The chefs at Los Cinco Puntos strive to correct the Americanized image of ground-beef tacos by marinating, braising, and frying a trove of traditional Mexican meats. Sizzling carne asada, spiced carnitas, and lengua, just to name a few, play starring roles in the eatery's authentic menu and get executive-producer credits for each movie made about the restaurant's quesadillas. Chefs roll these meaty specialties into burritos, layer them atop fluffy buns for their special tortas, or twist them in fried tortillas for perfectly crispy flautas. They also create tamales by the dozen, filling the husk-wrapped treats with a similar array of succulent meats.
El Nuevo Mariscos Tampico honors its namesake seaside city with a menu full of ocean-fresh seafood, from whole fried snapper and tilapia to plump, juicy grilled shrimp. Meals of oysters Rockefeller and lobster served with tiny monocles and spats satisfy appetites for fancy dinners, and plates of chicken mole or pork ribs in green sauce appeal to landlubbers. A drink menu full of fruity tropical drinks and Mexican beers pair perfectly with fish tacos and shrimp cocktails.
Casa La Golondrina’s culinary masterminds devise an innovative menu of authentic Mexican cuisine anchored by handmade, herb-seasoned flour tortillas, all served in the restaurant’s historic digs. Reward mouths that have never screamed "fire" in a movie theater by stuffing them with coctel de camarones, which sidles up tender shrimp next to a tasty cocktail sauce. For carne asada a la tampiquena, chefs bolster charbroiled marinated skirt steak with a cheese enchilada before anointing the dish with guacamole and zesty pico de gallo. Chile relleno de jaiba sets seasoned king crab inside a roasted poblano pepper while it waits for its shell to come back from the dry cleaners. Wash down all the savory flavors with the eatery's eponymous margaritas, concocted with Hornitos tequila, Cointreau, and fresh lime juice.
The culinary pyromaniacs at El Vaquero pay homage to their homeland with poncho-patterned tablecloths, pictures of the cathedral in Guadalajara, and a specialty sandwich hailing from the state of Jalisco. Seated in the wicker chairs that line the cozy, sun-colored dining room, diners dig into a menu that features classic Mexican dishes such as chiles relleno, carnitas burritos, and tacos that can be ordered soft or crisped over the grill. Meanwhile, traditional art and black-and-white photographs look down from the walls, and a bell hangs by the register in case tongues are in need of a tiny fireman.
Ocho Mexican Grill's chefs twist traditional fare into gourmet cuisine with a menu built on house-made salsas, artisan meats, and locally sourced, seasonal ingredients. Patrons customize up to 800 entree possibilities, first choosing their meal's form—burrito, bowl, salad, or tacos—then stuffing it with fixings such as grilled chicken, shredded beef, mahi-mahi, or tofu, and topping it with an array of veggies, salsas, or sauces. Brown or cilantro-lime white rice cushions the proteins as fajita veggies, diced jicama, and mangos add sweetness to savory bites. Meals bathe in fresh salsas ranging from mild tomatillos concoctions to smoky chipotle-pepper drizzles to fiery habanero sauces. The surf 'n' turf combination platter pairs shrimp and steak, and the Healthy Chickfu partners chicken—the straight-and-narrow hard worker—and tofu—the free-spirited slacker—who entertain taste buds with a series of antics emphasizing their differences.