Manager Manish Patel adds beans to a custom-made burrito. (Photo by Mike Steele.)

If you’re looking for Mexican food at reasonable prices, look no further than Pancheros Mexican Grill, a burrito franchise located in the Deer Path Pavilion shopping center anchored by Harry’s Army & Navy on Route 130 North.

“We saw that [in this area] there were not many alternatives for a good burrito and Mexican food,” franchise owner Pranav Desai said. “When we saw this site being available, we felt that it had a good mix of retail, residence and business community that we were looking to target.”

Pancheros Mexican Grill fits into a unique category of dining somewhere between fast food and sit-down service. Customers order at a counter and are served promptly, but the food is fresh and made to order.

“We like to call it fast-casual,” Desai said. “The dining experience is more warm and casual than some of the fast food places.”

Pancheros Mexican Grill serves a variety of Mexican foods, such as quesadillas, tacos, chips, salsa and queso, but its most popular menu items are the custom-made burritos. Customers are able to select a meat, and then choose several toppings and sauces to their burritos.

“We make everything fresh,” said Desai. “There is no frozen food, refrigerator, microwave or fryer.”

Pancheros Mexican Grill makes fresh dough for tortillas every morning, and the tortillas are pressed and grilled right in front of the customer. All items are prepared for individuals upon ordering. New meat is freshly grilled every half hour.

“We have custom made food for everyone,” Desai said. “It’s not like fast food where you say, ‘Give me a Number Five.’”

And, in a unique twist, Pancheros employees use a device called “Bob the Tool” to mix up ingredients in a burrito, theoretically helping the customer avoid the dreaded all-rice or all-meat bite.

To celebrate the grand opening early last year, the location hosted a Dollar Burrito Night, in which burritos were available to customers for only one dollar during select evening hours. This event was a huge success, with nearly 550 people in attendance.

“We did the same thing when we celebrated 20 years of the franchise in July,” Desai said. “We’re planning to do one more for our one-year anniversary [in February.]”

Desai is happy with the warm reception local residents have given the restaurant. He attributes the business’ success to the friendly and hard working staff. With their help, this location was able to re-open only two days after Hurricane Sandy. He was thrilled to see the location serving hungry diners in the area so soon after the storm.

“They didn’t have food at home, and we were able to serve them good quality food,” he said.

Pancheros Mexican Grill is located at 691 Route 130. Phone: (609) 981-7200. On the web: pancheros.com.