What’s a Botana Platter? By definition, it’s a Mexican appetizer or snack platter. To people in my circle, it’s the quintessential “must have” for Mexican food loving carnivores! The great “Botanas” begin with a layer of tortilla chips or quesadillas with added layers of refried beans, cheddar cheese, grilled vegetables, a hearty helping of tender beef or chicken fajitas and random globs of quacamole and sour cream. Salsa is essential. Tortillas, beans and rice are always present.
My Botana Platter passion began years ago when large groups of friends would join me at “The Roundup” in Pharr, Texas (now re-birthed “La Mexicana” in McAllen). We’d order the largest version of their Botana Platters and share great food and great friendships for hours almost every Saturday night.
Recently, we returned to the Rio Grande Valley with the ultimate goal of savoring another of those often missed Botanas. We weren’t disappointed when long time friends introduced us to Diaz Diner in Mission. This place is an unassuming Mission treasure with great food, very reasonable prices and a friendly staff. Owners Veneranda Padron and Eduardo Pinto bought the restaurant five years ago and transformed it into one of Mission’s favorites.
Though the Diaz Diner menu had tantalizing temptations I remained focused and ordered a “Mini Botana” for myself. Let me say there was nothing mini about it considering this whole plate was just for me AND the price was only $8.99! The flavor of each item was perfect and the beef fajitas were especially tender. Our server, Ruben, provided great service, too. My only disappointment with the meal was that it had to end.
What are their other specialties? I’m including a picture of an absolutely scrumptious Sombrero Plate, and I hear that their #1 best seller is the Parrillada — a big plate with 4 meats (chicken fajitas, beef fajitas, Polish sausage and ribs) served on a sizzling platter with rice, charro beans and quesadillas. All of this for only $9.99! For folks in your group looking for American food (say, what?), there’s a Chicken Fried Steak platter or the customary hamburger that’ll win their hearts.
You won’t find any website for Diaz Diner, but that’s no indicator of the quality of their food. Just Google their map and stop by when you’re in the Valley.
Hours: Mon – Sat 6 a.m. to 8 p.m. and Sun – 7 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Address: 501 W. Business Highway 83, Mission, TX 78572