Best Mexican Restaurant (2004)

Avila's Mexican Restaurant

Yeah, yeah, we know. This is Tex-Mex, not true Mexican cuisine. With food this good, though, why be so persnickety? This tiny restaurant in a brightly painted converted house on Maple Avenue has all we expect in a Mexican joint--tasty, cheesy enchiladas, fiery salsa, creamy guacamole and rich tortilla soup--plus it offers something we don't expect. You can actually eat a full meal here and walk away without that heavy lump in your stomach that we call Tex-Mex belly. Lighter on salt and grease than typical Tex-Mex fare, Avila's food nevertheless is full-flavored and rich. Try the chicken enchiladas with tomatillo sauce--even avid calorie counters won't feel too guilty. The recipes are variations of the dishes Anita Avila and her husband used to cook for their houseful of guests, says son Ricky, who works there along with his mother and brother Octavio. A mother's touch--that must be what makes the food so special.

Readers' Pick

Luna de Noche

Various locations

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