Attached to an unassuming South Philly corner bodega filled with Mexican groceries, chilies, and spices, Los Gallos doesn't have to go far to find its ingredients. The chefs whip up familiar feasts of chicken tostadas, Texas-style nachos, and cheese quesadillas or dole out more traditional Mexican dishes such as savory menudo stews, huitlacoche tacos, or enchiladas mole. Leave the plastic at home, as Los Gallos only accepts payment in the form of cash or in-key renditions of public-domain Christmas songs.
Los Taquitos de Puebla Restaurant was praised by the Philadelphia Weekly as a destination for great pork, specifically the "succulent cilantro-flecked tacos al pastor." These traditional pork tacos are decorated simply with succulent pineapple and crisp onions. Inside the restaurant’s small and colorful dining room you can order quite a variety of tacos from the menu including some that feature cactus and chihuahua cheese, beef short rib, and smoked pork chop.
The word xochitl (pronounced "so-cheet") means flower in the Nahuatl language—so it’s more than fitting that Xochitl's dining room is decorated in bud-like vibrant yellows offset by banquettes in deep crimson. Garden-fresh flavors come to life in the chefs’ ceviches spiked with citrus and in guacamole that gets scooped up with housemade tortilla chips. Earthy comfort food entrees include braised short ribs and a succulent fried chicken dish that begins its path to the table with a 24-hour brining. And because the coveted elixir of the agave plant—tequila—is the star of the restaurant's drink list, Xochitl earned the acme position on CBS Philly's list of "Top Spots for Margaritas in Philadelphia."
Mexican Post posts a classic menu of quesadillas, nachos, and burritos. Complimentary chips and salsa begin meals by blowing tiny tortilla trumpets, heralding the quesadilla fiesta of cheese, homemade salsa, and a choice of veggies, tofu, or chicken ($6.45). Diners can chomp down on two custom-stuffed tacos ($4.95) or devour an edible tortilla bowl brimming with taco salad ($6.95). Bottles of Mexican soda cool down mouths with flavors such as mango, guava, and strawberry ($2.50), and churros ($1.50) are sure to remind jaded taste buds why they're in the business.
Santa Fe Burrito's cooks assemble fresh ingredients daily to fill made-to-order burritos with generous portions of chicken, turkey, shrimp, vegetables, beans, and tofu. Menu options range from traditional burritos with black beans and cheese to ultimate burritos stuffed with Adobo shrimp, chicken chili, or turkey burger.
Underneath its red awning, Mexico On The Square's large front window bears the words Tacos, Burritos, and Tortas in thick block letters. Inside, the menu shows much of the same: classic Mexican dishes with a foundation of thick, housemade tortillas that envelop savory fillings, such as a carnitas sope's deep-fried pork, refried beans, and pico de gallo. The menu also includes burritos, tortas, and picaditas packed with savory steak, shredded chicken, or veggies. American favorites such as burgers and hoagies offer more familiar bites, and in the morning, omelets and egg platters provide pleasant wake-up calls that are the culinary equivalent of a rooster's soulful saxophone licks.