127 Campbell Avenue
Before hitting the Blue Ridge Parkway, we stopped in Roanoke for lunch. I texted a friend who lives in nearby Blacksburg and she directed us to the center of town where there were loads of restaurants to choose from. We parked the car and walked around until we found a place where we wanted to stop. Alejandro's won because it was busy (which we took as a good sign) and because Warren and I love Mexican food.
Inside, we discovered that the menu was extensive and covered an entire wall. There was a line and by the time it was our turn to order, I was a little stressed. I do much better at new places when there is a menu I can look at while I sit down and stall with drink and cheese dip orders. To add insult to injury, Warren and the boys darted off to save a table so I was on my own. Warren and Satchel had agreed to split an order of carnitas before leaving, but Jiro wasn't giving me any clues as to what he wanted to eat. He was very clear on the fact that he wanted an orange Juarito at least. I did the best I could and went on my way.
I quickly discovered that the thing Alejandro's is known for is their extensive serve yourself salsa bar. It's free with any order, so while Warren took the boys to wash up, I grabbed as many little samplers as I could carry. I thought I might convince the kids that the ranchy tasting dip was cheese dip, but they were not fooled. Our food came out fairly quickly so we didn't need to do a second raid on the salsa bar, but I'm bummed we didn't try more.
The carnitas was plenty for Satchel and Warren to split. Satchel is all about the rice and beans these days, and quickly slurped these down.
When I can't figure out something exciting to get, I usually default to a standard burrito. Turned out it wasn't anything super exciting, but it was big, fresh and tasty. I only managed to eat half of it.
Poor Jiro ended up with a last minute panic order of a cheese quesadilla that wasn't even worth taking a picture of. I should have just gotten him a crunchy taco, but wasn't able to remember that he liked them when I was ordering. It didn't seem to matter though. After downing the Juarito, he wasn't hungry. I got it wrapped up to go, but he never ever showed any interest in eating it.
All in all I'd say it was a fine place to stop. It was fairly cheap, fast, and friendly enough. There are three of them in the area, so even if you don't make it downtown, you might get to try it out. If you do go downtown, there are plenty of shops and an outdoor farmer's/artist market nearby.