Southern Comforts

La Taqueria // With the holidays in our rearview mirror, we're looking for ways to combat the winter doldrums that seem to hit this time of year. La Taqueria in Richmond Heights helps melt our seasonal affective disorder. With its warm red walls covered with Mexican-themed art and enough seating to accommodate about 30 people, there's a south of the border ease about the fast-casual burrito and taco spot. Ordering is a breeze: Walk along the counter to build your dish, choosing from nine proteins, including carne asada steak and house-cured chorizo, and more than 40 toppings such as beans, rice, peppers and house-made salsas. Stick to your New Year's resolution with the lettuce cup tacos ($7.50). We filled ours with grilled chicken, brown rice, black beans, diced avocado and spicy pico de gallo. If diets aren't your thing, try the chimichanga ($8.50) — a burrito deep-fried to a crunchy golden brown. We stuffed ours with shredded chicken mole (a tangy, sweet chocolate Mexican barbecue sauce), Mexican rice, refried beans, grilled jalapenos, queso fresco, corn salsa and the delicious combo of cabbage and cilantro. Washed down with a gold margarita ($8), that first texture-filled bite was enough to whisk us away to a white sand beach somewhere far, far away.

La Taqueria, 5115 Wilson Mills Road, Richmond Heights, 440-442-1445,

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