Where to Tavitas, a Mexican restaurant located inside South Station. It’s right near the station’s Tavern in the Square, operated by the same team.
What for A margarita and some nachos de la casa make that wait for a delayed commuter train feel a whole lot shorter.
The scene Tavitas makes the most of a small space. There’s a bar with two flat-screens at right angles to each other. At lunch on a weekday, it’s filled mostly with men on their own, drinking beer. People sit in small groups eating tacos at wood tables. Brick walls are painted with a mural of a woman wreathed in roses, and from the ceiling hang rustic chandeliers made from bottles of thick, colored glass. It’s an eclectic crowd: a woman all in black with red lipstick and a turquoise ponytail, another on crutches in a romper, a rail-thin senior citizen, a jolly-looking jazzbo. A screen shows the schedule board from the station so no one misses a train. Or just sit on the indoor patio, which offers a view of the real thing.
What you’re eating Appetizers from chipotle agave wings to queso fundido. Salads. Tortas, burritos, and tacos, including something called Walking Tacos (pictured) — all the meats and toppings served inside a snack-size bag of Cool Ranch Doritos. So wrong and yet so right?
Care for a drink? The signature Lowrider margarita is bright pink with a blue sugar rim, potent and not nearly as sweet as it looks. Tequila flights, chipotle micheladas, and sangria are among the other options. Or keep it thematic with the Last Train to Mexico, a shot of Agavales blanco tequila with a can of Tecate. It’s worth noting that most cocktails here are $8 or $9.
Overheard Talk about football, work, Mexican food, and strategies for getting outside traffic into the station to eat and drink. “Bills fans are legit,” a man says to co-workers. “I like how they’re proud even though their team always sucks.” “I’ve actually tweeted something already,” says one woman, unveiling a social-media strategy to a companion. “So you’re going to get the po-yo?” someone asks. “Po-lo,” his friend replies. “Just because I didn’t eat my meal doesn’t mean I didn’t like my meal,” says someone trying to split the bill. “None of them are very spicy,” a server tells a woman trying to decide among the salsas. A few minutes later, she takes an order from a group of gentlemen. “Are you guys wimpy?” she asks. “No, hot is good,” one of them says emphatically. A cop comes in. “Hey, Trouble,” a server says with a smile. “What did you eat yesterday?”
South Station, 650 Atlantic Ave., Boston, 857-302-7001, www.tavitas.comDevra First can be reached at email@example.com. Follow her on Twitter @devrafirst.