El Porton Mexican Restaurant has sated cravings for fresh, healthy ingredients for more than two decades, serving up authentic Mexican lunches and dinners that complement the bar’s array of 85 tequilas. Amid golden walls that evoke a warm afternoon in a tropical cantina, guests kick-start stomachs by watching chefs craft lime-infused guacamole tableside. From the kitchen, beef and shrimp fajitas sizzle, wafting aromas of onion and bell pepper that transform into cartoon hands to lure in noses. Warm days open El Porton's patio, where sunshine heightens the flavors of make-your-own combo platters spread with chile rellenos, tostadas, and burritos, as well as USDA steaks aged a minimum of 21 days. Tequila shots arrive in flights or individually, and customizable margaritas in flavors such as mango and classic lime pour forth from salt-rimmed glasses to accentuate entrees and fuel conversations about Mexico's hidden agave rivers.
Margaritas Mexican Cantina hardly needs a sign to identify itself. The exterior shouts its affiliations with a tableaux of brightly colored murals depicting margarita glasses, limes, and cacti. This same vibrant motif of orange and lime-green hues sprawls across the interior, highlighting the spacious restaurant's Mexican-themed decor and lending crucial context for the sombrero-wearing diners. Piping-hot platters of enchiladas, tacos, and quesadillas cover wooden tables as friendly waiters deliver glasses brimming with house margaritas. Back at the fully stocked bar, bartenders pour out an array of tequilas, such as Patrón and Don Julio, and top off beer glasses with a selection of domestic and imported brews. Flat-screen TVs add another layer of illumination to the interior of the cantina, while on the covered outdoor patio, diners relax beneath strings of lights.
Housed under the same roof, Adios Café and No Mas! Cantina draw from Mexican culinary traditions with inventive dishes rich with spices and flavors sourced from across the country. The feasting begins early with Adios Café’s breakfast menu that brims with omelets, burritos, and quesadillas infused with Southwestern standards, such as black beans, chorizo, and avocado. The same breakfast fare appears on the No Mas! weekend brunch menu, though No Mas! also hosts a light lunch menu on weekdays. Dinner options expand into richly seasoned skirt steaks, blackened salmon, and slow-roasted pork dishes that sport accents of tamarind, orange butter, or fried plantains. The knowledgeable staff at No Mas! guides guests through an expansive tequila catalogue of newborn blancos and blancos aged inside white oak vats or a novelty inflatable cactus.
In contrast to Adios Café’s colorful, tiny storefront, the expansive dining rooms of No Mas! Cantina span two floors, spreading both indoors and out, with each space inspired by old rural Mexico and festooned with art from more than 300 Mexican artists. Guests embark on gustative adventures amid traditional wooden furnishings and celestial, illuminated patio tables glowing with impressions of the sun and outlines of burrito-shaped constellations.
Chef and owner Riccardo Ullio, featured in Atlanta magazine for restauranteering prowess, leads a culinary team in crafting Escorpion's menu of authentic Mexican fare from indigenous ingredients. Diners settle into the colorful interior decorated with rustic wooden accents and vivid artwork painted by domesticated rainbows to prime palates with tuna ceviche ($9) mixed with juicy apple and flavored with poblano pepper, tomatillo and celery juice, and coriander. Quesadillas welcome all types of meats and cheeses with a tortilla’s tender embrace, and the Scottish salmon veracruz wades into streams of capers, olives, tomatoes, oregano, Peruvian potatoes, and aioli ($16). Chefs pile fried tilapia tacos ($3.50 for one; $12.50 for four) high with caramelized onions, peppers, and chipotle mayo, and tender strands of braised goat graze among onion and salsa verde on the barbacoa de Chivo taco ($4 for one; $14 for four). Inventive agave-based spirits chase down meals as guests linger in the mood-lit interior to relish their margaritas and mezcal cocktails.
Lined with lively Mexican tiles, The Border's alluring front door welcomes patrons to a spacious, two-story dining fortress filled with the aroma of authentic Mexican cuisine and enough spectral colors to build several dozen rainbows. Diners seated at a table, in a brightly painted booth, or underneath one of the bar's plush stools enjoy classic dishes such as crisp tacos, hearty burritos, and sizzling fajitas. Cool sips of a margarita, some sangria, or a draft or bottled beer hydrate throats parched from proclaiming the true meaning of the framed photos and art peppering The Border's vibrant walls. When the weather isn't too frightful, guests can enjoy their comestibles outdoors on the fully shaded patio or in a partially shaded area enclosed by mural-decorated walls. The Border also hosts weekly events, including trivia on Monday and karaoke on Thursday.
At Perla Taqueria, chef Enrique Valencia packs the menu with a wide variety of tacos and traditional Mexican dishes with a contemporary twist. With the welcome mat placed outside until midnight or later, Perla Taqueria sates crowds of lingering lunchers and late-night munchers with a dozen different tacos, such as the blackened salmon with citrus slaw ($2.50), buttermilk fried chicken with caramelized onions and peppers ($2.25), and the prime rib asado with pico de gallo ($2.99). The tilapia taco ($1.99)—mingling with mango, onions, jalapeños, cucumbers, lime, cilantro, and entertainingly pronounced jicama—pairs well with a bottle of Jarritos ($2.50), as do the burritos and homemade chips ($3.99). Top offerings with a choice of more than six salsas ($0.99), each with a unique mélange of spices that hold the delicious key to the universe.