Rosita's: Cooling Kid Antics With Fresh, Hot Tortillas

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Carmen Daye Irish
There's nothing especially local, seasonal, or sustainable about Rosita's, the well-worn Mexican eatery a block east of Greenlake. The menu, like similar south-of-the-border-themed establishments, is gigantic, offering mondo beef burrito platters, fish tacos, and every imaginable flavor of margarita. But what only Rosita's has, it works: flavorful food served lickety-split, with a wonder woman flipping hot-off-the-griddle tortillas every night at a station between the dining room and bar.

Patted with butter, dolloped with salsa, and wrapped in parchment for easy eating, Rosita's made-to-order tortillas miraculously occupy the many children inevitably waiting for a table on weekend nights.

Kid-free diners can eat in Rosita's bar or take their chances and sit close to the window, away from the denizens of quesadilla-loving tweens and toddlers gone wild. For parents, Rosita's offers the particular comfort of sitting in the middle of familyland, where kids can banter, mess around with iPads, and color in good company.

Golden, salty chips and slurpable salsa keep coming. The piled-high chorizo sopes with tomatillo sauce, sour cream, and guacamole define comfort food. Rosita's gut-busting pollo al carbon is a gargantuan plate of boneless chicken breast, beans, and rice drenched in chipotle cream sauce and served with three tortillas in a padded cozy. Smaller plates exist, too, including a pair of perfectly charred carne asada tacos with tangy pico and steamy tortilla soup.

Servers are friendly and unfazed by kid antics, because, really, they've seen it all before. Food arrives so fast you have to wonder how an order can be written down, received, cooked, and plated in five minutes. But the speedy pace means little hands will still be gnawing on chips and tortillas when plates arrive, leaving little room for mischief.

Feeling splurgy? Order the kids a round of virgin piƱa coladas with their beans and rice. And be forewarned: stiff grown-up versions can go down a little too easy.

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