by Max Brantley
We''d welcome readers' capsule restaurant reviews here of places old and new in LR and around Arkansas. Been out to eat lately?
I'll begin by saying I can't remember the last time I was disappointed by Juanita's, which has survived ups and downs and still provides Main Street Tex-Mex. We had another good trip Saturday night.
Our family can't break out of familiar ruts, so it's possible that there are pitfalls on the menu. But you can't go wrong with the fresh-tasting salsa (I'd take it hotter) with crisp chips, untained by the taste of old oil; any of the cheese dip choices; chicken enchiladas, or, for me, the classic Saltillo plate. The last is a cheese enchilda, beef enchilada, crispy taco, rice and beans. The plates really ARE hot. The beans aren't just undistinguished paste, but meaty and flavorful. Even the rice is moist and spicy. It's not exactly Mexican. But it always reminds me, favorably, of childhood forays to Little Mexico in Orange, Texas, Felix's in Houston and even El Rio in San Antonio. Prices are reasonable. Team service is quick. There's usually a table. There are several kinds of cold beer on tap. What's not to like?