1314 Commonwealth Ave Allston; (617) 232-4242 Opened in late 92 on the premises of the late, lamented Play It Again Sam’s, the Armadillo quickly made lots of new friends among the BU students and assorted yuppies in the area. They’ve done a wonderful job brightening the place up (large vertical windows open up to create an al fresco feeling, even in Allston). Both sides of the former bar now serve as dining rooms decorated in bold Southwestern colors (the whole exterior facade is now bright yellow), while the downstairs space doubles as a party room on weekends.
The food, meanwhile, is smartly done Tex-Mex. Mine tucked into chicken mole, a boneless doublebreast in an unsweetened chocolate sauce, served up with rice and beans for $7.95. His dining companion, meanwhile, was overwhelmed with an order of vegetarian fajitas (same price) a heaping platter of veggies on a bed of rice, topped with melted cheese, and served with soft tortillas like a Mexican moo shi.
For an unusual starter, try a bowl of tortilla soup ($4.75), a shellfish stew with a bit of crunch. Burritos, ta-cos, and the whole enchilada round out the south-of-the-border section of the menu, which also offers a half-rack of ribs for $6.95; sirloin tips with fries and baked beans for $8.50; fried catfish ($7.50); and half-pound hamburgers ($5.50), all augmented by a full bar with several good brews on tap. Open daily for lunch and dinner, plus an all-you-can-eat Sunday brunch for $7.95 (including a mimosa or Bloody Maria!).