Mike Madriaga 3 p.m., June 22
Si, I lament Santana’s going the way of MXN.
Si, I survived much of my seventeenth year on Santana’s one pound veggie burritos.
Si, I spill my foty for you, Santana.
Pero, no, I will not abuse affirmatives in a language I only sort of speak to wax nostalgic about one of my favorite institutions in San Diego Mexican food.
When the countywide Sanatana’s chain went MXN over the course of the past few years, portions got smaller, dining rooms began to look like Starbucks, and oddities like the chicken caesar burrito found their way into the local late-night Mex-run lexicon. But to hell with it. In favor of some good ol' fashioned San Diego optimism, let’s look on the bright side.
The achiote chicken tacos go for $1.99, 24 hours a day. Achiote comes from the seeds of the annatto plant and lends a mild, nutty flavor to its dish. MXN’s chicken is tender and moist and, like, super yum. And to MXN’s credit, the place now has frequent-eater cards, which means after 12 meals at $7 or more, you get a free meal up to $7.
Si, you might even try the chicken caesar burrito.