Cheap Bastard

Avila's Mexican Restaurant

Lunch special: Cheese enchilada with meat sauce, beef taco, rice, beans and a drink, $7.95

Parking spots out front count: 4

Front door that makes them look closed

even when they're open count: 1

My New Year's resolution is to stop going to restaurants in Dallas that blow. Next time somebody's like, "Hey, you wanna go to Bennigan's for lunch?" instead of saying, "Hell yeah. I want to burn my mouth roof on a Monte Cristo," I'm going to say, "No. Screw chain restaurants. Let's go somewhere weird, instead." And I suggest that you do the same. Sure, some people are going to tell you that they don't trust the food at smaller local joints. Let's call these people "pussies." Now, pussies are going to try to get you to go to Ghostbar instead of Lakewood Landing. They're going to tell you they know about this little spot off of Central called Taco Bueno. "They've got the best tacos in Dallas." Heck, pussies will even pick up lunch for you while you stay at work. And you can't let them. You deserve an hour-plus of good food and atmosphere. And you deserve to get it all for less than 10 bucks, dammit.

All right. So, now that we're going somewhere awesome instead of chainy, Avila's is up. Here's the plan:

You order the lunch special of a cheese enchilada, a beef taco, rice and beans, and while you wait, you eat about three bowls of chips, you chug six bowls of salsa and you pray that the waiter will come back with a refill for your water before your mouth actually bursts into salsa flames. Two seconds later, when your food arrives, the waiter tells you, "The plate is hot. Be careful," and you nod your head and touch it anyway only to burn the crap out of your hands. You take a bite of the cheese enchilada, and you decide that enchiladas are the best invention ever. You take a bite of the beef taco and wonder why beef tacos never tasted this tasty before. You kick yourself in the balls for every time you went to Taco Bell instead of coming here. Then, you get really pissed at yourself for kicking yourself in the balls because now you're doubled over on the sparkling clean floor of Avila's, and no matter how hard you reach, you're not within arm's length of your lunch. The waiter delivers the check to you, and even though you're still in pain, you smile. $7.95. Hooray for a cheap-ass.

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Alice Laussade writes about food, kids, music, and anything else she finds to be completely ridiculous. She created and hosts the Dallas event, Meat Fight, which is a barbecue competition and fundraiser that benefits the National MS Society. Last year, the event raised $100,000 for people living with MS, and 750 people could be seen shoving sausage links into their faces. And one time, she won a James Beard Award for Humor in Writing. That was pretty cool.
Contact: Alice Laussade

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