Carlito’s serves speedy, savory lunch

Beef fajitas

In Southeast Texas, there is no shortage of options to satisfy a salsa craving if you have a hankering for Mexican food. Carlito’s Mexican Restaurant, located at 890 Amarillo St. and facing College Street, is one of Beaumont’s best options for a quick, filling lunch at a great price — and has been for two decades.

Open 7 a.m. – 9 p.m., Monday-Thursday, and 7 a.m. – 10 p.m. on Fridays and Saturdays (closed Sundays), Carlito’s can spice up any meal of the day, but lunchtime is when you’ll get the biggest bang for your buck. The lunch menu, available from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. and only $1 extra after 4 p.m., is simple, yet somehow offers something for everyone, with fajitas for $5.99 or a “lunch plate” for only $4.99, both served with traditional Spanish rice and refried beans. 

While other restaurants might limit choices for a cheap lunch, here you can choose two items from the lunch plate selection, which includes a burrito, taco, chile con queso chip, chalupa, and beef, chicken or cheese enchilada. With unlimited chips and salsa, this $5 lunch is sure to fill you up and never let you down.

Carlito’s also offers special pricing on individual or multiple chalupas, tacos and burritos for those who don’t want sides or are looking to add a la carte. For anyone wishing to satisfy a sweet tooth, Carlito’s has sopapillas and a Mexican banana split, each for under $6 any time.

The full dinner menu lists the usual favorites we’ve all come to expect from Southeast Texas Mexican food, and doesn’t leave out the little ones. Children can enjoy their choice of a taco, burrito, tamale or cheese enchilada, served with rice and beans, for under $6.

We tested both lunch options, and weren’t disappointed in the slightest. The beef fajitas came piled with mouth-watering grilled onions and green bell peppers, and the meat was perfectly seasoned – add hot, soft tortillas, their flavorful homemade salsa and beans and rice, and it’s a steal of a feast.

As for the lunch plate, we selected the soft beef taco and cheese enchilada. Both the taco, which was packed with fixings, and the enchilada, smothered in gravy and melted cheeses, were larger and more filling than we anticipated. It seemed difficult to believe Carlito’s would serve so much for so little, but both lunches, with the addition of one drink and tax, came out to less than $15, and no one left hungry.

The area’s ample sunny days can be enjoyed out on the patio, which is boxed in but still allows for sunshine and a breeze. And for the adults, there is an extended variety of domestic and imported beer or wine.

With a casual ambience, televisions and several neon signs scattered throughout the establishment, Carlito’s combines a family-friendly atmosphere with that of your favorite, fun cantina. For more information, call (409)839-8011.