100 Favorite Dishes: Chimichanga From Aleyda's Tex-Mex Restaurant

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As a countdown to the Best Of Broward Palm Beach 2010, coming in May, Clean Plate Charlie is serving up a hundred of our favorite dishes in South Florida. Send your own nominations to John.Linn@BrowardPalmBeach.com.

No. 65: Chimichanga from Aleyda's Tex-Mex Restaurant

Despite the fact that you can now get fairly authentic Mexican food at a few ethnic eateries in Broward and Palm Beach, there's still a warm, cholesterol-laden place in our hearts for quality Tex-Mex of the bean- and cheese-covered variety. West Palm Beach's Aleyda's is like the de facto standard by which other Tex-Mex eateries are judged. The huge, pastel-colored restaurant is a rambling stretch of old corridors and stucco -- it doesn't look a bit changed since its debut in the mid-'70s. As such, it feels like the ultimate "just north of the border" escape, especially when aided by a frosty pitcher of margaritas and a plate slathered in beans, cheese, rice, and a tortilla-based substrate that probably includes a combination of all three. Of all the dishes, the chimichanga -- that bastard child of Tex-Mex cuisine -- hits closest to home: infant-sized and impeccably deep-fried, a bursting bomb of starch and either shredded chicken or ground beef. Crusty, gooey, cheesy, meaty... this chimichanga has it all. Just bring an empty belly and a pack of antacids.    

Previous 100 Favorite Dishes:
No. 66: Chicago dog from Hot Dog Heaven
No. 67: Lobster bomb from Galanga
No. 68: Wheat chiabatta from Gran Forno
No. 69: Fried chicken from Fran's Chicken Haven
No. 70: Salsa from Zona Fresca
No. 71: Falafel from Sunrise Pita
No. 72: Golden crab curry from Bamboo Fire
No. 73: Grilled squid from Sushi Bon
No. 74: Beef pho from Basilic Vietnamese Grill
No. 75: Stuffed poblano from Canyon
No. 76: Raja tamales from Chini's Burritos
No. 77: Udon soup from Sushi 1
No. 78: Steak fries from Maguires Hill 16
No. 79: Cheese steak from Sonny's Famous Steak Hogies
No. 80: Sliders from Zed451
Favorite Dishes No. 81 through No. 100
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