La Fiesta Restaurante Mexicano?s classic dishes have earned the eatery a long-standing award proudly displayed on the website: Best Mexican Restaurant nine years in a row, as voted by readers of the Times-News. At the start of each workday, the restaurant?s chefs fry the popular tortilla chips and whip up bowls of salsa. Then they get to work on such dishes as chicken simmered in a chipotle cream, char-grilled steak tacos, and spinach burritos.
Tony, the owner of Bandido's Mexican Caf?
, learned the tricks of the trade while working at his family?s Mexican restaurant as a teenager. Today, he and his wife own and operate two Bandido?s locations, which serve sizzling fajitas, crisp tacos, and burritos stuffed with beef, chicken, pork, or saut?ed spinach. The Herald-Sun's readers praised Bandido's as the Best Mexican Restaurant in 2009, and the restaurant returns the favor by awarding individuals who finish the El Gigante burrito?a massive compilation of steak and chicken fajitas, rice, black beans, and shredded cheese?with a T-shirt and gentle pats on the back. The restaurant often hosts live entertainment, and the Hillsborough location supplements its selection of lunch and dinner fare with a Sunday brunch menu served from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Hass avocados, cilantro, and fresh lime juice are just a few ingredients diners might recognize as a chef whips up guacamole right before their eyes at Poblano's Mexican Bar & Grill. From the restaurant's grill come specialty dishes including the alambre mixto, a dish typically found in Mexico City that combines grilled steak, chicken, shrimp, and chorizo with grilled peppers, pineapples, and melted cheese. The taqueria offers up five suggestions for specialty tacos that include carne asada, pork carnitas, shrimp, sliced pork, and grilled fish. Poblano's also delivers fresh flavors via catering for special events such as luncheons, parties, or the day fifth graders win their citizenship by reciting the preamble to the Constitution.
K Panchos Mexican Restaurant offers hearty south-of-America fare in a cozily homey atmosphere. Head in on a lunch break to try one of many lunch specials, such as the Speedy Gonzales, which places one taco and one enchilada on a flavorful foodbed of either spanish rice or fried beans ($4.99). Steak or chicken fajitas seamlessly synthesize tender meats and freshly fired veggies ($10.50), and 27 combination dinners provide an endless matrix of subtly spiced suppers. Vegetarian options, such as two salsa-topped bean burritos with cheese dip ($7.25), abound for meat-avoiding plantavores, and K Panchos’ friendly, helpful staff can also help you decide on an entree, name for your dog, or high-altitude wedding venue.
A common stereotype of Mexican food is that all the dishes are pretty much the same. Try telling that to the chefs behind San Luis, San Luis II, and Casa Vallarta, who have produced an eight-page menu of traditional favorites and house specials. Chefs plate up the carne asada especial, a tender sirloin steak marinated, then grilled, and garnished with Mexican cheese, cactus, and chili toreado. Seafood dishes include San Luis seafood, a mixture of shrimp, fish, and octopus grilled over rice. Complementing entrees are two styles of margaritas, beer, and wine.
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