When I first relocated to South Jersey in the 1990s I asked a few co-workers where I could grab some great Mexican food.
They answered in unison, "Chi-Chi's!"
I thought the answer was funny, yet wildly inaccurate.
Looking back, maybe it was more accurate than I thought. The food served then at Chi-Chi's was more Americanized than true Mexican food, but today, it's really what we all have chosen to be Mexican food - right or wrong.
(For you youngins, Chi-Chi's was in fact a fun place to go and eat, but some bad lettuce brought down the entire restaurant chain.)
Anyway, while munching my burrito bowl today (again, maybe not accurate for actual Mexican food), I started to think there are a bunch of pretty good places where I can snag food like this for lunch.
So, again, maybe not true Mexican, but it's close enough for us.
Here's where to go to grab a burrito, taco, or more for lunch.
1. Chipotle in Egg Harbor Township. Somers Point, and Mays Landing.
When my kids were little this was the place they always wanted to go when we were on road trips. I wasn't a fan. Fast forward a couple dozen years, they've grown up and I now find I actually dig the place. (Well, except for that time they ran out of forks.)
2. Chido Burrito in Northfield.
Think Chipotle but different. Different how? Well, actually I don't know. To me, they're pretty close to the same. (If you're the owner of the Chido Burrito you're probably swearing at me, but I just don't know, and that's not a knock.)
3. Bubbakoo's Burritos in Northfield.
Honestly, I've only been there once, and that was when they first opened earlier in 2022. Cool, fun little place that serves made-to-order burritos, tacos, and such. Hmmm, yes, like the above two other places.
4. Moe's in Mays Landing.
They've been around for a while, right? They serve made-to-order burritos, tacos, and such. Wait.......
5. Tacos El Tio in Egg Harbor Township.
OK. They are different. Plenty of Mexican dishes to choose from. I've been there dozens of times and I'm never disappointed. I can almost see my house from their parking lot, so that's cool, too!
6. La Mesa in Galloway Township.
This is one of those places I keep thinking, "I need to get back there again." A nice variety of Mexican dishes that go beyond the traditional burritos, tacos and such. (It'll have to be a late lunch because they don't open until 3 pm.
7. Mr. Gordo's in Ventnor.
Throw a wrench in your same-ol-lunch plans and walk into Mr. Gordo's. Not only do they serve lunch, but they also serve brunch! Isn't that special - and unexpected! About as close to authentic Mexican food as you're going to find.
Yeah, I probably missed your favorite joint, right?