In Search of a Killer Taco at Chini's Burritos
|The fish tacos at Chini's Burritos in Coral Springs are excellent.|
My recent visit to El Zocalo in Margate left me with an unsated craving for some badass tacos -- I felt like Chris Farley in full Chicago Bears regalia (swap the "Polish sausage" for some "chorizo," "Ditka" with "Cutler," and the transformation would be complete). Instead of trolling my usual haunts, I decided to investigate another westerly spot: Chini's Burritos, a hole-in-the-wall in a run-down Coral Springs strip mall.
The four-table restaurant is barely more than a lunch counter, and the menu didn't seem like much to look at either. I perused the list of "famous" burritos, filled with the usual suspects: taco plates with lettuce, tomato and cheese; quesadillas with chicken and steak' and enchilladas in salsa roja, and felt unimpressed. But the specials board on the wall next to the register listed some more interesting fare. There were chicken empanadas, tamales rajas, chicken with mole poblano, sweet bunuelos with cinnamon sugar, and pork and fish tacos Oaxacan-style. I ordered some fish tacos from the round, smiling lady behind the counter for $6.49, and three of the queso fresco- and jalapeno-stuffed tamales for $5.49. Chips and two kinds of salsa -- a spicy one made from dried red chillies and a mild, green tomatillo -- were $2.49 on the side. Sack in hand, I was good to go.
Chini's prides itself on using only fresh ingredients. When I asked if the corn tortillas were homemade, the afable counter lady laughed. "Of course!" she said. "Everything we serve is." From the look of the fat, thick totopes, they don't even buy in their corn chips, like most places do. Those robust chips are fried from Chini's own corn tortillas.