Mexican and Asian are my two favorite cuisines, so I was intrigued when I heard that there was a joint offering a little bit of both. Chiquita’s Corner, located in Riverside at 11th and Bitting, is probably the smallest freestanding restaurant in town, but what they lack is size is made up in taste.
Chiquita’s is basically a walk up taco stand designed for carry out, as everything comes out in easily transportable containers. There are several picnic tables on the premises if you wish to enjoy your meal in a nice part of Riverside. As I already mentioned, Chiquita’s is tiny, yet somehow 2 to 3 employees whip up the food inside the 144 sq foot kitchen. It’s an impressive feat and should be the basis for a new type of food reality show. Each team is given increasingly smaller kitchen spaces to pull off a multi-course tasting menu, with the final challenge consisting of trying to roast a whole pig in the back seat of Guy Fieri’s Corvette.
For obvious reasons the menu is small and consists of fried beef tacos, enchiladas, hot links, spicy pork egg rolls, and occasional specials. They also serve a sopapilla sundae bowl and ice cream floats. We visited on a Saturday evening and apparently it had been a busy day, because they were out of egg rolls and running low on tortillas. Luckily, we managed to get two enchiladas and two tacos before they were gone. I was really disappointed they were out of egg rolls, as the spicy pork filling was something I wanted to try, but alas it was not to be on this night.
Fortunately both the enchiladas and tacos proved to be rather good. The enchiladas were similar to many that you can get around town, but the addition of diced potatoes to the onion and cheese filling and the flavorful chile sauce helped set this apart from others. Steph, my official enchilada expert gave it her stamp of approval. The tacos consisted of a traditional well seasoned ground beef, pea, and diced potato filling topped with plenty of lettuce, cheese, and a good tomato salsa that had a noticeable oregano flavor. The fried tortilla shell was crispy, yet was not overly greasy. We wanted to try one of the sopapilla bowls, which consist of ice cream and fried tortillas, but by that time they had exhausted their tortilla supply.
I was disappointed that Chiquita’s was running so low on food during our visit, especially since they are open till midnight each day they are open. Despite this annoyance, the food that we did have was tasty. The taco and enchilada were as good, if not better than other versions available in town. We will certainly be back to try the egg rolls and sopapilla bowls.