Mexico Express is a low-priced, cozy, delicious stop perfect for breakfast, lunch and dinner. I can’t believe I hadn’t tried it until recently.

From the moment you walk in and hear the chimes on the door, there is an air of hospitality. Despite a bit of a language barrier with some of the staff, the experience is comfortable and belly warming.

The meal started out with complimentary salsa and chips. Mexico Express has two red salsas, a mild and a spicy. The mild is good, but the spicy is fantastic. I’ve seen a lot of salsas with “bold” written on the container, but I’ve never tasted a truly bold salsa until Mexico Express.The flavor is lovely with a dark cilantro base, and it’s absolutely worth the runny nose and red cheeks of the intense spice. Just make sure you have something handy to wash it down.

I also ordered the fajita nachos, and I say these are an absolute must try. From the cheese to the meat, these nachos are quality. I love the rounded flavor and light cheese with the multitude of toppings. The bell pepper, grilled onion, tomato and chicken fajita meat toppings are the center of the meal with the chips as a complement used to eat them, unlike plenty of other nacho counterparts where the chips seem to take the forefront.

The next dish I tried was the #18 with two beef enchiladas and one chicken flauta. The flauta is good with very well cooked, juicy shredded chicken. The flavor is slightly lacking, however, so take care to dip it in the queso or brown gravy sauce topping your enchiladas. The enchiladas are alright. The flavor is good with a nice finish, but the brown gravy sauce is lacking, and the composition is off. It needs something to round it out.

The chimichanga was next, and it sported an all around good flavor. The juicy beef is not overcooked, but it could stand to be a bit crispier. I have two suggestions for this dish and most other dishes — spend the extra $1 for fajita meat and choose the queso over the brown gravy sauce. The fajita meat is leaps and bounds ahead of the regular ground beef.

The rice and beans at Mexico Express could stand to be better. The rice is dry and has no seasoning. The beans are unsalted but are a little better than the rice. On their own, the rice and beans wouldn’t stand a chance, but their blandness does make them good for mixing.

The next time I visit Mexico Express, I can’t wait to try their breakfast, their green sauce (available on request) and visit between 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. when their chile con queso is complimentary.

Mexico Express is located at 1603 W. Frank Ave. and is open from 6 a.m. to 10 p.m. Monday through Thursday, from 6 a.m. to 11 p.m. Friday and Saturday and from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Sunday. For more information or to place a to go order, call 637-3200.

Olive Waldorf is a pseudonym for the food critic of The Lufkin Daily News. Her email is foodcritic@lufkindailynews.com.