By Katie Moosbrugger

I am a huge fan of anything spicy or from south of the border. So when I saw Tijuana Flats, a Tex-Mex restaurant had opened in Winston-Salem, I was one of the first to pop in and I’ve been back many, many times.

Then entire restaurant makes me happy – from the friendly person who greets me at the door to the attentive staff who checks on our table. The outrageous wall murals and décor make me smile, the savory smells lift my spirits, and the off-beat culture makes me chuckle. They use slogans like, “embrace the strange and unexplained,” and also promise to never “serve you garbage…or treat you like trash.”

And then there’s the menu. Tijuana Flats is the type of restaurant where you order at the counter, and they bring the food to your table. The menu is simple but offers a lot of variety. You can expect the basics (like tacos, burritos, salads, quesadillas, nachos, etc) as well as add-ons, sides, sauces and select dishes off their special Flat Outrageous menu.

Every meal (ranging in price from $6 to $9) is made to order using the freshest ingredients that are prepped the same day you get to enjoy them. Even their chips, tortillas, queso, guac and salsa are made from scratch. Plus, Tijuana Flats never uses microwaves, freezers or canned food items. They offer vegetarian, lard-free beans, hormone-free chicken and steak, and zero trans-fat cooking oil. Tijuana Flats also features a huge sauce bar (for those who like it hot) featuring their own “Smack My Ass and Call Me Sally” branded line of sauces.

To top off your meal, I highly recommend trying either their Churros (lightly fried and sprinkled with sugar and cinnamon) and/or their Cookie Dough Flautas (chocolate chip cookie dough loaded in a flour tortilla, lightly fried, topped with powdered sugar, and served with a side of chocolate syrup. OMG.

Oh, and did I mention they also serve beer? Nothing less than Corona and Modelo products, of course!

My kids love Tijuna Flats too. The restaurant offers a Lil’ Lizards menu featuring five different Mexican dishes (around $5 each) that come with chips, unsweetened applesauce or candy, a soft drink or apple juice. Not to mention, every Sunday in Winston-Salem, kids under 12 eat FREE of the Lil’ Lizards menu with the purchase of an adult entrée (one child per adult entrée).

There are other promos that moms and dads (and older kids) would like too. Tijuana Tuesdaze offers two tacos, chips and a drink for just $5.49. Then there is Throwback Thursdays where you can get a Tijuana burrito, chips, and a drink for $5.99. Add on steak or carnitas for just $1 extra!

Started by a young guy out of college who asked his dad for a loan to get started (Moms, insert your eye rolls here), Tijuana Flats started with a few restaurants in and around Orlando and Tampa, and has now grown to serve locations throughout the southeast as well as in Pennsylvania and Indiana.

One of the coolest things Tijuana Flats operates is its “Just In Queso Foundation.” The Foundation mainly (but not exclusively) supports children and our brave military in times of need. “Just In Queso Foundation” is central to Tijuana Flats which always stands “ready to provide a helping hand when needed.”

This summer – and frankly all yearlong – I encourage you and your family to give Tijuana Flats a try. It’s the perfect atmosphere for families with kids of all ages. It can also make a fun – and very affordable – date night!

*Sponsored by Tijuana Flats