The sad thing about Wholly Frijoles (and trust us, sad things are few and far between here) is that it's such a treacherous haul. This Mexican grill sits on one of the most remote stretches of Touhy that we've discovered. (It's sandwiched between a Chinese dive and a Dunkin Donuts in a patch of strip mall madness.) We really don't care, though. With intensely rustic food like this, it's worth all the gas dollars in the world.
Upon entering, the first thing that's apparent is that you're in for a serious wait (the foodies are onto this joint), unless you arrive early in the day, say, 11 a.m. Eager diners line up for the bountiful baskets of warm tortilla chips with lip-smacking salsa, refreshing cinnamon iced-tea, fresh mango smoothies and the fantastic housemade horchata...and it only gets better from there.
The meat and poultry (try the breaded pork loin with chipolte mashed potatoes, $10.95) dishes are all heavy on the portion size and seem to have a Mexican-country-food flair to them. All of the seafood options (go for anything with red snapper) are insanely fresh and light. The creamy tortilla soup is out-of-this-world, and the house salad is a springy, coleslaw-like concoction with buttermilk dressing that is surprisingly addictive. Tacos, burritos and Mexican sandwiches are all on the cheapo side, and you'd be hard pressed to finish any of these meals in one sitting.
Desserts like fresh mango cheesecake with raspberry puree and upside down pineapple cake with caramel sauce top the list of dessert selections and going back to the original problem: We know the trek up north is worth it, but why not toss up a city-side Frijoles? Pretty please?
Note: There is a BYOB policy, but due to the overwhelming crowds, they have to curb your drinking (and lounging) to no more than two drinks per person. Now that's a serious, we're-busy-as-hell, statement.
Average cost: $10-$20
Centerstage Reviewer: Misty Tosh