The best thing about visiting the "little" versions of other regions is the food. The second-best thing is that the little versions of grown-up animals still look like baby animals. Today’s Groupon muddles the experience with tropical tastes, splashes it with Latin locomotion, and garnishes it with extended metaphors. For $10, you get $25 worth of scrumptious Cuban cuisine and drinks at Little Havana Restaurant y Cantina Cubana, a casual Federal Hill eatery that's been serving authentic cuisine for more than a decade. Little Havana's is open Monday through Thursday from 4 p.m. to 2 a.m. (kitchen closes at 10 p.m.), Friday through Saturday from 11 a.m. to 2 a.m. (kitchen closes at 11 p.m.), and Sundays for brunch and dinner from 11 a.m. to 2 a.m. (kitchen closes at 10 p.m.).
Latin Palace's lively eatery doubles as an energetic nightclub, pulsing with the DJ-fueled rhythms of bachata, merengue, reggaeton, and salsa until 2 a.m. A menu of more than 15 Spanish tapas, towering cuban sandwiches, and dishes inspired by Spanish, Caribbean, and Tex-Mex traditions equip bodies for the challenge of the dance floor and the joys of winning a dance with a hard-to-get tablecloth. Party packages for a variety of shindigs fete customers with a miscellany of discounted appetizers, specialty drinks, and salsa lessons, and events six nights a week keep restaurant-goers entertained long after savoring Latin flavors.
Blue Agave's menu features upscale, authentic Mexican cuisine that rotates to include fresh, seasonal ingredients common to the region. Take off your shoes and glide across the floor to your tile-top table beneath exposed brick walls decorated with relics of turquoise and terra cotta affectations. Once seated, you can start with chicken flautas with serrano chiles and mole chatino ($7) or a platter of mussels with smoked chile cream sauce and habanero rouille ($10). Try to practice your pronunciation with dishes such as the enchiladas en salsa de huitlacoche with chihuahua and cotija cheese and agave rice ($15) or the chuletas de cordero, spicy lamb chops with ancho-port reduction and sweet-potato puree ($28).
The chefs at Mi Viejo Pueblito Restaurant sizzle up dinner and lunch menus packed full of authentic Mexican flavors. At dinnertime, patrons smuggle beef, melted cheese, and fresh guacamole into stomachs via quesadillas ($8.50) and silence stomachs before they begin arguing with the pancreas by dining on fajitas camarones, where grilled shrimp mingles on a hot plate with bell peppers ($13.50). Sink delectable shrimp into a glass of tangy sauce with the Mexican-style shrimp cocktail ($8.50), or stretch jaw muscles in anticipation of the guisados de puerco, stewed pork in green and red sauce ($9.50). Parched noshers crack open cervezas, uncork bottles of wine, or stab open fermented juice boxes brought from home, in accordance with Mi Viejo Pueblito's BYOB policy, and kick back on weekends as live bands belt out jazz tunes.
Talara pulsates with vibrant Art Deco hues and patrons passing tapas, seviche, paella, and an array of Latin and South American specialties. Seven different seviche styles, each with a different mix of fresh seafood, are available from the seviche bar; nosh a 2 oz. serving of traditional seviche ($8) or choose two ($15) or three ($21) different preparations, such as the Peruvian-style tiradito or the curried tropical fruit. Tapas options include Portuguese-style mussels ($9), mini tostadas ($8), and empanadas stuffed with pulled pork and queso blanco ($9). Mid-sized plates, such as coconut-shrimp tempura ($14) and chili-rubbed salmon ($16), fill any appetite bucket to the brim. View the complete menu here.