Little T's: A trip down Memory Lane

Little T's; where time gives way to eternal youth
Little T's; where time gives way to eternal youth

When we first heard the news that Little Tijuana had shut its doors, more than a year and a half ago, we were struck with a bout of sadness. Had we become so swept up in the frenzy of fascinating new food options that we had forgotten about the one restaurant that showed us that late night could mean more than a deep fryer and a microwave? Was it possible that the savior in a once barren food town had finally called it quits?

For those who remember, late-night food options in Minneapolis were used to be far scarcer than they are now. Once upon a time you had to choose between Embers on Hennepin, a Super America, or a drive to a nearby suburb one of a few chain restaurants that were all just variations on the same crappy diner food. Just when you thought you'd have to bite the bullet, someone would inevitably step up and say, "What about Little T's?"

Needless to say that when we heard that the mainstay of our youth was being resurrected, after a very long remodeling, we breathed a sigh of relief. Obviously the looming question now was: Could the reality of the food hold up to the memory of what it used to be?

See also: Little Tijuana returns

To answer that question, the first thing that we had to do was order the chips and cheese, which was always the first thing we used to order. Always.

We're happy to report that the chips and cheese have remained as they always were. The thick-cut tortilla chips come topped with melted, shredded cheddar cheese and are served with that same salsa, which comes in the same iconic jar as it did in our younger years.

The other menu item that was an absolute must on our first visit back was the deluxe fajita burrito served enchilada style. This was something we were near certain couldn't live up to our memories, but lo and behold we were proven wrong.

First, it's the same size as the platter it's served on. The insides come laced with peppers, onions, steak, guacamole, and sour cream, and then the whole thing is smothered in Little T's enchilada sauce and what we can only estimate to be about 30 pounds of shredded cheese. After a quick visit to the oven, it's garnished with a green olive (something we wonder about to this day) and delivered piping hot to your table.  We recommend ordering it with the smoky, sweet, and tender skirt steak.

Now that Little T's has its own bar, we figured it was only appropriate to try something new as well. We ordered their new Big Tijuana margarita. The margarita, which we ordered on the rocks, was quite large, yet it managed to lack the significant impact we were looking for. Perhaps it's a bit too early to be critiquing their bar skills, but it's certainly something we would love to see them improve on. If there's anything that could help Little T's compete with some of its more high-end neighbors, it would be an amazing margarita to serve alongside their generous portions of food.

In the end, it's nice to see this place reopen. Many of us remember the crazy times that Little T's had to offer, and many of us are looking forward to the crazy times we have yet to have at Little T's. Though Little T's was only closed for a brief period considering its longstanding history, it's good to know the comforting food of our youth hasn't slipped through our hands for good.

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Little Tijuana's

17 E. 26th St.
Minneapolis, MN 55404


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