Friday night we went to dinner at Tia Helita's with my sister- and brother-in-law. The dinner was inconsistent; I had the taco dinner, shells medium crispy. I prefer them that way because they have some crunch, but don't fall apart as soon as you sprinkle hot sauce on them.
The side of beans must have been left under the heatlamp to be classified as "refried." I just called them "redried." The rice was unfortunately typical of Mexican rice in Flint; dry and flavorless. I've stopped hoping for good beans and rice in Flint. I haven't developed a good theory as to why no one can make it, but that isn't why I usually go out to Mexican restaurants.
The tacos were fairly good. The shells were crunchy, yet didn't break. The tomato wasn't bad given the season, and the meat was well-seasoned without being overpowering. I added salsa and was quite happy as I ate.
Tia Helita's is located at 4070 South Saginaw St.
What I really like about Tia Helita's, though, is the chips an salsa. They make their own chips and the salsa has zip and a great texture. It isn't picante sauce, but it's thicker than the watered-down salsa restaurants like Chili's serves. But the chips: wow. They must put some kind of chips-and-salsa-crack on the chips because I can't stop eating them when we go. It makes the mediocre food and bad service (which was atypical) worth the trip.
I don't know the history of Tia Helita's, but I've been told it's a Flint institution. what I do know is that I'll be there whenever I'm jonesing for some chips and salsa.