A girl’s best traveling companion

Thank goodness for Yelp (and kudos to all you dedicated Yelpers out there). Otherwise, our drive to New Orleans might have been punctuated with unsatisfactory meals from chains or fast food  restaurants.

We enjoyed a country lunch yesterday at Ronda’s Place outside King’s Mountain, whose motto is “Come hungry, get hooked.” You can’t go wrong with fried okra, pintos and onions, green beans, hushpuppies and sweet tea.

Today’s midday meal was at the Bates House of Turkey in Greenville, Georgia, where I had a smoked turkey sandwich and we availed ourselves of the “roost area” (restrooms).

But the best Yelp find was Taqueria Iztacchihuatl in Fairburn, Georgia, just south of Atlanta. (Sorry, no website.) It wasn’t even on our hotel’s list of area restaurants so again, thank goodness for Yelp.

Mexico natives Armando and Rufina Jimenez have been operating their taqueria for about five years, but the Broad Street location we visited is relatively new. You can watch them in the open kitchen creating fresh, made-to-order dishes like tortas, flautas, enchiladas and tacos and gorditas with a variety of fillings including asada, el pastor, chorizo and lengua (tongue). Armando told us at the end of our meal that they make nearly everything from scratch, which is evident as soon as you taste their wares.

And what a first taste the not-gratis (but so worth $1.49) chips and salsa deliver! The Yelpers raved, and with good reason. Blistered and layered and lightly crunchy, we believe they were made from flour instead of corn tortillas. We literally couldn’t stop eating them.

Mom and I both got shrimp entrees — hers the shrimp quesadilla and mind the fajita-style shrimp burrito. Portions were hefty, and we could easily have split a single dish. Next time we’ll know.

I usually don’t like rice in burritos, as it just seems like cheap filler and doesn’t add great flavor or texture. But at Taqueria Iztacchihuatl the rice was mixed with some kind of creamy goodness. It tasted like mild melted cheese, but didn’t have a stringy, melted cheese consistency. I’m not sure what it was.

In addition to the yummy rice, my burrito was full of cooked-just-right shrimp, sauteed peppers and onions  (thus the fajita-style, I suppose), lettuce, cheese and tomatoes. Instead of being rolled up in a soft flour tortilla — which often gets kind of gummy — the stuffing was loosely folded up in a tortilla and then grilled. Delicious.

Unfortunately, no alcohol is served at Taqueria Iztacchihuatl, but I didn’t care once I tasted their delicious horchata (a lightly sweet kind of rice water drink with a touch of cinnamon).

We’ve made a hotel reservation in downtown Atlanta for the trip back home. I know we’ll have a good time in the city and am sure we’ll dine someplace fantastic with the guidance of Erin’s friend and Atlanta native Jill. But I’m sad about missing another chance to dine at Taqueria Iztacchihuatl.

About atarheeltastes

I'm a passionate foodie who started this "temporary" blog during a gustatory tour of Tuscany. I decided to continue, since I love to dream about, plan for, prepare, eat and write about food!
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