El Salto remolds entrenched notions of Mexican fare by twisting traditional recipes into modern from-scratch displays of fresh ingredients. Peepers rove over a large menu that features house specialties such as the burrito California, swollen like a windsock in Tornado Alley, with chicken ($9.25) or grilled steak ($10.50) and garden-reaped fixings. A freshly minted culinary brainchild, the tocino camaron platter clatters to tables with a house sauce and generous serving of seared shrimp bound in bacon manacles ($10.25).
At Jalapenos Mexican Restaurant's two locations, familiar enchiladas and corn tamales draped in rich chili sauces pour from the kitchen on rainbow-colored fiesta ware, which also delivers house specialties such as prawns sautéed with dungeness crab and vegetables and Cancun tacos filled with halibut and pico de gallo. Burgers and chicken strips provide a similarly hearty alternative to deep-fried chimichangas packed with beef, chicken, or pork chile verde, which is also available by the bowlful. The cantina's design adds to a festive atmosphere, its tangerine walls painted to resemble an arcade overlooking the sea and its carved, wooden chairs painted to resemble the hollowed-out burritos that carried the conquistadors across it.
El Amigo Mexicano understands that cravings for tacos, burritos, or chorizo can strike at any time. That’s why the restaurant fills its menu with breakfast selections alongside lunch and dinner options and stays open late. The eatery greets early risers with eggs scrambled with chorizo, smothered in red sauce, or delicately cocooned inside a tortilla. Lunch and dinner options sate cravings with burritos topped with melted cheese or gordita pockets filled with beans, avocado, and the diner’s choice of meat. Combination and à la carte options adjust platings to appeal to light or hearty appetites.
Miguel Mexican Fusion Grill's chefs combine international dishes and Mexican zest into a fusion menu. Diners can whet appetites with mexican egg rolls, filled with refried beans, chorizo, and cheese ($6), then forge ahead to sautéed shrimp skinny dipping in garlic-butter-lime sauce ($15), their shrimp suspenders and top hats abandoned in the kitchen. Steak-fajita fanatics can pack the carne asada's tortillas with a mélange of meat, sautéed onion, and red and green poblano pepper, topped with a shot of tequila for flavor ($13). Like a dozen identical children, a dozen homemade tamales ($15) are hard to take care of alone, but brave patrons can try. Little ones can order from a menu for visitors 10 years old and younger, and diners can nibble at their leisure from 4 p.m. to 9 p.m. Mondays-Wednesdays and from 4 p.m. to 10 p.m. or later Thursdays-Saturdays.
For more than 30 years, owner Art Trevino has loaded tables in Cilantro's dining room and patio with a menu of traditional family recipes. One of 11 children, Art learned to cook and precisely divide a taco into 11 segments alongside his siblings in their mother's bustling kitchen. Veggies add a hint of virtue to platters of cheesy burritos, steak, and chicken in options such as seafood-stuffed portabella mushrooms and chiles rellenos. A bright purple bar marqueed by garlands of colored lights pours 16-ounce "Mugaritas," house-made sangria, and a list of anejo and reposado tequilas designed for sipping through the finest cactus straws.
Breakfast is the most important meal of the day for clowns, who practice fitting into their cars by squeezing into omelets and use jelly-donut filling to paint their expressions. Start your day in a fun way with today's Groupon: for $5, you get $10 worth of diner fare for breakfast or lunch at Jelly Pancake House in Merrillville.