217 Elm St, Somerville; (617) 628-6394
735 Massachusetts Ave Cambridge; (617) 576-6394
It’s Mexican food for yuppies. The atmosphere at Picante is bright and fun, while the menu is short and simple. Have a taco, cheese quesadilla, or flauta (soft com tortilla filled with chicken and fried), served with rice, black beans, and salad, for $4.95. Choose any two items for $6.50. An order of nachos is also $4.95, and you can avail yourself of the salsa bar, with various spicy sauces for dipping.
Burritos are a good bet, filled with cheese, rice, beans, and a mild sauce; they range from $4-$6, with your choice of chicken, steak, or (for veggie fans) char-grilled squash and mushrooms. Taco salads ($4.95) are also huge, served in an edible crisp com tortilla bowl. It’s packed with lettuce, carrot sticks, and other vegetables, guacamole, sour cream, black beans, cheese, and sauteed chicken or steak.
There is no liquor license (and no smoking allowed anywhere), but the interesting drinks include a tasty nonalcoholic sangria ($2) and agua de pina ($1.50), a tall, sweet cup of pineapple juice with chunks of fruit in it. Very refreshing. And if you have room for dessert, there’s homemade flan for $3. Open daily.