You could stand on a corner and look around until a restaurant sign draws you in. But we've got a better idea. Santee Patch picks a restaurant, either in town or nearby, that is worth checking out:
Overview: Main drag hole-in-the-wall Mexican Food (the way it should be) on the east-end of Mission Gorge to rival Cotijas in the west. Opened within the last six months. Has a broad menu and some of the best quality Mexican Food I've seen in Santee.
Decor: Standard Mexican Food hole-in-the-wall, but very clean. Set up with a bar for quick outdoor ordering. More room inside to sit than expected.
Food: I decided to try the namesake, Ferny's Burrito, with an option of standard meats (carne asada, carnitas, pollo asada or adobada) with guacamole, chunky salsa, potato and Monterrey Jack cheese- and it didn't disappoint. It's really just a variation of a California Burrito, but exactly how I prefer it, with potato instead of fries and guacamole rather than sour cream.
I dare say it was the best variation on a California Burrito that I've eaten in Santee. The carne asada was top-notch for the location- not fatty or overly chewy at all. The guacamole was also excellent, freshly made.
I didn't notice the Hawaiian Burrito before I ordered, or I probably would have ordered that instead. It is unique in my experience of San Diego Mexican Food joints- steak, ham, red onion, Monterrey Jack cheese, pineapple and Teriyaki sauce to top it off! I feel like I need to do a special edition Bites Nearby just for that burrito.
The salsa bar looks standard, but the addition of hot carrots, radishes, and lime marinated red onion was an instant bonus and harbinger of good things. There are five salsa selections including the classic mild and hot red sauce, medium green sauce, a chipotle and another with a sour tinge to it that was my favorite.
There is also a "healthy menu" that features a Chicken Caesar Burrito or salad.
Bonus: They have an extensive value menu that includes Crispy Potato Tacos and the Value Burrito, with beans, rice, enchilada sauce and potato.
Service: Average service time for a place of this type. Clean tables and restaurant. The staff is friendly and offered water and chips with the meal, without me asking.
House Specials: The "must try items" are starred on the menu. Ferny's Burrito, Ferny's Bowl, Crispy Potato Taco, Hawaiian Burrito, Nacho Burrito, Ferny's Fries