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One Dish Wonders: Los Cucos Mexican Cafe

Mike Sutter

Beef Stuffed Avocado ($8.99)

After El Arroyo closed at Bee Cave Road and Texas 71, it didn't take long for its replacement to find a customer base. Just weeks after it opened in July, Los Cucos was packed, its cavernous main room filled with neighborhood families, people I recognized from our elementary school, their echoes bounding off the concrete floors. I can't claim familiarity with the sprawling menu of Tex-Mex standards and grill platters. Doesn't matter. Give me the Beef Stuffed Avocado every single time. It's a baseball-sized avocado filled with smoky beef fajita meat and melting Cheddar-Jack cheese, fried to a grainy crunch. By itself, it's possibly enough, once you factor in free chips and two salsas. But this plate has its own cheering section: a juicy chicken fajita taco covered in queso, plus refried beans, chopped tomatoes and sour cream, even a cup of tortilla soup. At $8.99, it's a solid introduction to this regional chain specializing in mid-priced Mexican food.

Los Cucos Mexican Cafe. 12432 RM 2244, Bee Cave. 263-3400, www.loscucos.com .