Munch goes to Rey Azteca

Few things make Munch happier than puppies. Well, maybe delicious food. But mostly puppies.

So on Labor Day, Munch aimed for supreme happiness: Lunch at a new Mexican restaurant and a stop at Sister of Munch's apartment to visit with her new black Lab puppy.

Munch and Dear One of Munch piled into the Munchmobile and headed east. Our visit with SOM's new puppy was relatively short -- within a half hour DOOM and Munch were tired of being bitten with sharp (albeit really adorable) puppy teeth and ready for lunch.

We met SOM and Boyfriend of Sister of Munch at Rey Azteca in Irwin. The building previously housed a Mexican restaurant of a different name, so the interior was largely unchanged.

One addition was a liquor license, which quite pleased SOM, who ordered a frozen margarita. DOOM, BOSOM and Munch all ordered beers.

The waiter brought chips and a small carafe of salsa and two tiny bowls. Munch found this presentation to be odd, but wasn't going to complain about free chips. (Each additional order is $2.)

The drinks arrived promptly, with frosted mugs for the beers. SOM declared that the margarita didn't contain an acceptable amount of tequila, something that BOSOM was thankful for.

While sipping our beverages, we pored over the lengthy menu. All the Mexican standards are there -- burritos, fajitas, tacos, etc. -- but there also were plenty of unique dishes.

Munch was intrigued by a vegetarian dish of two Anaheim peppers stuffed with potatoes and cheese and served with a side of rice and beans ($7.50).

DOOM, always a sucker for huevos rancheros, opted for the huevos mexicanos, which was "ranch style" eggs served over rice, beans and a tortilla, then smothered in a green tomatillo sauce ($5.50). Next to the description on the menu it said HOT in red letters. DOOM wasn't optimistic, though, noting that dishes listed as hot usually wind up being "a step above mild," if that.

BOSOM, clearly trying to get his fill of red meat and poultry for the day, went for the fajita quesadilla dinner with steak and chicken ($11).

SOM ordered the enchiladas rancheras -- four shredded chicken enchiladas topped with mole ranchero sauce, lettuce, sour cream and tomato ($9.50). (It said spicy in red letters next to this dish, leaving Munch to ponder the difference between spicy and HOT.) SOM requested a side order of tomatoes ($1), explaining that she'd ordered the dish before and found that the tomato-to-other stuff ratio was inadequate.

Our lunches were prepared quickly. SOM dumped her side of tomatoes onto her dish and everyone got to work on the large portions of food.

Munch's stuffed peppers were delightful -- the potatoes and cheese complemented the Anaheim peppers perfectly.

DOOM was pleasantly surprised that HOT actually means hot. The huevos mexicanos were truly spicy, but that didn't stop DOOM, who appreciated the amped-up spice level.

SOM's dish, listed as spicy, was only mildly spicy, but still quite tasty. Munch didn't think the extra tomatoes were necessary, but SOM was pleased with her lunch and polished it off, excessive tomatoes and all.

BOSOM remained largely silent while cleaning his plate, so Munch thinks he liked it.

Munch thought the puppy would be the highlight of the day, but that biting little monster didn't really stack up next to a delicious lunch at Rey Azteca.


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