Let me start out by saying Antojitos Mexicanos is my favorite Mexican restaurant in the Fox Valley. As a matter of fact it is the best authentic Mexican restaurant in the Fox Valley. Yes, that’s right people. Stop saying Solea is the best, it’s not.
Even Urbanspoon agrees with me. Check it out: Solea’s rating. Antojitos Mexicanos' rating.
Now that we have determined that I am right, let me tell you why they are so great.
First of all, most people don’t even know it exists. It is the epitome of a hole-in-the-wall restaurant with great food. When you sit down to eat you feel like you just discovered a hidden gem and you were one of the few who were let in on the secret.
The restaurant itself seats a few more people than a phone booth but that is set to change come springtime. They currently are hidden away in a very small space on Richmond avenue in Appleton but they are set to move to a larger and more prominent location downtown Appleton at 204 E. College Ave. The new location will not only have more seating but it will also have a full bar.
Naturally, what makes any restaurant great is the food. Antojitos Mexicanos serves up a large menu of freshly made scratch cooking that is packed with flavor. Of course they have the obligatory homemade chips and salsa that are complimentary with the meal, but the meals they serve excel on their own.
Contrary to some Mexican joints that I’ve been to in the Fox Valley, the refried beans served with my meal are always perfectly creamy and fresh. They don’t taste like a crusty concoction that has been baking away under a heat lamp for hours. The rice is as equally delicious. It is neither overly dry nor completely mushy.
My favorite dish to order is one of the many chimichanga offerings on their expansive menu. This deep fried burrito of deliciousness is always perfectly cooked. The tortilla maintains a light crunch from the deep fryer without being overly tough or too thick. It stands in nice contrast to many chimichangas I’ve had elsewhere that seem to be mainly comprised of an overly bulky deep fried crust that borders on being downright tough. The fillings are equally as well executed with the beef being nicely tender and well seasoned.
Being a condiment glutton myself, I love the sauces that you can top the dishes with. There are quite a few to choose from but if you are going there for the first time and can’t decide I recommend the white cheese sauce. It is mild but still flavorful and the perfect creamy compliment to everything on your plate. If you can’t decide on just one sauce, they are happy to top your dish with up to three separate sauces.
Each time I go there it seems their well-kept secret is increasingly leaking to the public as the seats during the dinner service seem to fill quickly. My wife and I were the first ones there on Friday to eat supper, but by the time we were done eating there was not a seat left to be had. That of course made service a bit slow as one waitress tried her best to manage the whole dining room, but I can’t really fault her for the extra wait to pay my bill as she was clearly running around frantically to accommodate everyone.
Next time you are hungry for Mexican food I highly recommend you go on the hunt for Antojitos Mexicanos. Not only will you be treated to great Mexican food, but you too can feel like one of the privileged few to be let in on the secret of this hidden gem. Though hopefully, they won’t remain a hidden gem for long.
Have you eaten at Antojitos Mexicanos? Share your opinion in the comments below. Otherwise, be sure to follow Fox Valley Foodie on Facebook to stay on top of all my latest posts!