It’s difficult for a Mexican restaurant in Middle Georgia to stand out, but if you know what to look for, you can always find what sets them apart. Bypass the standard burritos and tacos, baseline them with their fajitas for comparison, but look for the items that no one else has if you want to eat what they do best.
At El Cotija in Warner Robins, we started with their “Mexican guacamole” — since we thought all guacamole came from Mexico. Our excellent server told us they served a simple, chunky version made with only avocados, onions, tomatoes and a little seasoning for $5.99, and a thinner, less authentic “guacamole dip,” which seems to be popular in this area, for $3.80.
This tells you two things: they want to offer real Mexican food, but they’re savvy enough to cater to their customers.
Next, we tried the Shrimp Ceviche for $8.75. If you’ve never tried ceviche, the shrimp version is a good place to start, as it consists of raw seafood marinated in lime juice until it is “cooked.” The Arroz Con Pollo for $9.75 had very thin chicken meat but otherwise was acceptable.
To compare El Cotija to other local Mexican restaurants, I ordered the fajitas. They arrived sizzling and juicy, with plenty of peppers and onions and an accompanying plate of beans, lettuce and guacamole. The Texas version that I had comes with beef, chicken and shrimp for $12.95, but you can choose just one of those meats and save $2.
One item to try next time is the Guadalajara Special. For $8.75 you get a tamale, two flautas, and nachos with cheese, beans and either chicken or beef. They have 10 lunch specials for about $6 or less, and are well known for their nightly drink specials.
If you’re looking for standard Mexican food, you’ll find it at El Cotija. But if you want their best, ask your server for recommendations and scan the menu for items you rarely see. It’s worth the extra effort.
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Address: 109 Margie Drive, Warner Robins
Hours: 11 a.m.-10 p.m. daily
Payment: Cash, credit
Kids Menu: Yes
Noise Level: Low
Health Rating: 95
Price range: $6-$12
Restaurant reviewer dines anonymously at Telegraph expense. New restaurants must be open at least two months before a review. Reviews are not related to advertising.