Sunday, June 22, 2014

Tijuana Flats

Check out SoDu Parents Posse founder Kat Benson's take on a new Mexican restaurant right next to SoDu.  It's right next to a NEW Target!

What it is: The Mexican restaurant chain Tijuana Flats just opened a new location right outside South Durham in the Parkside shopping center, on Hwy 55 with Target & Harris Teeter. I’d been to the Cary location on Kildaire Farm, next to Trader Joe’s and loved it, so this is a great addition to our neck of the woods, and the perfect accompaniment to a trip to the store.

When you walk in, someone immediately greets you. Even though it’s a somewhat small place, the line and ordering at the register is efficient. There are several wall hangings of celebrity pictures, which are fun to look at if you have to wait. 

The menu has a great variety of Mexican dishes, from chimichangas to burritos, quesadillas to deluxe nachos. I liked the kids menu because there is a mac & queso option. One of my kids doesn’t like Mexican food, so we tend to not go to those restaurants. This means we all can get something we enjoy! 

This location doesn’t have a liquor permit, just beer. I usually like a margarita with spicy food, but I made do with a Dosarita, made by Dos Equis, which is a malt beer beverage with a margarita taste. It substituted nicely. 

They deliver the food to your table, and it arrived quickly. While you’re waiting, you can head to the salsa bar, where their famous variety of salsas from mild to very hot tantalize you. There are specific descriptions for each, so you can make sure you’re getting what you want. 

Our food was delicious. I got a queso smothered chimichanga, with rice, beans, and chips, and thought the portions were fair for the prices. One thing we loved was the amazing “graffiti” on all the walls. Gives a real wild feel, and a nice unique take on the typical decorations you see in Mexican restaurants. The service was also really above and beyond, and the place was very clean.
There is also outdoor seating next to a fountain, which looked like it’d be a great option on a balmy evening. Overall, there aren’t too many seats, so that could be the only real disappointment. I would hesitate bringing a party of 8 or more there without calling ahead, but it’s not the kind of fine-dining place that you’d make reservations for. (It’s more along the lines of Moe’s, Chipotle, and Qdoba.) I asked them about larger parties and they said they would push tables together if they had them free in advance of your arrival.

What we liked: A non-Mexican kids option and the fun decor. Oh and the food was fantastic!

What we’d change: Margaritas please! And more room. 

Website and other important information:

Address: 7165 O’Kelly Chapel Rd., Cary, NC 27519
North of 540 on HWY 55 in front of Target

Phone: 919-629-3200


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