Food Porn: Arriba Tortilla

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UPDATE: We revisited the restaurant in January of 2011 and again had a pretty good meal.  While the price was a little expensive the queso dip was delicious, the burrito was gigantic and worth the 8 dollars (I would get something besides beef next time) and their tacquitos were just alright.  Definitely has it’s ups and downs but if you are looking for Mexican in the south-towns and can’t drive to El Canelo, I can’t think of a better place.  Pictures are in the gallery below..

Occasionally I will go out to eat on just a whim; a combination of circumstance and hunger can lead to pleasant surprise of a meal.  On a trip back from Jersey Shore (PA), my brother and I decided to stop for lunch in East Aurora (the final leg of our trip).  Originally we were going to make a quick stop at the newest Mighty Taco location but as we crept into village of East Aurora I remembered another Mexican restaurant that actually had some “authentic” offerings (note: I do love Mighty Taco, don’t get me wrong).  Our own graphic design artist Lauren has always talked highly of Arriba Tortilla and for some reason I have never visited, but when I approached I made the gut decision and pulled into the parking lot.

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Walking inside you get that “Mexican village” atmosphere with the decorative blankets and the Mexican music playing.  My brother and I visited on a Wednesday around noon, so it was a bit quiet when we walked in.  In what seems like a Mexican restaurant tradition, we were served with a complimentary dish of freshly cooked Corn Tortillas and some salsa that was on the sweet side.  This is (sadly) one of my favorite experiences when going out to eat, free food.

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After looking over the menu I decided on the Flautas, a dish that Alli had really enjoyed at Hamburg’s Coyote Cafe. Flautas are deep fried Tortillas, that apparently only come in three’s, and are filled with a type of meat and various cheeses.  In Arriba’s version they were also filled with sweet corn.  While my brother wasn’t a fan of the corn, I thought it was a very nice addition and provided the dish with a really sweet taste.  There were the typical sides of cream cheese, guacamole, pico de gallo and jalapeno jelly.  The jelly (not pictured) was amazing; the same texture and sweetness of jam that you would spread on toast.  To be honest, however, I didn’t taste any jalapeno, nor did I notice any heat.  But if you are into a sweet spreadable condiment, I would recommend ordering a side, regardless of what entree you decide on.

To paraphrase a Jim Gaffigan joke, the more and more I think about it, it seems to me that 99% of Mexican cuisine (at least in this area) is a tortilla with meat and cheese.  We live several thousand miles away from the Mexican border, so it’s understandable that we have inferior “authentic” Mexican cuisine compared to states like California or Texas.  However, we do have some really good restaurants that serve their own versions of many Hispanic dishes.  I still have faith that I will find a Mexican restaurant that will blow my socks off.  Gramma Mora’s, The Niagara Cafe, Salsarita’s and El Canelo all remain on my “must try” list, and hopefully one of those will really stand out.  But as of right now, Coyote Cafe and Arriba were both nice restaurants, but nothing has converted my taste buds yet.

Photo Gallery:

Arriba Tortilla on Urbanspoon

5 thoughts on “Food Porn: Arriba Tortilla

  1. Kelly

    I have also been trying to find great Mexican food around here. I have heard pretty good tings about La Tolteca, but I havn’t been yet. Salsaritas is pretty good.

    Also speaking of your love of free food and concerning your review of Ambrosia, I noticed in Artvoice that Ambrosia is serving a free appetizer and free dessert when you purchase a dinner special.

  2. Don Burtless

    Oh i forgot about La Tolteca, and thank you for the ambrosia deal. that made me happy.

  3. Laura

    I’d be interested in hearing about Gramma Mora’s. My last visit there, several years ago, was dismal. Food and service were both a let down.

  4. Elaine

    After having lived in Southern California for about 30 years, I can tell you there is NO AUTHENTIC MEXICAN RESTAURANT in WNY….well, except at my house. Coyote Cafe is very good…La Tolteca fairly good…Grandma Mora’s??? PLEASE…enchiladas are NOT made with velvetta…One of these years someone will open up the real deal (maybe me!!)

    • todd

      have you tried Margarita’s in Batavia ? owned and operated by Mexicans, it is the closest thing to real Mexican food i have found around here.

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