Downtown diversity

By on February 3, 2016

New Mexican restaurant is a great addition to the Lititz culinary experience

Downtown Lititz has its share of unique food choices, but we could always use a few more. Right now there’s a lot of buzz about Chilangos Authentic Mexican Restaurante, which just opened at 56 N. Broad St.

I’ve already visited and enjoyed their food a few times, but I was on a mission last Saturday, on assignment for the Record Express. I would review every aspect of my dining experience, from the second I walked in the door, ‘til the moment I left, all in the name of research of course.

Walking in, I was immediately greeted by a friendly employee as I took a seat at the counter for a late lunch. It was around 2 p.m. and there was a steady stream of customers, and the phone rang at least four times for take-outs.

As I perused the extensive menu, my eyes stopped at “tacos.” No surprise there. Who doesn’t love tacos?

Available in asada (beef), chorizio (sausage), al pastor (pineapple seasoned pork), carne enchilada (seasoned pork), cocina (salted beef), or lengua (beef tongue), each comes topped with diced onion, cilantro, and a wedge of fresh lime. Feeling a bit adventurous, I decided on the beef tongue.

After looking over the rest of menu, I also decided on the chorizio (spicy Mexican sausage) burrito, which comes with refried beans, seasoned rice, and cheese. The finished plate is also complimented with lettuce and a side of sour cream. It was a tough choice considering all the options on the menu ==; salads, tamales, nachos, dinner platters, fajitas. The list goes on.

To wash it all down, they carry “aguas frescas” (homemade fresh water), Mexican Coca-Cola, smoothies, and plenty of other popular soft drinks.

 

Complimentary fresh chips and house-made salsa. (Photos by Cory Van Brookhoven)

Complimentary fresh chips and house-made salsa. (Photos by Cory Van Brookhoven)

 

Within two minutes of placing my order, a large basket of complimentary chips and salsa was brought out and placed in front of me. The chips were warm and crispy with a robust corn taste. The salsa had a rich red color and some zip, as well as a bit of sweetness.

I wasn’t even halfway finished with my chips when the taco arrived. It was prepared on a soft corn tortilla and topped with diced onion, cilantro, radish and cucumber. A squeeze of lime is a must. Red and green salsas are also available as condiments. The red has some serious heat.

I folded it in proper taco form and went in for the first bite. The tongue was tasty and firm, and the veggies added a nice crunch and a fresh dimension. The corn tortilla was durable yet soft, and had a hearty taste.

 

Beef tongue taco makes a great appetizer.

Beef tongue taco makes a great appetizer.

 

The main attraction was next.

My burrito was presented on a bed of lettuce, arranged on an oval plate with sour cream. Fork and knife in hand, I sliced into its inviting girth and was not disappointed with what was packed inside. The confluence of Mexican sausage, cheese and refried beans greeted me with open arms. Delicioso y grande! This burrito measured about a foot (or 30.48 centimeters for our Canadian readers). Add the red (hot) or green (mild) chili sauces for an extra boost of flavor. Both sauces are available upon request.

While I was eating, the head chef (and co-owner), Erik, walked over to make sure I was having a great culinary experience. I assured him that I was very happy. I was especially impressed by this gesture since he didn’t know me from Adam, and he certainly didn’t know that I was planning to write about my meal for the newspaper. This small bit of customer service makes a big difference when it comes to a restaurant. He wanted to make sure I was happy, and I could tell by the tone of his voice that he was sincere. During our brief discussion, he told me that business has been great since they opened, especially during lunch hours.

 

And the main event: Mexican sausage burrito with sour cream.

And the main event: Mexican sausage burrito with sour cream.

 

After (barely) finishing my entire meal (as well as the chips and salsa), I was satisfied and stuffed, and ready for a siesta. But one more surprise awaited — the bill.

My entire check, along with a soft drink and tax, came to only $11.51. For all that I ordered, and based on the freshness and quality of the food, this was quite a bargain, and a welcome addition to our great downtown.

So, the next time you find yourself hungry in Lititz and want to try something unique, stop into Chilagnos. You won’t be disappointed.

Business hours are Monday through Thursday, 10 a.m. to 9 p.m.; Friday and Saturday, 10 a.m. to 10 p.m.; and Sunday, 9 a.m. to 8 p.m.

Cory Van Brookhoven is a freelance feature writer for the Record Express. He welcomes reader feedback at coryvb@hotmail.com.

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