The scent of sizzling steak wafts from the kitchen at Leno's Rico Taco, a cozy Mexican eatery located near Colton High School. The spot's cooks pile that steak into warm tortillas, pairing the tacos with chopped onions, cilantro, and pickled vegetables. Visitors place their orders at a counter, savoring the aroma of carne asada as they wait to hear their numbers called.
Super Burrito has slaked spicy appetites with an expansive menu of tasty tortilla treats for more than four decades. The Bomb burrito, made with a fiery combination of pork, beef, steak, beans, rice, and sour cream ($6.95), temporarily rearranges glands so that eaters salivate salsa and sweat happiness. An array of taco options and combination plates, featuring chile rellenos, enchiladas, and tostadas ($1.95–$5), slathers tongues in piñata-pounding flavors, and smaller stomachs delight in a junior burrito combo meal ($4.75). Those scared of salsa can dive into above-the-border options such as double cheeseburgers ($3), corndogs ($1.25), or encyclopedias of presidential nicknames.
In 1975, Rosina Gallardo, a native of Zacatecas, Mexico, opened her first Amapola Rico Taco. Initially a drive-in, the eatery has since transformed into five restaurants with indoor seating and drive-thru windows. Rosina's dedication to popular and lesser-known Mexican flavors, however, remains unchanged. She fills burritos and soft-shell tacos with not only classic meats such as steak and pork, but also with goat, beef head, and beef tongue. Other Mexican staples such as cheese enchiladas and breakfast platters of huevos rancheros round out the menu.
Years ago, Guadalupe Robles used to pack burritos in her husband's lunch when he went off to work in the orange groves of Highland. She even wrapped a few for his coworkers, too. The affectionate gesture sparked a nearly 40-year career that would end in four restaurant locations, each spotlighting Mexican entrees of tacos, enchiladas, and tostadas. The Robles family still mans the kitchen, hand-dipping the peppers that make chile relleno and flattening out homemade tortillas. Today, their largest burrito wouldn't fit inside a lunch box—it feeds up to 60 people with 6 feet of expertly wrapped beans and meat, available for catering. The dine-in menu, meanwhile, features the signature garbage burrito, so named for the fact that Oscar the Grouch eats 20 every day.
Drumrolls of snapping oil drift from skillets full of onions, beef tongue, and shrimp at El Chilitos Mexican Restaurant. Melting cheese in quesadillas and seafood enchiladas slips out into air tinged with the scents of cumin, garlic, and chilis. The staff blends Mexican and American influences in in dishes such as carne asada fries, which arrive under layers of cheese and marinated steak, and marinated shrimp and fish tacos utilize the bounty of the sea, much like Robinson Crusoe building a fax machine from kelp.
Tio’s flips inactive stomachs into full digestion mode with a menu of Mexican cooking designed to cure hunger from morning until night. Guests can subtly spice up evening dishes such as the two cheese enchiladas ($6.99) or the carne asada ($8.59) by adding hot sauce or reciting risqué historical limericks, or combine a jumbo bag of chips ($7) with hard-shell tacos ($2.09+), lovingly encasing tender beef, chicken, or carne asada. Despite all odds, beef tostadas ($4.99) successfully pair red meat and crispy tortillas, and a plate of huevos rancheros ($5.49) or a sausage burrito ($4.49) keeps morning appetites from commandeering the neighbor's waffle iron. Replete with cozy décor that reflects the owners’ heritage, Tio’s gives off tastily relaxed vibes.