Sometimes being absolutely straightforward is a good thing. At this Mexican joint at the edge of Lakeview, visitors know what they're in for as soon as they see the restaurant's sign—quick service, giant helpings, late-night hours and a friendly staff. Most everyone orders to-go because, well, the atmosphere doesn't have much to offer. In fact, the blase pink-and-white tiled walls remind us of a grandmother's bathroom. The still-life oil paintings don't really match the cuisine at hand, but you don't go to this burrito house for ambiance. After sinking your teeth into a warm, veggie-and-chicken-filled burrito (just like the hungry guy sportin' a sombrero on the restaurant's sign), you won't even notice the lack of interior design.
Service is nearly 'round the clock here, so we're guessing that any extra cash goes toward paying employees instead of sprucing up the place. Open until 5 a.m. on Fridays and Saturdays, the House is an insomniac's dream, and it's not so bad for cheapskates, either. All meat-filled burritos cost $3.50 for a "junior" size and $5 for "king," but we could hardly finish the former. The toasty tortilla comes stuffed with everything from skirt steak (carne asada) to beef tongue (si, lengua!) and the usual chicken (pollo). Vegetarians have got it even better—a junior burrito comes packed with refried beans, lettuce, tomato, cheese, sour cream and hot sauce for only $2.70; the king size costs $3.60. Nothing on the menu costs over $7, but credit cards are only accepted for orders of $10+, so we thought about our hungry friends and bought them burritos, too. With deals like this, Taco Bell might be in for some steep competition.
Average cost: <$10
Centerstage Reviewer: Alicia Eler