When it comes to Tex-Mex, I live by the philosophy “judge a joint by its tacos.” Let me tell you, Chilada’s authentic tacos truly speak for themselves. Only two weeks ago, Lovers Lane in University Park welcomed the second location of Chilada’s, serving fresh and fast Mexican fare.
The storefront grill boasts a very clean and vibrant atmosphere both inside and out. During the peak business hours, the enclosed patio serves as a quieter option with the luxury of sliding glass garage doors for cooler temps. What a great place to sit and hangout with friends on Mondays, when margaritas are $2 all day!
Walk past the plethora of booths and tables towards the ramp leading you to the menu and counter. As I perused the menu, I noticed the funky chalkboard wall covered in fun designs, specials, and ideas for meals! With the option of staying in or ordering to go, Chilada’s has food covered for everyone. There’s even a side door entrance just for quick pick-ups! I ordered a little bit of everything in order to experience the fresh ingredients that are prepared daily and discarded if not used during work hours. Immediately after ordering, freshly baked chips and signature tomatillo and Roma tomato salsas are brought to the table free of charge! The upfront service is speedy and with a smile, which says a lot about a quick service restaurant.
The quality of the overall experience was so high that I was surprised when I wasn’t offered a chip refill and my table hadn’t been cleared after an hour or so even during a slow shift. Upon receiving my lunch, I had to take a second to appreciate the amazing smells and traditional presentation. A highlight of my taste fest include the Brisket Tacos that have been slow roasted for 14 hours topped with cilantro, cheddar, and bacon all on soft white corn tortillas. You can also change it up by ordering each taco from the menu if you want to taste the other farm to table ingredients. The Black Bean & Avocado Ensalada was large, spicy, and full of creamy avocado slices and grilled vegetables. They even threw in marinated, slow roasted grilled chicken on top without charge! For your information, the meat is a mixture of white and dark chicken, so be prepared if you have a favorite. The enchiladas are hand rolled with made-from scratch sauces. The Mexican slaw is tasty on shrimp tacos, but not worth being a side dish. The black beans are spicy, refreshing, and a great compliment to the green chile rice.
If you are in the mood for Happy Hour, come visit Monday through Friday from 4-7 p.m. for discounted domestics, bottle imports, margaritas, and the special Chilada beer! Dip your chips in guacamole or make it loaded, and finish with a kick by enjoying a spicy chipotle brownie.
Chilada’s Fresh Mex Grill is open seven days a week (11 a.m. – 9 p.m.), and features a weekend brunch (9 a.m. – 1 p.m.)
(Even though this review and meal came out of my own pocket, Chilada’s definitely knows how to keep me coming back for more!)