TIJUANA FLATS - MEXICAN   √√√1/2




Tijuana Flats Burrito Co
180 S BELCHER RD  •  LARGO, FL 33771 - 100 Yards South on Belcher from East Bay Drive. 

In the beginning, there was light and then the guy upstairs followed up. When this place opened there was light, meaning very manly portions, fresh, hot, you order, they bring it to you and it's hot!  And if it isn't hot enough about twenty (or more) salsas/and sauces to intensify with. 

WIKI: Tijuana Flats is a "fast casual" hybrid, where customers order at the counter and seat themselves, but are served at their table afterwards. It serves burritos, chimichangas, tacos, nachos, flautas and other Mexican food. There are health options for low-fat cheese, fat-free sour cream and whole-wheat tortillas.

It also has vegetarian and "wet" options, a children's menu and take-out. As of 2008, the average check was $8 at lunch and $13 at dinner. The restaurant has 100 locations in Florida, Indiana, North Carolina, Pennsylvania and Virginia.

Tijuana Flats restaurant locations have murals and the company uses unusual slogans like "embrace the strange and unexplained" and "hot is the new cool.  The restaurants are known for their salsa bars, artwork and a hot sauce brand called "Smack My Ass & Call Me Sally.”  98 percent of revenues from the Just in Queso hot sauce are donated to charitable causes like the American Red Cross, Soldiers Angels and Frontline Head Start.  The hot sauce bar has 13 sauces and customers under eighteen years old aren't allowed at the bar.


HERO WARNING

Don't be a hero. Mr. Mestopholes invented some of these sauces. The food was done well the times we dropped in. They use the same menu for dinner and though  it was consistent in quality, it differed in presentation, sides and amounts.  Most of the time I had the Megajuana (about a pound plus Burrito) with Chicken and all the dressings, rice and beans. They also serve Beer and there are about thirty items on the menu broken into categories and sizes. 


SHORTCOMINGS
But it too has shortcomings for some:  Marketing. The menu could confuse a Rhodes Scholar.  Young “cashier-servers-waitresses” prattle off the extras, half the time they speak so fast and it's more like texting speak talk words, it's called “elocution” people not execution.   

After a while you didn’t know what the hell you ordered partially because of the fast, exciting and "texting" speech. I find this common at many food places, older folks really don't understand half of what the counter folks are saying.  I just nod my head and pray I’m getting close to what I ordered.  

I ordered the same thing all the three times as we follow a ritual to seek whether there is consistency and got three variations. Consistency would help. The food was fresh and the sauces livened up things.  They also raised their prices, and now a biggie like I ordered hits 12.00.  I can go to Carmelitas get a fresh cooked meal and served for less.

That’s a lot for beans and a few extras.  They went from a four to a three lately based on their ordering and I notice some management changes, that tells me a lot. Its common in these places but it's also sad as I really liked this joint. They are due for a makeover, remake the menu, simple it, make it easier to order. Get some good management.  Look at the simple Five Guys for an example, you don’t need a Rubicks’ cube for a menu.  

Just having a great selection of hot sauce does not make this a place to remember unless you suffer from GERD…. Never the less the place was clean, service was done fairly well, and the food was well cooked.  My biggest complaint is how they laid out their menus and planning.  It’s definitely and their website shows it for the hipsters, an older senior crowd has other places to go to.


HEALTH INSPECTIONS
The information on this page is obtained from Florida state government records and is compiled from sanitation and safety inspections of named restaurants. Each inspection report is a "snapshot" of conditions present at the time of the inspection. On any given day, an establishment may have fewer or more violations than noted in their most recent inspection. Inspections conducted on any given day may not be representative of the overall, long-term conditions at the establishment. 

Because conditions can change rapidly, establishments are not graded or rated. This webpage is not the official source of this information and should not be relied upon as such.  Source: Florida Division of Hotels and Restaurants. 


Inspection
Date and Violations

11/04/2013   5       06/06/2013   3       11/28/2012   4       08/14/2012   3       01/17/2012   3       10/28/2011   0

08/23/2011   3

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