Gut reaction for Jan. 24, 2013

New authentic Mexican eatery is making plenty of amigos

For Weekly SurgeJanuary 23, 2013 

Los Amigos is at 4050 Socastee Blvd. in Myrtle Beach, and the number is 294-0700. It’s open from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m daily.

Setting the Table

The newest restaurant addition to the mini culinary United Nations also known as Socastee Boulevard is Los Amigos.

Guadalupe Martinez owns this authentic Mexican restaurant, and the layout is like many typical strip mall eateries – one long rectangular room with booths and tables, including a 10-top. Walls are painted a muted lime green, tables are shiny laminated oak, chairs are rich brown Shaker-style and the cashier’s station at the restaurant’s rear is fronted in caramel colored tile.

A television mounted on the wall was tuned to Telemundo.

Down the Hatch

Guadalupe Martinez’ daughter, Ana Martinez, prepares familiar and more ambitious dishes with her own pleasing style. A bottle of commercial hot sauce was on our table, but we preferred spicing our dishes up from a condiment bar containing three house-made hot sauces – red, green and excellent creamy green – Mexican cotija cheese, lemon wedges, chopped onions and fresh cilantro.

My husband and I liked every dish we tried, but my favorite so far (we definitely plan to return and sample more) is Tostada de Ceviche ($2.50), which is a flat crispy tortilla topped with an abundance of delicious and fresh chopped marinated shrimp, onions, cilantro and tomato. I also had a Marinated Pork Taco ($2) where the meat was bathed in a rich red and non-spicy sauce and a delicious fried Chicken Empanada ($2).

Other Taco and Empanada fillings are shredded beef, head, tongue, steak, lamb, pork stomach, tripe and chorizo sausage.

My husband loved his Steak Burrito ($7) filled with meat, yellow rice and creamy cheese sauce, and both of us were impressed with the plate presentation with a fresh little salad of lettuce, cotijo and fresh tomato on the side.

Other seafood dishes ($2.50-$13) include Mojarra (whole fried tilapia), which comes with rice, beans and salad; Shrimp Soup, Seafood Soup, Shrimp Tostadas, Shrimp Diabla (spicy), Campechana (shrimp/octopus salad) and Shrimp Cocktail served with V8 Juice, avocado, onion, tomato and cilantro.

The menu also lists Fajitas ($11-$12), Menudo (beef stomach soup, $8), Mexican Beefsteak ($10), Gorditas ($2 apiece), Sopes (an open face snack, $2 each), Quesadillas ($5), Tortas (Mexican sandwiches, $8), Tostadas ($2), Flautas (think Mexican springrolls, $7 for four), Huaraches ($5) and Enchiladas ($7).

Check, please

Corona, Budweiser and Bud Light are available along with sangria, lemonade, Coca-Cola, flavored waters, horchata and Mexican sodas. A children’s meal – chicken tenders and fries – is $3.50.

Daily lunch specials are $8, and Ana Martinez said a couple of entrée examples are Carne de Puerco (tender and spicy pork stew) and Pozole, which is a corn and meat soup.

Becky Billingsley serves fresh restaurant news daily at MyrtleBeachRestaurantNews.com.

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