Serving a wide variety of Mexican street food in a cool, cheerful and family-friendly environment, Don Kirrin Snack House (13510 Aldine Westfield Rd.) is a clean, well-lighted place where the only sure thing is that every item on their wildly inventive and extensive menu will fire up a fiesta on your table and get the party popping in your mouth.
Yes, that is a mouthful right there, but Don Kirrin really makes an impression on you. The English words “snack house” don’t really do the one-year-old happy place justice; its Spanish-language slogan — “La Case del Antojo,” the House of Whims or Cravings — gets you much closer, as its menu is full of gloriously whimsical items that will satisfy any craving from sweet to sour to salty to savory, much of it a-sting with Tajín seasoning.
As each item is prepared after it is ordered, and some items are as elaborate and complicated as a Carmen Miranda fruit bowl hat, there can be a bit of a wait, but Don Kirrin is designed for people who want to kick back and enjoy life, not blaze through a drive-thru and devour a snack / slurp a drink in their car. That’s why they offer fun music on the speakers and a variety of board games to play — they want you to linger over your smoothie de mango y chamoy or Nutella frappe and appreciate their creations with your eyes — as well as your taste buds.
On the sweet side, their variety of shakes, fruit drinks, and other libations often include combinations of ice cream, store-bought soft drinks, fresh-cut mangos, strawberries, cucumbers, watermelon, yuca, jicama and tamarind, sprinklings of seasonings and candy, often with a little Chinese parasol on top, bringing still more fun to the affair. Is your energy flagging? Try a Monster preparado — a Monster energy drink kicked up with spices and fresh-cut lime and orange slices.
Savory snacks take a similarly inventive approach albeit with saltier and starchier ingredients. Doritos, Cheetos, Tostitos, Takis and other off-the-shelf bagged snacks wind up as either the foundation for nacho variations or crushed as toppings over elotes with cheese or atop French fries.
Especially upon digging into one of the sweet treats, you’ll feel like a six-year-old on your birthday even if you’re sixty, so imagine what it would be like to hand over something like their raspa de coco — coconut ice cream, a pineapple slice, a vanilla sugar wafer dipper, and a Maraschino cherry and umbrella on top — to an actual six-year-old!
But wait, there’s more! Ceviche trays on weekends!
“No Somos los MEJORES del mundo,” runs their slogan, “pero si los mejores del RUMBO.”
In English: “We are not in the best in the world, but we are the best around these parts.” Try and find better along the mighty Aldine-Westfield Road, if you can. But you might as well not bother as el rumbo a Flavortown está aquí at Don Kirrin.
Don Kirrin Snack House
13510 Aldine-Westfield Rd.