Tijuana Flats Restaurant Review

Category : Mexican

Tijuana Flats - view from the outsideIt would be a sin not to go to a Mexican restaurant on Cinco de Mayo. To be faithful to our cause of finding the best appropriate food, Taste critics Todd and Brandon venture out to new territory and explore a new find… Tijuana Flats.

Located on the north side of a busy section of Sunrise Blvd about a mile north of downtown Fort Lauderdale sits this Mexican restaurant, nestled in a plaza with a handful of other shops.

From the outside, it is an unsuspecting typical shop, however on the inside it has a fun charisma and a colorful ambiance.  The decoration looks more like a keg party on a Friday night than it does an elegant Florida nightspot, but I think it matches the casual atmosphere.

Tijuana Flats
Website: Yes
Phone: (954) 463.3480
City: Fort Lauderdale
Location (map): Sunrise Blvd
Delivery: No
Outdoor seating: Yes
Lunch $: $6-$9 approx.
Dinner $: same

The menu is focused exclusively on Mexican cuisine and they have quite a variety of dishes and entrees.  They also offer a handful of different kinds of beer.  You can view their full menu here.

Pricing is good with most items falling between $6 and $7.  There is outdoor seating but its really just a couple of tables out front with a view of a heavily trafficked Sunrise Blvd.

Todd reviews the Chicken and Bean Burrito:

Tijuana Flats - Chicken and bean burrito, Tijuana sizedCinco De Mayo…. Corona, chips and salsa and of course a Burrito!  What better way to participate!

When you walk into a Tijuana Flats the menus are waiting for you at the front door.  You  browse what you want and then proceed a few paces forward and make your order.  The menu seems pretty straight forward with a variety of burritos, quesadillas, nachos, tacos and more.  Nothing beats a hearty burrito though, so I got a Chicken and Bean Burrito.

For $7.61 (post tax) you get a “Tijuana” sized (medium) burrito and chips.  The burrito comes fully loaded with extras, including cheese, onions, lettuce, jalapenos, sour cream, tomatoes and black olives.  I got it all except the olives.  They even offer a few variety of toppings that go on top… salsa, queso, chipotle red sauce and Verde sauce.

My burrito (like most) have the tortilla stacked up on the ends with all the tasty stuff toward the middle.  So the first couple bites were lackluster.  However once I got into the real part of the burrito, the flavors started to show themselves.  The refried beans were very smooth and had a consistency similar to guacamole and really enhanced the burrito.  The variety of hot sauces from the hot bar gave the burrito the extra zing it needed to satisfy my desire for spicy food.  Overall it was a good burrito with no real weakness.

Of the several Mexican places I’ve tried recently (Moe’s, Chipolte and La Salsa), Tijuana Flats offers the best tasting food.  While the burrito was solid, the chips that came with it needed salsa which is not served at the hot bar or given with the meal.  Thanksfully Brandon got his salsa to top his burrito with on the side and I was able to use some.

Todd’s Score: 84/100
Pros: nice extras, good portions, good prices. Hot Bar is a great idea.
Cons: Chips were plain with no salsa.

Brandon reviews the Beef Burrito:

Tijuana Flats – Beef burrito, Tijuana sizedTodd and I have driven past Tijuana Flats on Sunrise Blvd several times on the way to review various other restaurants but I never thought twice about eating there until a friend of mine  so enthusiastically recommended them the other day. I’m glad I took his advice and decided to give it a try.

In general, Mexican food is not my forte. I eat it on occasion but never go out of my way or suggest it when thinking about what to eat for lunch or dinner. Of course the one exception to this rule is a place called Burrito Bros which is located in Gainesville Florida near the University of Florida campus. That place has the absolute best burritos I’ve ever had and I used to eat there frequently while attending school. Having said that, the beef burrito I had at Tijuana flats was the closest thing I’ve had to Burrito Bros since moving out of Gainesville 15 years ago.

After ordering, the burrito arrived hot with a firm flour tortilla and loaded on the inside with beef, cheese, onions, lettuce and sour cream (I ordered without tomatoes, jalapenos or black olives). There were several sauce choices available when ordering and I went for the Chipolte sauce, but on the side since I wasn’t sure how it would be and there were a plethora of other sauce options available at a “sauce stand” in the back of the restaurant that I wanted to sample as well. After the first few bites I knew I had a winner. The burrito was exactly the way I like it – ground beef (not strips of beef), firm tortilla, the perfect amounts of sour cream and cheese. It was delicious. I did like the chipolte sauce and a few of the other sauce options I tried, but none of them came close to the sauce that Burrito Bros is known for.  I’ve already decided to have some of that sauce shipped to me and then use it on the Tijuana Flats burrito next time I eat there – that would make for a truly exceptional burrito.  Even without the “perfect sauce” option, I was still impressed and pleasantly surprised at how good Tijuana Flats is – this coming from someone not big on Mexican food in general.

Brandon’s Score: 89/100
Pros: Best burrito outside of Gainesville; cool atmosphere; large selection of items
Cons: A little pricey if you order with beer :)

Tijuana Flats – It's Cinco De Mayo Tijuana Flats – Hot Bar for hot sauces Tijuana Flats - indoor seating area

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