Friday, November 5, 2010


Savvy Dallas food folk know their taquerias. They can see through the folderol of twelve-dollar fajitas and the folly of enchiladas antisepticas offered by far too many chains. They know that great Mexican food can be found just about anywhere in our fair city, be it strip mall, hole-in-the-wall, or gas station. In the latter category, longtime aficionados wax rhapsodic about Fuel City’s tacos, while the Lake Highlands crowd knows all about Good 2 Go Tacos. Believe it or not, north Plano sports an excellent gas station establishment, Chitos Mexican Restaurant, tucked in behind a Chevron station on Legacy Drive. I first visited Chitos about a year ago amidst rumors that they had some of the best tostadas in the Metroplex, and I decided recently to see firsthand if they were still holding down the quality fort.

Gabriel and Sandra Correa bought Chitos just over a year ago, and immediately set out to make warm, familial service a hallmark of the place, while maintaining excellence in the culinary category. After greeting and seating me, I was handed a menu, where I was delighted to find that the prices were still quite low, with most offerings under $10. I knew that Horchata Agua Fresca would make an excellent accompaniment to the spicy fare, and I ordered one. Loaded with cinnamon and spices and generously portioned, this fresca was large enough to sustain me throughout the meal, and I took home plenty besides. Chips and salsa tasted fresh, and the salsa had a delightful tang. After due perusal, I decided to order a pollo tostada and my waiter’s recommendation of Asado De Puerco Rojo. I was also considering a sopa, but my genial waiter stopped me by asking, “Are you sure? This is a lot of food. You can always order it later if you are still hungry.” I really appreciated his honesty, and decided to wait.

In short order, my tostada was brought, and I was delighted to find it still piled high with freight: fresh chicken, lettuce, tomatoes, beans, crema, and queso fresco. All these ingredients served quite well to highlight the chicken rather than mask it, particularly the queso fresco. I also used the jalapeno and tomatillo salsas my waiter brought to good effect, sparingly so that just a touch of heat was added. Very large and crunchy, it would have made an excellent lunch if I had eaten the whole thing, but I wanted to save room for the Puerco. Outstanding pork with a pastor flavor was presented in a fiery red sauce with excellent rice and beans, making for one of the most savory, sumptuous Mexican meals I’ve had in a long time. No salsa necessary for this dish, as each bite was full of roasted sweet heat. Again, portions were quite generous, so there was a lot to take home, and as my waiter suggested, I didn’t need to add a sopa.

Service throughout was family gracious, and the chef herself stopped by to make sure I had enjoyed everything. This meal was proof that at Chitos you can fill your stomach as well as your car, and both will be quite content.