On The Menu
• Don Christian huge burrito — All of the meats — chicken, steak, ground beef, adobada, barbacoa and chorizo — with rice, beans, cheese, lettuce, pico de gallo, cilantro, sour cream and onion, $12
• Shrimp fajitas — Shrimp served with bell peppers and onions, rice and beans, seasonal vegetables or a salad. Choice of flour or corn tortillas, $12.50
• Three taco breakfast plate — Three chorizo tacos with scrambled eggs, salsa and cheese, $6.75
• Chicken nachos — Tortilla chips topped with beans, cheese, sour cream, pico de gallo, guacamole and salsa, $7
257 Scenic Highway, Lawrenceville
Open since: July 5
Owners: Husband-wife duo Antonio and Lynn Aquino
Location: Don Christian is located at the intersection of Scenic Highway and Gwinnett Drive, where the Gwinnett Diner was once stationed.
Hours: 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. Mondays through Saturdays, closed Sundays
Atmosphere: The inside of Don Christian’s restaurant looks like a Huddle House … because it was once a Huddle House. The restaurant is long and narrow with booths and a bar top counter for diners, plus an additional room that was built on to the side of the building.
There are several tables throughout the space, plus three small booths near the front door. You can also sit at the high bar counter to eat.
Since it is a Mexican restaurant, owners Antonio and Lynn Aquino wanted to decorate with colors from the country. There are whites, greens and reds and a mixed media Mexican flag over the kitchen. There are also prints of Diego Rivera paintings throughout the dining room.
“We wanted to create a family friendly environment where everyone would feel welcome,” co-owner Lynn Aquino said. “We don’t serve alcohol.”
The restaurant offers catering to large events, like parties, meetings and birthdays.
Menu: Two things that the Aquinos pride themselves on are the recipes and freshness of the food.
“The food is made from family recipes,” Aquino said. “We’ve worked on them for the last two years and had to make things 10 times to make sure the consistency was there.”
The sauces, dressings and salsas are made in-house. The staff takes several hours to cook many of the meats for dishes. There is no lard used — in anything. The only thing they don’t make on site are the tortillas.
Don Christian serves breakfast dishes, which include breakfast burritos and tacos with scrambled eggs. There are lunch specials and larger dinner plates. Some of the most popular dishes right now are the taco salad with chipotle ranch dressing, the “wet” burrito with sour cream and enchiladas with rice and beans.
For the little ones, there is a small menu, too. They choose from either tacos, burritos, quesadillas or chicken strips.
If you’re looking for an extra special touch of Mexico, Don Christian offers an array of sweet drinks. The restaurant makes three types of aguas frescas: horchata (a cinnamon rice milk), tamarind (from the tamarind pod) and pineapple.
For soda, there are different flavors of Jarritos and Coca-Cola from Mexico. It is a little sweeter because the classic drink is made with cane sugar instead of high-fructose corn syrup.
In the future, the Aquinos are going to serve whole, half and quartered roasted chicken. They are waiting for one piece to come in for their roasting machine.
Things you might not know: The restaurant is named after the Aquino’s 12-year-old son Christian, who helps in the restaurant.