So.. I definitely saved the best for last. This is Tijuana Flats, and I think it’s the best Tex Mex chain around. The chain was created by Brian Wheeler, a former marketing student at the University of Central Florida. After spending lots of time in bars, he begged his folks for a couple dozen thousand dollars. He put it towards the first Tijuana Flats in Winter Park, Florida. All I have to say is: Thank you, Mr. and Mrs. Wheeler. The menu selection here is amazing, as well as the portions. They serve the best taco salad in a multigrain shell, and the chips are seasoned with awesomeness. What makes Tijuana Flats the greatest is it’s restaurant feel. It’s fast food, but sit down and enjoy it like a restuarant fast food. They have waitresses who refill drinks, greeters at the door, and phenomonal service all around. The environment also takes the taco (not cake…taco). All the walls are muraled, photoed, stickered, etc. to create the loudest environment possible. The hot sauce bar also beats Moe’s salsa bar. To death. They offer dozens of sauces at a long table of sauce pumps, including one of the hottest in the world. In an unfortunate incident, I somehow squirted this sauce on my exposed leg. My skin, on my leg, burned for four hours. They sell a complete line of award winning hot sauces, so you can squirt it on your legs whenever you want!
An up and coming Tex Mex burrito bar, Machismo, has also sprung up in Virginia Beach, Norfolk, and Pennyslvania with franchising still available. Their big thing: VEGANISM. That’s hardcore. I’ve yet to try it, but will definitely keep an eye out.