I believe in the power of positive intention; even so, I couldn’t help but stand amazed when Jon and I began mentally willing an independent Mexican restaurant into the vicinity and it actually materialized. For families in striking distance of the Medford-Somerville-Arlington axis, the family friendly, authentic, affordable, trans fat free Emiliano'Z Mexican Grill is worth a visit.
Emiliano'Z is a welcome addition to a modest commercial block on Boston Avenue, a short walk from the intersection of Route 16. Its two rooms are brightly painted and decorated and the staff is friendly, creating a general vibe that is casual, yet warm and welcoming.
We’ve visited Emiliano'Z regularly since its very first day of business in late 2008. In those early months we felt both grateful for the yummy food and worried about the fact that we often were the only people there. But business has picked up slowly but surely and this past weekend was the first visit where we couldn’t get a seat right away (note to self and others: they host parties).
Emiliano'Z offers an affordable menu of traditional favorites (e.g., flautas, quesadillas, tacos, burritos, enchiladas, and combo plates), periodic specials, and yummy desserts (a nice, mild rice pudding, a surprising carrot cake with pineapple rings baked into it, and classic flan) and we’ve been really happy with everything we have tasted to date. Jon has sampled a wide variety of items, and favors their chicken burrito and steak enchiladas, and I used to be similarly adventurous until I tried and fell in love with the Emiliano'Z Favorite Burrito (pictured below). Perfect for the diner who wishes to have a smattering of everything, this burrito is stuffed with steak, chicken, potatoes, rice, guacamole, cheese, and pico de gallo. It’s almost embarrassing to admit that I have eaten this same burrito once a week for the last 5 months, but it is what it is...which is AWESOME.
For obvious reasons, we’ve also really appreciated the family friendliness of Emiliano'Z. They have always been happy to accommodate Laurel’s tastes and now – like mom – she has a favorite burrito of her own (beans, cheese, rice, and avocado – no red stuff whatsoever, please). Whether we dine in or take out, we’re utterly grateful that Emiliano'Z appeared so quickly after we started wishing for it.
Emiliano'z Mexican Grill, 123-125 Boston Avenue, Medford; 781-646-8226