Saturday, February 9, 2008

Quickie Review #17: Chilitos

Devil Dog is a colleague of mine and a true warrior, with actual time spent in the service of his country overseas. (I'll leave you to guess which branch of the armed services by his nickname. Hint: Google your way from the Halls of Montezuma to the Shores of Tripoli, USMC. There you go. Made it easy for you. You're welcome.) As with many of my other colleagues, when I see that he is in need, I'm quick to respond. He told me recently that his family is in the restaurant business, to which I posed a few questions. 1. Since the restaurant in question is a Mexican restaurant and since you are a proud Hispanic, do you dine regularly in said establishment? Answer: Yes. 2. How is the food? Answer: Delicious. 3. Do other members of your ethnicity dine in this restaurant with great frequency and in ever-increasing numbers? Answer: Yes. Devil Dog went on to add that the Corinth Constabulary considered Chilitos to be one of their regular hangouts. Now he had me hook, line, and sinker, as the Police (of whatever city) tend to shy away from mediocre food. I promised Devil Dog there and then that I would journey to Chilitos and write a review, the better to help his family and give me a new review and, hopefully, a new hangout of my own as well.

Tucked away in a nondescript shopping strip hard by I35 (warning: if you're not quick to turn left at exit 457 off the freeway, you'll miss it. I did.) in the rather tiny hamlet of Lake Dallas, TX, Chilitos is without question a family-run neighborhood hangout. Smallish, utilitarian dining rooms made warm by familial friendliness, it has an inviting vibe and many patrons are obviously regulars and are greeted as such by the staff. After some research, I discovered the key to getting a very good meal: integrate the food rather than eating each item separately. Example: If you were to order (as I did) the excellent carnitas, you will discover they are best enjoyed by placing the crunchy-yet-tender morsels firmly inside one of the tortillas (corn in this case; flour is also available), perhaps adding a touch of the side rice, beans, and guacamole, and topping it off with the zingy salsa, your end result is quite the quality dish. I also enjoyed homemade meatball soup, queso with beef, and the fresh chips and salsa and finished the evening's meal quite satisfied. Chris was my waiter and was quite good (he suggested the carnitas) and other family members pitched in as well during my leisurely-paced repast. No website: Please call 940 321-5522 with any questions. See if Chilitos can become your hangout as well, and remember:


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