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Pepper's is a clean, modern, fast-food Mex establishment with a few indoor tables and outdoor seating set away from Washington Avenue - you almost feel as if you're dining alfresco on a featureless street in Tijuana. The burrito ($6.99 to $7.99) is a bulky, San Francisco-style wrap whose soft flour tortilla is stuffed with fresh Mex-style rice, refried beans, lettuce, grated cheese, pico de gallo, and choice of main protein - which in the case of a "classic" is ground beef or juicy strips of grilled chicken or steak. Other recommended renditions include the al pastor (adobo-marinated pork and grilled pineapple) and a fish burrito of beer-battered tilapia jacked with chipotle mayo. The pick of taco filler is pretty much the same, but when it comes to preparing them, Pepper's Grill plays both sides of the culinary fence: You can get one in a hard shell with lettuce, pico de gallo, sour cream, and cheese - or à la mex, a soft corn tortilla solely squired by cilantro and onions. Tacos are $2.99 to $3.99, and you can nab two for the price of one every Monday from 4 to 10 p.m. The rest of the menu runs the gamut from A to C: A. quesadillas, B. fajitas, and C. enchiladas. Pepper's stays open till 6 a.m., so tortilla cravings need never go unanswered.
Among those who take their ethnic restaurants seriously, ambiance, service, and even taste of the food take back seats to how closely the meals hew to authenticity. This zeal for the real deal, however, manifests itself to different degrees... More »
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