Sentinel staff report–
A new Mexican restaurant recently opened its doors on Auburn Boulevard near Antelope Road, serving up enchiladas, quesadillas, and various seafood selections.
Panchito Mexican Restaurant is owned and operated by two families who officially opened the location on Jan. 28 at 7683 Auburn Blvd., next door to Bible Baptist Church. The 1,200-square-foot restaurant was previously home to Asian Blossom, a Vietnamese-Chinese restaurant that closed several months ago after being at the location for about two years.
“Opening a restaurant has been a plan and a dream of ours for a long time,” one of the restaurant’s co-owners, Beatriz Pelayo, told The Sentinel on Saturday. “We saw the spot open up and we just decided to go for it.”
Pelayo said the “Enchilada Mazatleca” is a signature plate the restaurant features, with the recipe coming from Mazatlan, Mexico, where she is originally from. She said the plate comes with three enchiladas that are “extra cheesy” on the inside and have a choice of meat or just cheese. Most plates have options for shrimp, steak, chicken or pork.
Menu items range from about $2 for most tacos with a variety of meat choices, $6.99 for most burritos, and a “Camarones Panchito” combo plate with shrimp and a spicy homemade sauce runs $10.99. The restaurant also currently has a $4.99 burrito special, with chicken, beans and rice, cheese and a side of salsa.
Although beer is currently not on the menu, the restaurant is hopeful to begin serving beer in the near future. The Score Board bar located two doors over, however, offers plenty of alcohol and Pelayo said the bar has been the source of new customers dropping in who are looking for a nearby place to eat.
So far, the new eatery has earned an average of 4-out-of-5 stars from a total of nine reviewers on Yelp. Reviewers recommend a variety of menu items, including fajitas and carne asada tacos, as well as fresh horchata and jamaica juice made on site. A critical reviewer noted the lack of decor in the somewhat plain interior and said some menu items needed an explanation for those not fluent in Spanish.
Panchito Mexican Restaurant is open from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m., Sunday through Thursday, and 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. on Fridays and Saturdays.