When it comes to Mexican or Tex-Mex, 109ers have a choice

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The 109 is home to nationally known chefs, hole-in-the-wall diners, fast food stops for quick bites, and everything in between.

But in the Southwest, Mexican and Tex-Mex cuisine are always among the top choices for eating out. So whether you’re looking for an authentic, family-style experience, new flavors — or you just want to enjoy some margaritas with friends – you have a variety of choices for good Mexican food in the 109.

Café Brazil | 2880 West Berry Street

New to the 109 is Dallas-based Café Brazil, which opened a few weeks ago in the first floor of the GrandMarc apartments by TCU.

For those who have been searching for a local late-night eatery, look no further. Café Brazil is open 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

At less than $11, the signature entrees are low-priced and hearty. Each meal comes with side dishes ranging from mixed green, baked and sweet potatoes, to homemade toast.

Known to many as primarily a breakfast place, Café Brazil boasts a wide variety of breakfast items from American favorites to Brazilian and Mexican dishes.

The real specialty of Café Brazil is coffee. More than 30 types of coffee are available and the restaurant has won several awards for its specialty roasts.

Whether or not you’re there for breakfast, lunch, dinner, or you just can’t sleep at 4 a.m., Café Brazil’s diverse menu, low prices, vibrant atmosphere, and laid-back style make a great scene for hungry 109ers of any age.

Caro’s Mexican Restaurant | 3505 Bluebonnet Circle

Those looking for a more authentic style of Mexican can drive down Bluebonnet Circle to Caro’s Mexican Restaurant. Located in the same place since 1954, PuffTacoDaddy (owner John Whitten Jr.) serves up traditional Mexican recipes that have been in the family for generations.

Along with the signature puffy tostadas and an ever-expanding menu, Caro’s sells a line of salsas.

The most popular is the traditional salsa verde that has been in the family since 1937. The others are a traditional red salsa, and a fiery habanero blend called “Drunk Cowboy” sauce. Be sure to have a cold glass of water nearby.

The local atmosphere and friendly staff ensure an authentic Mexican experience that 109ers have enjoyed for decades.

Chipotle | 3050 S. Hulen St.

Just because a restaurant isn’t a local dive doesn’t mean the food isn’t good. Since its modest opening in 1993, the Denver-based burrito chain has grown to more than 1,000 restaurants across the United States, Canada and England.

Known for their large, assembly-line style burritos, Chipotle only uses natural ingredients, as well as striving to purchase meat from local ranches that raise their poultry, cattle, and pigs naturally and responsibly. They use produce from family-owned farms and local markets as much as possible. Even the designs of the building locations are meant to be as sustainable as possible.

If you’ve never heard of Chipotle, it wouldn’t be a huge surprise. Despite being a billion-dollar corporation, Chipotle doesn’t advertise on television. 109ers should watch Chipotle carefully for free burrito days as well as on Halloween, when people can get a free burrito just for dressing like one.

For locals looking for a hefty burrito and who still want to feel a little good about buying it, Chipotle can be a great place for new-age Mexican.

Fuzzy’s Taco Shop | 2917 W. Berry St.

Since its opening in 2003, Fuzzy’s has quickly become a successful chain in the Metroplex. The company has spread to other states recently, but that doesn’t take away its local atmosphere.

When customers hear the infamous “Number 45… Uhhhh huh,” they know a fish taco is coming their way. With cheap beer, fresh ingredients, and late closing time, Fuzzy’s has become very popular for college students and sports fans looking to catch a game on one of the flat-screen TV’s.

The fish tacos aren’t the only thing on the menu, though. Fuzzy’s sells a wide variety of Mexican dishes, and for those that crave migas and breakfast burritos, Fuzzy’s is now open for breakfast.

For TCU fans in The 109, Fuzzy’s also sells one of the more popular drinks in the area; the purple margarita. But non-horned frogs shouldn’t worry — they have regular ones, too.

Old Rip’s | 3105 Cockrell Ave.

If Tex-Mex is your flavor, go right next door from Fuzzy’s and find Old Rip’s. This restaurant-by-day, bar-by-night establishment attracts people of all ages.

Old Rip’s has a huge menu with plenty of options to create your own entree. Opened in the summer of 2009, they have quickly become a favorite for students to party on weekend nights while having a reputation of a nice restaurant for families during the day.

During warmer days, Old Rip’s opens up for optional outdoor seating and will occasionally have buffet-style nights with live bands after TCU football games.

Old Rip’s also opens up its restaurant to host parties big and small.

Red Cactus | 3005 S. University Dr.

Just across the TCU campus on University Drive, Red Cactus also serves assembly-line style burritos so people can have exactly what they want.

They also have a wide variety of Mexican dishes. Don’t know what to get? Check out the daily special for lunch and dinner that day and try something new.

The tacos planchados, one of Red Cactus’ specialties, is just one of the meals with fresh ingredients prepared right before your eyes.

If there aren’t seats available during the busy lunch hours, make sure to look in the back, where locals enjoy authentic Mexican food on the outdoor patio.

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