Anita’s Mexian Grill may be one of the more difficult places to go for a meal.
It’s not because the restaurant lacks space. There are thirteen tables and a narrow dining bar, and it’s bright with the colors of the Mexican flag on the wall, chrome on the table legs and purple seat covers.
But there is only one entrance to the narrow, uneven parking lot that serves its location. Miss the entry and you will do not one, but two U-turns to get back. It’s a pain, but the food is worth the trouble.
Service and presentation here are fast and basic. Plastic trays, baskets and cutlery, and a walk-up-and-order-it-yourself window are what you’ll find. But the food makes up for the plain yet clean surroundings. It’s Cal-Mex and Tex-Mex, served hot and fresh from a large kitchen. And there is a salsa bar off to the side of the dining area, with condiments for customizing your order.
Anita’s starts the day with breakfast burritos: eggs, American ham and cheese, chorizo, huevos rancheros, and a treat you won’t find at your average fast food joint: machaca: reconstituted dried beef, similar to beef jerky. The Mexican version is made with chiles, and often served with eggs, onions and peppers for breakfast.
Lunch and dinner selections include more burritos, tacos and fajitas filled with beef, pork, chicken, chorizo, fish or vegetables. The machaca makes an appearance again, this time in a torta (sandwich). There are combination platters featuring carne asada, camarones (shrimp) rancheros, carnitas, quesadillas, tostadas and enchiladas.
Prices are only slightly higher than fast food nearby, and you’re getting from-scratch food for the price. Breakfast burritos are $3.50 to $6, single tacos $2 each, tortas are $5.50, combination platters $6-$8, and most other items $3.50-$5.50. There are also daily specials, and those prices vary.
The fast food frenzy in the area has been more than matched by the empty storefronts, dismal reminders of the retailers who have not made it in this tough economy. Anita’s is conveniently located by I-95, and appears to have no problem staying busy, despite the slight challenge of the parking lot.
Anita’s Mexican Grill, 2118 Okeechobee Blvd., West Palm Beach, FL. Phone (561) 296-1474. Open Monday through Thursday 8 a.m. to 9 p.m. and Friday through Sunday 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. Children’s menu and takeout available.