Alicia's Mexican Food and Fruiteria
2520 E. Chapman Ave.
Orange, CA 92869
It's funny how many times I leave the house thinking I am going to be going to one restaurant, then ending up in another place all together. This of course was the case on a recent Thursday morning. I was meeting up with my good friend Steve, and we were going to try a place that has a build your own breakfast burrito. Unfortunately, we did not do our homework and they only offer this on weekend mornings. Bummer! So off to Yelp I went, and I found this place nearby that got some decent reviews. That's how we arrived at Alicia's Mexican Food and Fruiteria.
I was all geared up to have a breakfast burrito, so it was not a complete shock to my system to have Mexican food at 10am. This tiny six table restaurant is located in the Ralph's shopping center, at Prospect and Chapman Avenue. You would expect a restaurant this small to have you order at a counter, but they used waiter service here, although we did have to get our own drinks at the soda machine towards the back of the restaurant. Kind of confusing, because we did not see it back there.
The menu here is filled with all the items you would expect from a casual Mexican restaurant in Southern California. Burritos, tortas, and combination plates dominate the menu, but if you dive deeper, they also offer some more exotic offerings; including lengua, vistek ranchero, and mojarra. My buddy Steve and I took sometime perusing the menu, and after a long look, this is what we ordered from it.
Before we get to what we ordered off of the menu, these tortilla chips and beans were brought out to our table. I don't know what it is about simple refried beans being added to tortilla chips, but it always makes it seem extra special to receive this instead of just a regular basket of tortilla chips. It's almost like getting an extra appetizer for free. These were pretty good. The beans could have been more evenly spread, but hey these were free, so no worries about that. They also presented us with three containers of salsa, and one of pickled carrots and peppers, which I learned is called Escabeche. As usual for me, I was more partial to the red salsas than the green. None were really too hot, but they did add flavor to what we ordered.
I really liked having breakfast/lunch with Steve because, besides the fantastic conversation, he ordered a lot of stuff, so we could see more of their menu. He started with this pretty mediocre looking Shrimp Taco ($2.25). We have to admit that when this taco came out, we were pretty disappointed. Steve thought it tasted better than it looked, and it deceptively had more shrimp than it looked like. The shrimp had a slight citrus tinge to it, and the flavor was cranked up by adding some green salsa to this.
I am convinced that no food photographs as well as Chilaquiles ($4.95). The vibrant red colors, with the white from the sour cream and cojita cheese just seems to pop off of the computer screen. These were a decent, but not great chilaquiles. The red sauce was good, but needed more depth of flavor. The chips also needed to be crisper. For the price though, this was a good sized portion. The rice and beans were good, but nothing that stood out as amazing.
Now back to Steve's portion of the meal, the Carne Asada Burrito ($4.95). Again, I was impressed with the size of this burrito for the price it was offered. This burrito was filled with steak, rice, beans, cilantro and salsa. The amount of steak here was on the plentiful side, but the rest of the contents of the burrito really lacked the wow factor.
Steve's last item of this meal was a Carnitas Quesadilla ($4.95). I really enjoyed the smokey flavor of the inside of this quesadilla. It was a nice touch having the tortilla finished on the grill, but other than that, this was just not enough to make this anything but an average quesadilla.
I guess I was really in a breakfast mood, because my other plate was the Eggs with Machaca ($5.45). It seems like so far every meal I have talked about I have been impressed with the serving size, but this will not be one of them. I thought this entree could have been bigger. The shredded meat could have been seasoned a little better, and the eggs a little more prominent. I did like the veggies here, and this dish was made better with a few spoonfuls of salsa.
Alicia's Mexican Food does have some good things going for it. The prices here are a huge draw. Almost all items are under the ten dollar mark. The portion sizes for the most part are a very good value. The food itself is good, but nothing you should drive out of your way for. Most items were good, but lacked a big pop of flavor. The service we received was pretty good, and the food came out in a timely manner. For this being our second choice for lunch/breakfast on this day, it could have turned out a lot worse.
Out of five stethoscopes, (because the three largest employers in the city of Orange are all hospitals, including the one that I was born in, St. Joesph's.), five being best to zero being worst, Alicia's Mexican Food and Fruiteria gets 2.5 stethoscopes.
For more information about Alicia's Mexican Food and Fruiteria, click here: http://platillosaludable.com/home.html