Meals at El Nortenos Restaurant begin with a complimentary serving of chips and salsa, whetting appetites for the authentic dishes being prepared in the kitchen. Chefs capture the flavors of Mexico in creations such as chiles poblanos, grilled steaks, and enchiladas, while bartenders pour glasses of ice-cold margaritas, daiquiris, and draft beer. Fajitas deliver Tex-Mex taste in a tortilla envelope, and the shrimp cocktail dazzles palates with the bold flavors of cilantro, tomatoes, onions, pepper, and guacamole.
Sizzling Central American cuisine serenades senses in Estela's family-friendly interior, where customers can surf waves of free WiFi or challenge friends to games of foosball in between their savory bites. Start with a zesty appetizer such as mexican-chicken egg rolls ($6.90) before reeling in an entree such as pan-fried sea bass ranchero ($12.75) or a loaded combination platter ($9.60–$10.20). Homemade flan, fried ice cream, or choco tacos ($4.95–$5.95) can sweeten stomachs while a kaleidoscope of tequila from the restaurant's full bar adds sugar to the sentiments of dining love birds and old pinochle partners. Drool over the entire dinner menu, which also includes children's specials and vegetarian options, on Estela's website.
The flavors of Mexico City get an inventive reboot at Cantina Laredo, which has specialized in modern Mexican cuisine since 1984. Over the decades, Catina Laredo locations have spread to numerous states, countries, and at least two planes of reality. Classic dishes fill the menu, including guacamole prepared tableside and hand-rolled enchiladas stuffed with everything from Angus beef to avocado and artichokes. At the same time, the chefs elevate and refine traditional flavors by creating chicken fajitas with bacon, mushrooms, and chipotle-wine sauce and filling tortas with slow-roasted pork, apricot spread, goat cheese, and fried egg.
As for drink pairings, the Casa Rita?Cantina Laredo's signature margarita?is versatile, its classic version including silver tequila with Cointreau and fresh-squeezed lemon and lime juice. Diners can customize their drink by adding flavors such as mango or tamarind into the mix.
Springing from the mindparts of CEO and founder John Kunkel, Lime Fresh Mexican Grill combines the tasty flavor of Mexican fare with a dedication to healthy eating and responsible food sourcing. After cutting its teeth in the mean streets of Miami's South Beach, Lime Fresh spread its delicious message across the country, stuffing organic beans, colorful veggies, homemade salsas, and humanely raised meats into tortillas made from non-genetically-modified corn and flour. Chefs grill quesadillas, roll burritos, and sizzle fajitas before customers' eyes, and they can easily convert each item on the menu into a vegetarian-friendly feast or a makeshift futon. As guests content themselves with mouthfuls of flavorful tacos, fresh salads, and cheesy scoops of nachos, Lime Fresh Mexican Grill's dedicated staff works hard behind the scenes to build strong community relationships through contributions to local charities and nonprofits.
The chefs and staff of Maria Bonita are eager to share. They want to introduce others to the flavors of Mexico and Cuba and the passion they have for fresh ingredients. Luckily, most visitors don't take much convincing. Cuervo and Patron tequilas swirl with amaretto, Grand Marnier, brandy, and fruit to create more than ten different margaritas, all of which are kept cool with ice, which is flavorless. The lineup of cervezas complement their signature queso fundido or fajitas fabulosas. Cuban entrees sail to tables alongside yuca, sweet plantains, or tostones, which take a supporting role to slow-roasted, marinated pork, stewed and shredded flank steak, or grilled fish topped with caramelized onions. The restaurant also serves Churrasco, Parrillada, and Mofongo dishes.
Within the confines of the recently renovated Chico's Dirty Tacos & Tequila, diners peruse executive chef Chris Sterna’s menu of Mexican specialties, all of which he flavors with tequila-based sauces. Sterna’s predisposition toward the Mexican liquor carries over onto the drink menu, where 63 tequilas and 244 shots await to lubricate palates and leave worms homeless.