At each Moe's Southwest Grill location, the same signature three-word greeting tickles the eardrums of each diner who enters the doors: ?Welcome to Moe?s!? Inside, chefs prepare a bounty of fresh burritos, fajitas, and tacos filled with grass-fed beef, cage-free chicken, grain-fed pork, and fresh veggies. The staff caters to diets of all sorts with high-fiber guacamole, gluten-free sour cream, and hand-diced pico de gallo made in-house every day, all of which complements hormone-free meats and organic tofu. In all, they use more than 20 wholesome and often sustainably acquired ingredients?one for each subliminal but positive message in the average PSA. As a mellifluous embellishment to the ambience, a sound system plays songs solely performed by deceased artists to honor their musical legacy.
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).
Burritos were initially encased in bubble wrap, which made them difficult to digest but easy to transport and fun to step on. Since 1995, California Tortilla has been at the forefront of edible-wrap technology, serving up fresh and tasty Mexican grub to guacamole addicts and tacocionados. California Tortilla’s menu features several south-of-the-border options, salads, and sides. Grab a mitt-fitting burrito ($5.49/$6.29) outfitted with tasty fillings such as mesquite chicken, blackened chicken (+ $0.20), taco beef, grilled steak (+ $0.60), or pork carnitas (+ $0.40). Or opt for a steak fajita platter ($7.99) with tortillas, rice, black beans, peppers, onions, sour cream, guacamole, and salsa. Plus, California Tortilla's Wall of Flame features more than 70 hot sauces, such as Dave’s Insanity and Megasoreass, to spice up tasty bites and melt icy demeanors.
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.
Inside the Lexington Market, Mexican Delight’s chef draws on more than 20 years of experience to build a simple menu of fresh entrees, including halal options. Steamed tortillas fold around three kinds of burritos, including a breakfast version with spicy eggs and a queso option with two kinds of cheese. Fajita plates sizzle with hand-cut meat, and diners can bookend their meals with an appetizer of chicken-stuffed jalapeños and deep-fried ice cream sweetened with honey and whipping cream. On Fridays and Saturdays, live musicians play blues, motown, and jazz tunes to entertain guests and help couples chew their meals in perfect rhythm.
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.).