Tijuana Taxi Co. invites guests to experience Mexico's vibrant spirit with hearty cuisine and frosty beverages. The extensive menu features a variety of Mexican and Tex-Mex classics, including carne asada enchiladas, shrimp fajitas, and mahi-mahi tacos spiced with chipotle mayo.The menu also incorporates a bit of international flair into some dishes. Miso-glazed salmon embraces trans-Pacific flavors, while the homemade madeira sauce spooned over the house-favorite chicken nods to more European culinary traditions. Drinks, however, skew firmly south-of-the-border, with options like margaritas, Coronas, and Dos XX.
The celebratory atmosphere is further emphasized by the colorful decor at Tijuana Taxi Co.'s stateside outposts. The dining rooms are decorated like cheerful cantinas, complete with colorful woodwork, vintage-style posters, and twinkling lights. UFC fights are aired on certain nights, and guests can also take advantage of an outdoor patio.
Bejeweled sombreros hang from Tequila Sunrise’s ceiling, their gems glinting next to strands of hanging lights. In keeping with this flashy, festive atmosphere, bartenders dole out award-winning margaritas, which are blended from freshly squeezed sour mix and served in glasses that dwarf the circumference of their customers’ heads. Though Tequila Sunrise specializes in libations, it doesn’t shirk cuisine: chefs sauté fresh seafood in Mexican spices and drizzle tender chunks of meat with homemade sauces. Their dedication to high-quality, fresh ingredients helped earn the eatery its spot as one of 2011’s best Mexican restaurants in South Florida, a poll determined by Local 10 viewers and one guacamole-obsessed Magic 8 ball.
Frustrated by a lack of local options for authentic Mexican cuisine, the Alarcon family decided to take matters into their own hands. Originally from Monterey, Mexico, they decided to stop searching for a great Mexican restaurant and just make one instead. The family started by making meals for friends, eventually expanding a take-out taqueria, and, today, the Alarcons welcome guests to El Agave Azul, Named after the type of cactus used to make tequila, El Agave Azul serves up tacos, burritos, and quesadillas, which guests can customize by selecting ultra-fresh ingredients instead of just having their name written in sour cream on them. In addition to fresh pico de gallo and grilled pineapple, diners can choose from 17 different fillings, including the house specialty al pastor pork, tender barbacoa beef, or spicy mushrooms.
When a young reporter from Kulinary Kidd asked owners Jorge and Marco what distinguished La Fiesta Café from fast-food taco joints, they chuckled. "We prepare everything fresh," Jorge explained. "We make everything every morning—our beans, our rice, everything. We don't have anything delivered or canned." Authentic tacos norteños packed with grilled steak, sautéed shrimp, and al pastor pork remain their bread and butter, but the cafe's skilled chefs also fold these freshly made components into plump burritos and lean, street-style tacos—or craft other Mexican specialties such as sweet mole chicken. For their signature guacamole, the culinary gurus grind up fresh tomato, avocado, and onions in a traditional molcajete.
Vivid Warhol-style paintings of Frida Kahlo speckle the green walls of the dining room, where diners sit on antique-style wooden chairs and clink fruity margaritas. Others bask in the fresh air out on the front patio, soaking up sunshine or boldly challenging passersby to hair-growing competitions.
Sabor Latino packs the Incan, Spanish, African, and Asian flavors that influence Peruvian cuisine into a menu of traditional dishes. Plates of fresh ceviche cure pieces of fish, shrimp, or black mussels in lime juice with a mixture of vegetables, and causas stack grilled octopus and other meats between mashed-potato patties. Heartier fare includes lomo saltado, tender skirt steak sautéed with tomatoes and cilantro, as well as corvine a la criolla, a breaded sea bass topped with a salsa of fresh tomatoes, onions, cilantro, and lime. The cozy restaurant creates an intimate atmosphere as patrons sit around small white-clothed tables. A wrought-iron fence surrounds the brick and stone patio, where guests enjoy refreshing breezes and views of the nearby lake.
The flavors of Mexico City get an inventive reboot at Cantina Laredo, which has specialized in modern Mexican cuisine since 1984. Over the decades, Catina Laredo locations have spread to numerous states, countries, and at least two planes of reality. Classic dishes fill the menu, including guacamole prepared tableside and hand-rolled enchiladas stuffed with everything from Angus beef to avocado and artichokes. At the same time, the chefs elevate and refine traditional flavors by creating chicken fajitas with bacon, mushrooms, and chipotle-wine sauce and filling tortas with slow-roasted pork, apricot spread, goat cheese, and fried egg.
As for drink pairings, the Casa Rita?Cantina Laredo's signature margarita?is versatile, its classic version including silver tequila with Cointreau and fresh-squeezed lemon and lime juice. Diners can customize their drink by adding flavors such as mango or tamarind into the mix.