I’ve been to Los Amigos Authentic Mexican Restaurant (5506 Harford Rd, 410-444-4420) a few times for lunch and dinner and it’s never very crowded, but you are always greeted with a hearty “Hola, amigos!"
The restaurant is rather sparse and dark, with bare walls and floors. Mexican striped blankets topped with clear plastic cover the tables, the walls are painted terra cotta and orange, the floors are tile and the chairs are simple wood. There is a children’s play area in the front of the restaurant stocked with toys for families with young children, and a large bar dominates the center of the dining room.
If you are looking for spicy food, this is not the place for you. The food is not the extremely spicy food that one has come to expect from Mexican restaurants in the area; most dishes are actually mild, and diners can add their own spice with sauce or accompanying jalapenos. The back page of the menu even notes that Mexican cuisine does not equal spicy cuisine.
The menu is extensive, encompassing a variety of Mexican dishes. Appetizers include nachos with a variety of toppings, salads and soups. Entrees include combinations of tacos, enchiladas, tamales, burritos, tostados, quesadillas, chalupas, tostaguacs (flat tortilla with toppings) and chimichangas.
Accompaniments include mole sauce, chorizo sausage and pico de gallo. Mexican desserts include churros, tres leches cake, fried ice cream, flan and sopapillas. Mexican beers include Negro Modela, Tecate, Carta Blanca, Cristal, Modelo Especial and Pacifico.
The waitress brings over nacho chips with two different dips, one mild salsa and one cheese-based white salsa, which tastes like spicy ranch dressing. We order Jack & Coke ($7.50) and a Grand Marnier-topped Texas Margarita ($8.50) on the rocks with salt. For our meal, we order the chicken taco salad, camarones con arroz, carnitas, and a burrito and relleno combination platter.
The chicken taco salad($9.95) is made with moist pulled chicken over lettuce with sour cream, guacamole, refried beans and tomatoes in a tortilla shell. The shell is wet on the bottom from the liquid from the pulled chicken, and my companion says that the chicken is rather bland and requires lots of salt, pepper and salsa.
My dish, the camarones con arroz ($13.90) consists of moist, tender shrimp simmered with peppers, onions and tomatoes, served with rice , guacamole, lettuce and tortillas. The shrimp is very fresh and has the tails removed, which is very convenient. The pepper, onion and tomato sauté accompanying the shrimp is delicious.
The carnitas ( $12.80) consists of pork chunks cooked golden brown, served with rice, beans and tortillas. The pork is tender and delicately seasoned and served with a whole jalepeno. The beef burrito and chile relleno ($9.50) platter also comes with refried beans and rice. The chile relleno is a large pepper baked and stuffed with cheese and mashed potatoes, and is rather bland. The beef burrito is topped with cheese and filled with ground beef cooked with blackening seasoning. My companion asks for hot sauce for this, and the waitress brings him a variety of sauces from which to choose.
Los Amigos is a no-frills, accommodating restaurant that will satisfy those looking for a Mexican dining experience.