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Pa-rrrrr-illa Mexicana

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Outside Highland Avenue in Lombard lies a small Hispanic food joint marked by a fluorescent green sign reading Burrito: Parilla Mexicana.

Parrilla is a method of cooking barbeque where a grill is laid over coals of fire. Typically associated with South American cooking, it’s interesting that Burrito specializes in Mexican cuisine.

Upon entering the restaurant, I was greeted by the lively beat and flare of Latino music. Lining the surronding walls were flat-screen TVs broadcasting the current soccer games. But, what really caught my attention was a machine cast aside in the corner of the kitchen. Operating at full force, the machine was churning out tortilla chips every second.

After being seated, I had the opportunity to sample them. A huge portion of freshly made guacamole and chips were brought out as an appetizer. The warm crispness of the chips complimented the richness of the avocado. Although the guac could have been improved with the subtle kick of lime juice, I couldn’t stop munching on the scrumptious chips.

Pumped from the appetizer, I couldn’t wait to try the main courses. Much to my dismay, the grilled steak burrito failed to please. The parilla-style steak had a sweet aftertaste that couldn’t be washed away no matter how much water I drank. Although the rice inside the burrito proved to be superior to Chipotle’s, on the whole, the burrito was bland. I had to pour endless amounts of salsa to taste something. The torta sandwich was slightly better. The bread possessed a satisfying crunch, but once again, there was no impressive taste. The sliced avocado and mayonnaise did little to bring out the flavors of the over-cooked chicken.

Not only was the food unimpressive, but the prices were also on the higher end. A serving of guacamole and chips alone cost $8, and the burritos were $7. The tortas were slightly cheaper, costing $6.50.

All in all, the parilla style food failed to satisfy me. The only reason I would consider going back would be for their fresh, homemade tortilla chips.

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Pa-rrrrr-illa Mexicana