Authentic Tex-Mex at Los Amigos

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Los Amigos... still crazy good after all these years....

Los Amigos, a ramshackle three-story restaurant, painted in technicolor shades of violet, hot pink, lime and sunflower, once stood alone at 1926 Atlantic Avenue, just two blocks from the Boardwalk. Since owners Pat Shemeley, Curt and Mimi Taylor renovated the restaurant more than a decade ago, the landscape has changed dramatically.

The Walk, avenues of outlet shopping that connect the Convention Center to Atlantic Avenue, has sprung up all around the earnest little Mexican restaurant that serves the best margaritas in town.

Lunch is the real bargain here, with hearty portions of fresh Tex-Mex and Southwestern cuisine, prepared by Mexico City native chef Genaro Valdez Castillo, running in the $7.95-$10.95 range. But even at dinner, you can fill up on a combo plate of three tasty tacos and enchiladas for just $14. Ay, caramba!

Vibe: Laid-back fiesta with top rate margaritas and cerveza.

The Crowd: Shoppers in need of a libation, weary shift workers and a loyal collection of locals.

Best Bets: the fish tacos at lunch, made with blackened tuna and salmon ($13.95) and for dinner, the beef burrito grande with pico de gallo $13.95.

Filet South of the Border style at Los Amigos