Fresh Mexican food at great price

Steak tacos with onions, cilantro and fresh guacamole. Photo by Bradley Wilson.

Steak tacos with onions, cilantro and fresh guacamole. Photo by Bradley Wilson.

Tucked away in the shopping center on Maplewood Avenue and Southwest Parkway is El Norteño 2, a restaurant serving up all the classic Mexican dishes from chips and salsa to chorizo.

The place was packed for lunch but we were able to get a seat right away. The inside was clean and kept up with, surprising for how many customers they had.

We ordered our drinks. I went with a coke and one of my friends got horchata, a traditional sweet rice milk flavored with cinnamon. The first thing I thought when I tried a sip: Cinnamon Toast Crunch. It was delicious and the perfect drink to alleviate the spiciness of their salsa. Coming to El Norteño is worth it for the horchata alone.

One of the best ways to determine if a Mexican restaurant is good is by the quality of the chips and salsa because it’s a basic dish offered nearly everywhere. When the waiter brought ours to the table, I knew they meant business. The homemade salsa had the perfect amount of spice and tasted like it was made that morning. The chips had the right amount of salt and they were baked perfectly.

Even with the place packed our waiter always kept our chips and drinks full.

Before we got too full on the appetizer, we placed our orders and decided to take a break from the salsa. It is some spicy stuff.

I ordered the pork, bean, potato and cheese burrito. This thing was the size of a rolled up Sunday newspaper with all the coupons still inside. As soon as I bit into this heaven in a tortilla, I tasted all of the ingredients because it was assembled properly. The burrito contained the perfect amount of every ingredient, ensuring consistency until the last bite.

My friend ordered the chorizo plate, including fried potatoes, refried beans, corn tortillas, two eggs cooked to order and ground chorizo. The food was good and authentic as far as Tex-Mex goes, and the presentation allows the customer to make tacos or just eat it off the plate. All that food for $14, including tip.

My burrito came in at $9 including tip, but be warned: It will fill you up so much you’ll want to take a nap.

At an even better price than that, my other friend ordered the daily special and got three street tacos with flavorful pulled beef dressed with raw diced onions, cilantro and lime juice. He got all that and an order of fresh guacamole for $7 after tip.

Overall, my experience at El Norteño was great, from the authentic food to the prompt service. I highly recommend this place to anyone who loves Mexican food or just wants a good burrito.

2708 Southwest Pkwy
(940) 691-0066