One of the problems with elevating one component of a cuisine over another is that you can denigrate the portion of the cuisine that has been dismissed. You can then effectively regard the “lesser” product as “substandard” and ignore it critically. I don’t think that’s what Cliff Bostock had in mind with his comments on Pure Taqueria, but I’ve been reading way too much Robb Walsh to not catch the potential implication: foods originating in Atlanta, created by Hispanics, that are largely targeted at “gringos” are critically insignificant and to be ignored.

Nevertheless, there are a series of dishes in the Atlanta Tex-Mex restaurant repertoire I’ve not seen elsewhere. I have relatives (some of them are well known) all over Texas and spent my share of time in that state. Some of these Atlanta Hispanic dishes are good, and if they are not seen anywhere else, aren’t they then Atlanta originals?

I’m mostly interested in what Frontera Mex-Mex calls a Crazy Taco. Usually done with a marinated chicken and covered with lettuce and white cheese, it’s cheap and quite good. Other places call it a Taco Loco. But where did it come from? Was this created by Hispanic Atlantans? Is it as original as chop suey was once believed to be?

Are we ignoring a regional original in our haste to be “authentic“? I don’t have time to research this during the holidays but I thought I would toss out the question and let it circulate among Atlanta food bloggers. I’ll pick up on this after the Thanksgiving holidays.

Frontera is a best of breed restaurant, the very best of the “Atlanta style” Tex Mex restaurants. They serve good food and they have generally good service, with this particular restaurant having better service than many. They are fast to the table with crisp, warm chips and they serve two salsas, one red and one a browner chipotle sauce. The chipotle salsa is, in a word, excellent.

Being an “Atlanta style” Tex Mex means they have a staple set of dishes that do not change from restaurant to restaurant, chain to chain. You can get a Speedy Gonzales here, the numbered combinations, the Crazy Taco. But they do it with more of a twist than the others. Their chicken seems to be spicier, more flavorful than their competition. You can get the Crazy Taco (Taco Loco at other joints) at dinner as well as lunch. They have a very nice burrito al carbon, and they are, to their credit, expanding their menu, adding dishes (generally in the $12 range), looking for keepers. Because of this, they do tend to be a little more expensive than Poblano’s.

Some nights there will be a musician in the restaurant, playing for tips.

They are located on Highway 78, just over the hill to the north of the Highpoint Road – Highway 78 intersection. Frontera’s is next to a Ruby Tuesdays and the newly opened Albatross Bar and Grill.

Verdict: Highly recommended. Good food, sometimes very good. Service is very good and perhaps exceptional, considering how hard it is to get good service in Snellville.

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