The kitchensmiths at Sely's Mexican Restaurant forge a mountain of tasty Mexican fare to fuel hungry trekkers within the colorful eatery. Pull up a chair and dig into a bowl of menudo, a traditional Mexican soup ($5.75), to activate taste buds before tackling platefuls of steak ranchero served with rice, beans, and guacamole salad ($8.95).
More than 40 years ago, Charlie and Mary Garcia founded El Chaparral Mexican Restaurant to share their culinary heritage with the local community. Though the business has now been passed down to the next generation of the family, the restaurant adheres to the made-fresh recipes of its early days, delighting diners with hearty enchiladas, fresh seafood dishes, and its signature bean soup.
Bright-red walls surround the inside of Flaco’s Burgers & Tacos, which serves a menu of hand-formed burgers given a satisfying crust from a flattop grill and a variety of intriguing sauces and toppings. The Texas burger comes with barbecue sauce and bacon, and a burger named after a mysterious Eric fellow belies his hearty appetite with double meat, two cheeses, and bacon. Tough taste buds rise to the challenge of the Flaming Flaco burger, which is stuffed with grilled jalapeños, cheese, and grilled onions before getting a topper of standard burger fixings—mayo, mustard, lettuce, tomatoes, and pickles. The eatery also folds tacos and burritos full of fillings such as carne asada, chicken fajita, or pork chop. Fresh-cut fries and free WiFi accompany meals, eaten while patrons chat among themselves or gaze at a large flat-screen TV along the wall.
Ever since it first opened in 1975, El Jarro de Arturo has steadily pushed the boundaries of traditional Tex-Mex cuisine by introducing new flavors and ingredients. These continental inclinations heavily influence dishes such as the bowtie pasta with grilled shrimp and cilantro-pesto sauce, and the grilled salmon with chipotle-spiked mushrooms and mashed potatoes. At the same time, the chefs stay true to their Tex-Mex roots by creating hand-patted corn tortillas and whisking each and every order of guacamole. A selection of enchiladas stuffed with everything from chicken to portobello mushrooms appears alongside other familiar classics, such as beef fajitas in a sputtering iron skillet and chicken glazed with a decadently rich mole sauce.
Although El Jarro de Arturo's menu experiments with Tex-Mex cuisine, the decor stays completely faithful to the source of its inspiration. Earthenware tiles line the floor, Mexican artwork and crafts adorn the walls, and leafy potted plants add a splash of green to the room's warm tones. For a view of even more foliage, the restaurant also seats guests on an outdoor patio section that remains open all year long. The spirited energy of the indoor space grows on Friday and Saturday evenings as a live band performs in front of a dance floor.
Paloma Blanca Mexican Cuisine’s lunch and dinner menus make healthy eating simple by coding classic south-of-the-border dishes with dietary considerations (F = lower saturated fat, C = lower carbs, S = lower sodium, B = lower back-pain relief), and there’s a separate gluten-free menu. Start dinner by sharing a refreshing plate of ceviche del mar, freshly cooked fish with cilantro, onion, and tomato in a lime juice and olive-oil-based marinade ($9.95), or catch a culinary show as Paloma Blanca Mexican Cuisine’s suave staffers prepare guacamole olmeca at your table ($10.95). House specialties include Puntas de Puerco, seven ounces of spicy, garlic-marinated pork smothered with salsa de chile chipotle ($13.95 for dinner, $8.25 for lunch), and shrimp- and mushroom-stuffed enchiladas dimas ($15.95 for dinner). Gluten-free eaters can feast on carne asada tampiquena (10 oz. rib-eye steak with guacamole and pico de gallo, $20.95) or savory vegetal (baked poblano pepper filled with crunchy zucchini, golden corn, poblano strips, and queso monterrey, $12.95).
The cooks at Orderup focus on the classics: burgers, fries, and shakes. Wielding hand-pressed patties, they craft signature burgers such as the La Bomba, which comes with cheddar, bacon, and a fried egg on a buttered bun, or versions with chicken, pork, and fish. The menu also showcases more than 10 shake flavors, including Mexican vanilla, banana, and nutella. Sides of honey-coconut sweet potato fries or serrano cheese fries round out a meal.