When you think of Mexican food, what comes to your mind? It can range from tacos to tamales, empanadas, burritos and more! The wide range of Mexican food is also reflected in the types of Mexican restaurants out there. Go fast food-style with Taco Bell, do it more real with El Rodeo, move on to Chubby's and finally end up at an authentic taqueria like Los Comales or Los Cuates. Tijuana Flats is a nice, family-friendly Mexican restaurant that fits more on the Taco Bell side of the world but in a good way. Inside, Tijuana Flats is brightly decorated, open and sunny, perfect for lunch. Service here is very good, you'll be asked if you need a menu or help before you even get to the counter. I've been here twice and done the burrito along with a taco. Don't miss Tijuana Flats specials like Taco Tuesdaze (2 tacos, chips and drink for $5) where you can save some money.
After you get your order in, head on over to the hot sauce bar where Tijuana Flats has eight or so spicy, sweet, fruity options depending on your mood. While this place can get busy, food service is pretty fast, your food is brought out to your table. My Mexican eats here has been consistently solid if not authentic, we're talking Tex-Mex here. Good-sized burritos, a large taco, decent queso and very nice salsa makes for an excellent lunch. The food quality is decent, you'll end up with more standard Mexican fare, i.e meals covered with shredded cheese. You won't find barracoa, lengua or el pastor tacos, just your basic chicken, beef, carnitas, fish and beans. But what Tijuana Flats does really well is service. Staff will stop by to check in on your meal, refill your drink and clear your table, stat. So while Tijuana Flats is counter-service, it's head and shoulders above most other places once your food arrives, especially compared to Moe's which can be a mess at times. Perfect for a busy family that doesn't want to spend too much but still get treated decently.
So if I compare Tijuana Flats to Taco Bell it's not in a bad way because sometimes I do get cravings for that style of American-Mexican. And in all honesty, I prefer Tijuana Flats to other places that claim to be authentic but end up doing a shoddy job at it. You can definitely do far worse than Tijuana Flats for lunch and in some cases, you really can't do better! Enjoy this Mexican chain eatery and afterwards, you can can go shopping at Trader Joe's Cary!
151 SE Cary Parkway
Cary, NC 27511
Tijuana Flats - Reviewer: Ron Wen - Rating: 3.5 out of 5 stars