For Anthony and Denise Sierra, California-style burritos aren't just a fast and healthy meal. They're a tribute to Mark Tryhubczak, the chef and friend who brought them together. After teaching Anthony and Denise to cook, Mark introduced the couple at his own burrito shop, Block Island Burrito Company. Together, the trio turned the fledgling business into a local gem in the early 1990s. Though Mark has sadly passed away, his legacy lives on through Anthony and Denise's joyful eatery, which helps patrons to build their own memories around plates of nachos and steaming bowls of chili. Anthony handcrafts the entire lineup of edibles each day, making every bite more refreshing than a mentholated dunk tank. Flour tortillas encase seven types of burritos, which teem with seasoned meats and colorful veggies such as bell peppers, sweet corn, and ripe red tomatoes. Instead of gift-wrapping microwaves and trimming sun rays with frosting, guests can celebrate heat waves on the patio while sipping festive margaritas and three types of sangria.
You would be hard pressed to find a can opener anywhere in the kitchen of Cilantro Mexican Grill. That's because the restaurant's chefs don't need one; they only cook with fresh ingredients. A typical day in their kitchen sees the chefs mashing the nutty flesh of ripe avocados into guacamole, slicing fresh tortillas to be fried and sprinkled with lime juice, and grilling adobo-seasoned chicken, steak, and fresh line-caught Atlantic pollock purchased from local fisherman at the docks of Point Judith, Rhode Island. Local growers get in on the action too, supplying the kitchen with tomatoes and onions. All five locations serve mason jar margaritas and craft beers with the Cranston location finding patrons sipping one of 20+ brews.
In true Mexican culinary tradition, the tortilla plays a major role at Cancun Family Mexican Restaurant, encasing an extensive selection of enchiladas, burritos, quesadillas, and chimichangas. But the menu also includes plenty of specialty entrees without corn or flour shells, such as pescado veracruz, a halibut fillet grilled with garlic and lemon and paired with rice and beans. There's also steak picado, strips of sirloin sautéed with onions and peppers, and chile verde, morsels of marinated pork loin colored with green tomatillo sauce and the rosiness of forks inflamed by the dish's spiciness.
Tortilla Flats tempts tasters with an alluring melting pot of classic Mexican eats, peppered with hints of Cajun and southwestern cuisine. Lunch and dinner patrons can sup on an eclectic array of quesadillas, sandwiches, salads, classic Mexican combination plates, and entrees. Debate the anatomical impossibilities of an order of wild boar wings (plain, buffalo, or barbecue style, $8.99) before moving on to heartier fare such as the cowboy steak tips ($14.99) or the habanero mac 'n' cheese ($13.99). Combinations of tacos, burritos, tamales, and enchiladas tantalize statisticians with a bevy of possibilities ($7.95–$9.95), and blackened catfish Naw Leens ($13.95) and Bayou Crawdad cakes ($9.50) transport taste buds to the murky environs of Cajun country, replete with Zydeco-blasting tooth accordions.
If your diet of boiled cauliflower and dry-curd cottage cheese has left you hungry for habanero-inspired anything, plunge a warm tortilla chip into the depths of the seven-layer dip ($8.99), or try the spicy shrimp "snake bite" poppers ($8.99), crisp fried jalapeño poppers stuffed with shrimp and cheese. Cactus Grille's extensive entree selection includes bejazzled burgers and other hand-held delights, such as the chipotle bacon cheeseburger ($8.49), smothered with chipotle mayo sauce, or the salmon chimichanga ($14.99) with poblano molé sauce. Other enticing options include Cactus's house-specialty barbecue ribs ($13.99 for a half rack), slow-cooked and doused with the house Mayan barbecue sauce, or the DIY filet dinner ($18.99), wherein sliced portions of filet pre-cooked rare arrives at your table along with a sizzling cast-iron platter that allows you to sear the meat to your desired degree of doneness. Mexican-dining traditionalists will enjoy the selection of burritos, enchiladas, tacos, and fajitas, while dessert-inclined diners will find solace from the fiery fare in the southern plantation key lime pie ($4.95) or cheesecake chimichanga ($4.95).
The chefs at Acapulcos Mexican Family Restaurant & Cantina aim to cook authentic Mexican dishes unaltered by any Tex-Mex influence. Their recipes reach back generations within the owners' family and several miles into their underground tortilla vaults. Spanish-speaking servers deliver simple combinations of protein or veggies, topped with vibrant sauces: carne asada steak dressed in green pepper and guacamole, tender pork loin in tomatillo sauce, chicken in chocolate mole. The chefs' adherence to tradition doesn't preclude experimentation. Case in point: the dessert burrito, a lightly fried tortilla wrapped around apple-cinnamon or creamy cheesecake filling.
Both the menu and the decor change slightly from location to location—a painting of Mexico here, a tiled mosaic there. Each one, however, has a full bar where bartenders mix margaritas and flat-screen TVs broadcasting sports overhead.