Ornate paper flags and glimmering stars are suspended from Fiesta Ole Mexican Restaurant’s colorful, tiled walls, accenting plates of authentic Mexican dishes that appear from the cocina. Chefs crease tortillas into tacos, fajitas, burritos, and enchiladas while sautéing a variety of meat, seafood, and vegetarian specialties. Bartenders pour cups full of Mexican beers and cocktails as dinner conversations blossom at tables and booths in the cheerful dining room. The restaurant hosts regular salsa nights, offering diners a reprieve from trying to dance with strangers’ great danes at the dog park.
At Mexico Lindo, heaping plates of sizzling meats and authentic Mexican dishes—the recipes for which were gleaned during owner Jose Perez’s time spent training in Mexico—emerge from the kitchen and head toward red-checkered tables. Tantalizing aromas of fresh corn tortillas mingling with the salty fragrance of chorizo and marinated pork fill the air, and glasses overflow with beer and wine brought from each diner’s home or vestigial wine spigot. China poblana, Mexico Lindo’s speciality, submerges two enchiladas under traditional mole, and packs an additional two with marinated pork and Oaxaca cheese.
There's no hurry at Uncle Buck's BBQ. The chefs slow-cook and smoke meats such as ribs, brisket, and chicken, imbuing each plate with a tenderness that can't be rushed. Even the Old World-style pizzas have to bake inside a traditional brick oven long enough for the cheese to melt over and around the assorted toppings, such as pulled pork, sweet peppers, and garlic. Sub sandwiches and hamburgers, wings tossed in one of four sauces, and hefty steaks round out the menu of neighborhood-style American cuisine.
With its wood-paneled wainscoting and robin's-egg blue walls, the restaurant's dining area embraces the same casual, down-home charm as the menu. Outside, a wooden patio seats diners beneath an aluminum roof that provides better sun protection than a parasol slathered with sunscreen.
Cactus Blue prides itself on serving up authentic Puebla cuisine, as well as popular Mexican dishes that garnered this eatery the title of favorite Mexican restaurant in Lehigh Valley Style's 2010 Decadent Dish reader poll. The massive menu boasts more than 75 dishes, which include the Fajitas Blue with pork, seasoned strips of grilled pig accompanied by pico de gallo, guacamole, flour or corn tortillas, and an elderly bluesman on harmonica ($14.95). Peninsula enthusiasts engage with baja-style tacos filled with beef or chicken and topped with red cabbage, baja sauce, and cheese ($12.95). Opting for a lighter meal of grilled tilapia ($14.95) saves stomachs room for tres leches cake, a sweet sponge pastry drenched in three types of milk ($5.95). Cactus Blue is BYOB, ensuring that diners can sip on their favorite spirits while ensconced in the restaurant's warm-hued, red and burnt sienna interior.
Catering to sports fans and families alike, Starters Pub boasts a menu of American comfort eats that includes burgers, sandwiches, and steaks. Filet mignon sandwiches with sautéed onions and Firehouse burgers with spicy wing sauce and jalapeños share menu space with more far-flung offerings, such as cuban paninis and orange chicken. Guests can cheer on their favorite teams on the pub's big screens or take meals on the outdoor patio when temperatures climb.
Rice 'N Beans serves up traditional flavors of Latin America in a casual dining environment. Those flavors are seared into dishes such as quesadillas, empanadas, and arroz chaufas. Taste combinations are completed by sides such as plantains, guacamole, and fried yuca. They also offer vegetarian dishes such as tacos with rice and beans, chimichangas, and burritos.