Family Dining: Azteca

The friendly smiles of the wait staff, tiled tables and warm yellow walls welcome families at Azteca, but it’s the authentic cuisine that keeps them coming back time and again. Whether you’re celebrating Cinco de Mayo on May 5 or a birthday in the family, Azteca is a terrific place to bring the gang.

It’s a popular place for my husband, daughter and I to meet friends. On a recent Sunday night, we scanned the extensive menu as our drinks and freshly made chips, salsa, and pico de gallo were brought to the table. If guacamole is a family fave at your house, be sure to try the thick and flavorful guac made tableside at Azteca. It’s delicious, but I’m the only avocado fan in our family.

In addition to small and large combinations of burritos, enchiladas, chimichangas, tacos and tostadas, the menu features a long list of beef, chicken, seafood and vegetarian specialty dishes served with beans and rice. Be forewarned: The servings are quite large.

My husband ordered the steak fajitas, and as always, gobbled them down. Our daughter enjoyed the deluxe chicken burrito. I ordered Azteca’s signature entrée Arroz Con Pollo — chicken with fresh mushrooms, onions and green peppers on rice with melted Monterrey Jack cheese, smothered in sauce and served with warm tortillas. I took a third of it home for lunch the next day. Our friends raved about the Carnitas De Res — top sirloin steak with peppers and onions sautéed in sauce and served with rice, beans, cactus salad, guacamole and warm tortillas.

The dessert menu doesn’t disappoint and includes 11 choices of mouth-watering combinations of fruit, cinnamon, ice cream and lightly fried tortillas. A favorite with restaurant regulars is the Xango — cheesecake wrapped in a pastry tortilla, lightly fried, and then dusted with cinnamon and sugar. Complimentary for all eat-in diners is a plate of sopapillas — crispy honey-coated tortillas topped with strawberry sauce, sugar and cinnamon.

The Chow Down: 7340 Smith Corners Blvd.; also at 116 E. Woodlawn Drive and 9709 E. Independence Blvd., Matthews
Dollar Deal: $3.95-$13.95
Atmosphere/Décor: Bright, casual, Old-world Spanish
Kids’ Menu: $2.75-$5 for chicken tenders, cheeseburger, grilled cheese sandwich, hamburger, enchilada, quesadilla and tacos.
Amenities: Booster seats and high chairs; diaper-changing stations in restrooms.
Got Juice/Milk: Yes
Phone: 704-598-4068
Web Site: