I have been going to El Pitayo (213 Smith btw/ Baltic and Butler) for some time now and feel it's time to post a review. I like Mexican food, but haven't quite found a restaurant in the neighborhood that offers standard Mexican plates with good value, a restaurant that I can eat at once, twice or more a week, especially during the summer.
But, at last, I found El Pitayo, a family run Mexican restaurant with a huge menu (slightly difficult to navigate), full bar and very friendly people. I have only ordered from the House Specialties section of the menu and usually order Enchiladas Suizas, Bandera or Adobo. This comes with standard refried beans and rice ($8.50). And, each time, I end up rolling out very full and happy, and have spent very little. Mexican beer is $4 and others are $3, margaritas are $6, side of guacamole $3.50.
I plan to start becoming more adventurous with the menu. On the back of the menu the dishes are explained in detail (you wont get much help by asking questions). I'm interested in trying the Bistec en salsa Borracha (Steak with salsa of tomatillos, orange juice, peppers and dark beer)($11.25) and the Chorizos ($6), in particular. Honestly, the menu is so large that it will take quite a long time to become familiar with the best dishes (help chowhounders!).
The place is always empty, as in, Im at the only table, or there might be one or two others (So, theyre likely to ask if you want to sit in the window). But, every time Im there, I overhear other diners express their enthusiasm for the restaurant.
Before you eat, the vacancy might make you think Im crazy for liking it so much (this happened to a friend that I sent there). But, really, I dont find the other Mexican restaurants in the area as satisfying, Alma (more gourmet but expensive), Lobo (more Tex than Mex).
A menu is posted on zipmenu.com under zip: 11201.