DDD Review- Avila’s Mexican Restaurant

DDD Review #1  5/5/18

So Hubby LOVES Guy Fieri’s Diners, Drive Ins and Dives so we decided to start visiting some of those DDD restaurants that are local to us. Last Saturday (Cinco de Mayo) we went to Avila’s Mexican Restaurant in Dallas. We got there about 2:30 so there were just a few other customers and we were seated immediately– at a rockin’ table that needed a little maintenance to make it stable.  The staff was nice and helped us quickly.  The salsa was amazing!  It was very spicy but deliciously so, smoky sweet. There was a taste we couldn’t quite pin down but we think it was chipotle pepper. Hubby ordered the Triple D Combo ($14.95) which consisted of a tamale, a cup of pozole, and a brisket gordita. He said the tamale had no flavor. Pretty bland. The pozole was good- nice spice with a little heat. The gordita – meh. Just not notable.  I had the shrimp tacos ($12.95) which came with rice and black bean refried beans. They were ok. Nothing special.  The tacos tasted very shrimp-y even though I could see they’d been seasoned they just really had no spicy flavor.   Given the wonderful spice of the salsa we are confused by the bland flavor of everything else.  Were our taste buds sizzled by the salsa and we could no longer taste anything else? Hmmmm…I don’t think so.

The parking lot is easy to get into, but difficult to get out of. We parked in the extra lot right West of the restaurant. The cars behind are close and there’s no way to keep pulling through the lot so you just have to back up, pull forward, back up, pull forward and then just back out very carefully.

Overall, we were a little disappointed and give them ** (2 stars out of 5).


Spicy Butternut Soup

This is delicious!

Spicy Butternut Soup

1/3 c. diced onion

1 lb lean ground beef

2 TB taco seasoning

Salt and pepper, to taste

4 c. diced butternut squash

½ c. diced red bell pepper

15 oz can tomato sauce

2 c. Enchilada sauce

(water, if needed)


Spray large sauce pan with cooking spray; add onion and ground beef. Cook until browned and add taco seasoning, salt and pepper.  Combine and add butternut squash, bell pepper, tomato sauce and Enchilada sauce. Add water if you like a soupier soup.

Yield: 4 servings.


Shrimp Pepper Pasta


Shrimp Pepper Pasta

6 oz spaghetti

Cooking spray

4 small sweet peppers, thinly sliced

½ jar sliced banana peppers

1 jar cherry peppers, sliced

½ c. diced onion

Garlic, to taste

1 tsp dried oregano

1 tsp crushed red pepper flakes

Salt and pepper

¼ c. chicken broth or water

4-5 diced Roma tomatoes

15 oz tomato sauce

1 lb large shrimp, peeled and deveined

4 basil leaves, torn

1/3 c. parmesan cheese (or asiago)


Bring medium pot of water to a boil and add spaghetti.  Meanwhile, spray large skillet with cooking spray and heat on med hi. Add peppers, onion, garlic, oregano, red pepper flakes and salt and pepper. Cook about 5 minutes. Add tomatoes, broth, tomato sauce, and shrimp. Add basil leaves and cheese; fold in cooked spaghetti. Serve in bowls and top with additional basil leaves and cheese.

Yield: 3 servings.

shrimp and sausage skillet

A super easy and quick dish.

Shrimp and Sausage Skillet
1 lb of medium or large shrimp (peeled and deveined)
6 oz turkey smoked sausage, chopped
½ lb little yellow potatoes or new red, chopped
3/4 cup diced red bell pepper
3/4 cup diced green bell pepper
1/2 of a medium yellow onion, diced
1/4 cup chicken stock
1 zucchini, chopped
1 summer squash, chopped
Dash garlic powder
Salt & pepper to taste
Pinch of red pepper flakes
2 tsp Old Bay Seasoning

Spray large skillet with cooking spray. Season shrimp with Old Bay Seasoning. Cook onion until translucent; add potatoes. Use chicken stock as needed to keep vegetables moist while cooking. When potatoes are almost done add bell peppers to skillet. Add sausage, zucchini and summer squash to the skillet, cook another 2 minutes. Cook shrimp; add garlic powder, salt, pepper, red pepper flakes and more Old Bay if desired.
Yield: 4 servings.

Shrimp and Pasta

super quick and tasty meal!

Shrimp and Pasta

5 oz Smart Taste rotini

¼ onion, diced

1 ½ lb uncooked, deveined & peeled shrimp

14 oz can diced tomatoes with Italian seasoning, drained some

Dash garlic powder

Dash red pepper flakes

Salt and pepper, to taste

1 c. fat free half and half

¼ tsp smoked paprika

¾ c. reduced fat shredded mozzarella


Bring pot of water to boil and cook pasta. Spray large skillet with cooking spray and cook onion.  Add tomatoes, garlic powder, red pepper flakes and salt and pepper.  Simmer and add half and half, stirring constantly. Add paprika, mozzarella and shrimp.  Keep stirring until shrimp are cooked. Fold in cooked pasta and serve.

Yield: 4 servings. Per serving= 417 Calories; 7g Fat (16.1% calories from fat); 45g Protein; 39g Carbohydrate; 4g Dietary Fiber; 270mg Cholesterol; 439mg Sodium.


Sugar Free Strawberry Jalapeno Jam


Sugar Free Strawberry Jalapeno Jam

2 c. strawberries

.3 oz sugar free strawberry jello powder

1 c. cold water

Jalapenos, to taste


Take leaves off strawberries and slice; crush in small saucepan. Add jalapenos, water and jello powder. Heat to boiling, stirring constantly. Reduce heat to low and simmer 2 minutes. Pour into jars. Can be stored in refrigerator for 1 week or in freezer for several weeks.


Dirty Rice



1 lb ground beef, 96/4
dash garlic powder
3 stalks celery, chopped
¼ c. diced onion
1 TBS chopped parsley
½ c green bell pepper, chopped
½ c red bell pepper, chopped
11 oz can tomatoes w/ green chilies, undrained
1 chipotle chili in adobo, chopped
1 TBS Worcestershire sauce
¼ tsp. red pepper flakes
¼ tsp pepper 1 tsp Cajun seasoning
1 c instant brown rice
2 tsp beef bouillon granules
2 c water

In a large skillet, add beef and all vegetables, cooking until beef is done and vegetables are tender. Add seasonings, stirring well. Add rice and water, mixing well. Bring to a boil and reduce heat, cover, and cook 10 minutes for instant rice, cooking until rice is done.

Yield: 5 servings. Per serving (about 1cup)= 222 Calories; 3g Fat (13.7% calories from fat); 22g Protein; 27g Carbohydrate; 2g Dietary Fiber; 53mg Cholesterol; 276mg Sodium.