Rosita's Restaurant & Catering
4906 Maple Ave.
Dude Factor: 8, or "Cantinflas" on a scale of 1 ("Carlos Mencia") to 10 ("Cheech Marin")
Looking to try something new for a cheap and fast lunch, an amigo and I decided to try out Rosita's. The joint is just minutes from the Observer offices, and its tacky, brightly painted exterior practically screams, "Cheap Mexican food here!"
We were drawn like moths to a front-porch bug-zapper.
Inside, the place is just as colorful: Strings of Christmas lights and random vaquero paraphernalia including spurs, branding irons and an impressive set of steer horns. It didn't look like Rosita's would be hosting a PETA meeting anytime soon, and the menu bolstered this impression.
Not only is the place loaded with kitsch, but meat as well. Rosita's offers only three meals under the "For The Vegetarian" category. All three include cheese, and one comes with boiled eggs. Be warned, Veggie Girl, this might just be the least vegan-friendly restaurant in Dallas. "Lite Lunches" included a hamburger basket, Mexican tortas and a taco salad in which the first three ingredients listed are ground beef, cheddar cheese and boiled egg. That's my kind of diet food.
Warm chips are served in what looked like a metal dog-food bowl, along with some serviceable salsa. I opted for one of the $4.60 lunch specials, a beef burrito served with rice and refried beans. My 'mano ordered beef enchiladas and specified that the cook 86 the onions.
A few minutes after we finished off the first bowl of chips, our food arrived. "Enchiladas--with extra onions," the server joked as she placed my bud's plate in front of him, then giggled at our confused expressions.
Mine was about as perfect as a $5 lunch can be. In other words, Jared can cram the five-dollar foot-long. The beef was flavorful and came with just the right amount of tomato, lettuce and onion--you know, enough to add color without distracting you from the dish. The rice did exactly what rice should do at a Tex-Mex restaurant: sit there looking orange, minding its own business until it was needed to provide filler and stretch out the portion of delicious, greasy frijoles.
Nothing on the menu cost more than $9.95. My lunch, including a cold Negra Modelo and a tip for our server/jokester, came to $10 and change. The place also offers a breakfast buffet and a lunch all-you-can-eat deal that looked mighty tempting.
My buddy was even more impressed by the amateur act outside.
"Did you hear about the baby that had the case of beer fall on him?" asked a random homeless-looking guy wandering in the parking lot. "He was able to just catch it and push it aside so it didn't hurt him. What saved his life is that it was light beer."
I was still inside and missed the performance. Oh well--he seemed to hang around there a lot, so I'll catch it next time I go. Which will be soon, I hope.