places along the East Riverside corridor, especially among the club crowd at closing time. Open until 3am on weekdays and 4am on weekends, Taqueria Arandinas generally buzzes with partiers, night shifters, and insomniacs. But this modest little restaurant, housed in what appears to be a former fast food joint, also ranks high on the list of daytime snack destinations for East Riverside's Mexican residents. The simple menu features homemade mix-n-match fillings such as beef or chicken fajitas, beef brains, barbacoa, tongue, al pastor, and avocado that can be stuffed inside a sope, taco, torta, or on top of a tostada. Their crispy gorditas al pastor, packed with chunks of zesty spiced pork, are not to be missed. Arandinas also serves burritos, which are basically just oversized versions of a breakfast taco. Ubiquitous in California and Chicago, the burrito is still relatively rare in Texas. And although the menu also offers a few of the most beloved Tejano specialties -- such as enchiladas and flautas -- it generally makes sparse concessions to Tex-Mex. Arandinas' prices also seem like they come from south of the border. Three dollars will purchase two tacos, a large torta, or a filling burrito. Big spenders will be hard-pressed to disburse $8. For those who love Mexican food pared down to its essentials, Taqueria Arandinas is the real deal.