Taqueria El Indo's menu boasts a bevy of authentic Mexican palate-pleasers and newfound tastebud seducers, all prepared from scratch. Prime protein contenders, including steak, grilled chicken, chorizo-potato, and tongue, don lucha libre wrestling masks and duke it out for a coveted spot in a traditional onion-and-cilantro-adorned taco ($2), cheesy quesadilla ($6), or burrito ($7). Dinner specials include the Shrimp Empanizando, in which shrimp plied with chipotle beer batter are deep fried and laid down to recover on a bed of rice and beans ($12.95), or a plate of three enchiladas filled with chicken, beef, grilled veggies ($8.95), or shrimp for an additional $2. For proper meal punctuation, reward taste buds or break in new bibs with a dessert of Tres Leches Cake ($3.25), fried ice cream ($3.25), or sips of a domestic ($2.75) or imported ($3) beer.
Cilantro Bar and Grill’s Rick Bayless–trained chefs forge contemporary cuisine using fresh produce, locally sourced meats, and recipes culled from the families of owners Armando Cristobal and his sister and brother-in-law, Sylvia and Gonzalo de Santiago. The kitchen builds meals from scratch at brunch, lunch, and dinner, sating appetites after brisk strolls around the Capitol or romantic narwhal rides across Lake Mendota. Orange walls complement the colors of game hen en escabeche, whose mashed sweet potatoes balance the savory flavors of an achiote garlic marinade, whereas stained-glass fixtures mimic the vibrant hues of cabernet sangria, hibiscus iced tea, and mango-cilantro margaritas. Diners can sample the cuisine of four different regions of Mexico by ordering the tamales surtidos, a sampler of four cornhusks stuffed with steamed corn masa flour. Cilantro also serves seven types of Mexican beer for guests to sip or toss at supporting actors during rehearsals for upcoming daytime TV roles.
Homemade guacamole and fresh cornbread spread with guava sauce balance Antigua Real's Latin culinary dishes, whose rich spice blends have won over palates by showcasing global flavors. Cuts of meat pick up campfire flavors and learn cowboy songs on the grill, and absorb chipotle, tomatillo, and tamarind from marinades and gravies. Entrees smothered in two thick moles (chocolate and almond) ensure those dining in get a taste of Mexican tradition, whereas seafood dishes accompanied by plantain recall the country's oft-overlooked proximity to the Caribbean. If you are not admiring collections of Central American art decorating the walls and fireplace of the entry, you can relax in Antigua Real's inviting lounge, where a diverse collection of tequilas, signature margaritas, mojitos, and beer inspire sun-soaked relaxation.
Carefully balancing starter platters stacked with housemade cornbread and frozen margaritas, the servers at Casa del Sol wind their way through the tables on the outdoor deck overlooking the water. As diners dig into burritos, the flavors of chicken or carnitas meld with garnishes of mango and pineapple or with ingredients from one of four other unique burritos. Meat dishes span many styles, from pork-loin medallions with garlic-adobo sauce to enchiladas verdes with a choice of meat or cheese filling. The inside dining area's bright yellow and purple walls adorned with paintings of whirling dancers complement the bright flavors of the dishes, often delicately evoked by cilantro, poblano chili pepper, or guacamole.
Beneath the glow of warm lights, Casa Tequila delights taste buds with the vivacious flavors of authentic Mexican dishes. Chefs draw on fresh ingredients and produce exclusively, ensuring that every dish is free of packaged sauces and Lincoln Logs. Sauciers prepare guacamole before tables, and the restaurant's many flat screen TVs fill the space between bites with UW Badger and Green Bay Packer games. A full bar, replete with imported beer, margaritas, and daily specials, keeps spirits merry and coasters employed.
Gus’ Mexican Cantina serves up a sizzling menu of Mexican-American fare, accompanied by cool splashes from a full bar. Diners can stave off ravening appetites by heaping nachos with cheese, jalapeños, onions, tomatoes, peppers, black olives, and beef ($7.95) or chicken ($8.95). A vegetarian taco salad invites herbivorous nibbles ($6.50), and deep-fried chimichangas, loaded with meat, cheese, and sour cream and served with beans and rice, attract starved stomachs ($8.95). At the Friday fish fry, guests can take a culinary dip into the Gulf of Mexico with beer-battered cod ($10.50) paired with Gus’ specialty margarita, made with a secret recipe pinched from the files of James Bond.