Sizzling Mexican outpost 

This is the quick-stop outlet for the full Margarita's Grill on Chickasaw Trail, an east-side Mexican restaurant that's built an audience for its sophisticated Mexico City-style menu. Too bad they stuck Quesadilla's next to the cheap movie theater in the seen-better-days Colonial Promenade. By comparison, Quesadilla's fare is far too fresh – quality meats and vegetables grilled and seasoned right in front of you.

There are four main items: "Pancho Villa's quesadillas" ($5.95), "3 amigos burrito" ($5.75), "Cinco de Mayo fajita" ($5.95) and "Baja tacos" ($5.25). All can be prepared with a choice of "tender, marinated chicken breast," "seasoned grilled steak" or "pork slowly roasted in adobo sauce." Additionally, there are veggie versions of the burrito and fajita.

On a Friday evening, there was about a 15-minute backup before I could place my to-go order for a chicken quesadilla, veggie burrito and steak fajita, and I watched as the mixings were thrown on the grill and the tortillas freshly steamed. If I had known what was coming, I might not have been able to wait so patiently. The sizzling of onions, peppers and meats smelled as good as they tasted upon consumption. The burrito and fajita came with small but tasty helpings of Spanish rice and refried beans; the others with chips and a zippy cilantro-spiced salsa that tasted homemade.

On the menu, they say that the flan ($2.50) – a small portion but big on flavor – is made at Margarita's Grill. Otherwise, there's no mention of the connection between the two places. But you'll taste it.

Speaking of On The Side


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