At Badlands Tacos, diners are transported to the titular locale upon gazing at the eatery's southwestern decor. Cow skulls adorned with feathers and bright ceramic art festoon the umber-colored walls. From behind a walk-up counter, a chalkboard menu displays an array of Mexican tacos, chimichangas, and 11 kinds of enormous burritos filled with fixings such as flank steak, cilantro, and guacamole. Badlands Tacos offers numerous ways to celebrate Cinco De Mayo: from booths and tables at their BYOB restaurant, outdoor seating, catering for special occasions, or take-out to feed pet llamas hidden under the porch.
The cooks at Tito’s whip up a menu of fresh, inventive Mexican fare, customizing dishes to diners' desires for a personalized meal within a colorful, relaxed atmosphere. Giant burritos enswathe savory sustenance, such as grade-A steak ($8.95) and blackened salmon ($8.95), within 12-inch tortillas. Or quell shell cravings without licking a conch's home with an order of twice-wrapped tacos ($3.50+), food satchels that boast both an internally crispy shell and an externally soft covering. Tito's also carries an array of other Mexican staples, including nachos ($6.95), cheesy quesadillas ($6.25), and a taco salad brimming with veggies, salsa, and—for an extra cost—your choice of meat ($6.95+). Conclude Latin American–style feasts by slurping on a nonalcoholic margarita slush ($3.75/small, $7.95/pitcher) or covertly grazing on the tassels of neighboring Mariachi horn players.
Trumpet blasts sail though Hacienda Mexicali Mexican Restaurant?s terracotta archways and soar beneath exposed beams before bounding off walls festooned with colorful mosaics. It?s the weekend, and the mariachi band has just begun to play, the sounds of their instruments mingling with the sounds of laughter and clinking cocktail glasses. Amid the merriment, diners devour plates of fresh guacamole, ranchero steak, and mussels in streams of herbed white-wine sauce. Meals conclude with Mexican coffee and flambe fried ice cream finalized at the table.
The small-plate prodigies at Ole Tapas Bar & Restaurant craft a variety of Spanish-inspired tapas served to eager patrons as they lounge in a dimly lit, comfortable bar atmosphere. Diners can peruse an eclectic menu packed with carne skewers glazed in teriyaki or wasabi ($8) and crab cakes smothered in spicy remoulade sauce ($8). Those with dietary restrictions or those who lost hard-fought spelling bees to wheat can sample a wide range of gluten-free bites, including bacon-wrapped shrimp enhanced by a tomatillo sauce ($8) and the seared thai tuna served rare, topped with thai barbecue sauce, and paired with cucumber salad ($10). Frequent live acts envelop patrons in musical embraces, made even warmer with the addition of a drink from the full bar.
La Fortaleza Mexican Restaurant's menu brims with quality ingredients and salsas made fresh throughout the day. Staff members prepare each appetizer of guacamole at the table, pulverizing the verdant michoacáno avocados, onion, and cilantro in a traditional stone molcajete. Cooks stuff cheeses and the customer's choice of chicken, steak, or shrimp inside a 10-inch flour tortilla before frying the creation to create a golden brown chimichanga, and the arrachera al anafre's flame-kissed skirt steak arrives with a side of tender cactus instead of the customary ficus plant. After sautéing shrimp in onions and butter, chefs douse the camarones a la diabla with a salsa hot enough to make penguins evolve. La Fortaleza Mexican Restaurant's dining room surrounds guests with a kaleidoscope of green, pink, and orange walls that sport Mayan-inspired murals.
Chevys serves up Mexican fare in Texas-size portions, with salsa and tortillas made from scratch daily. Begin by ordering a bowl of guacamole to witness a server capture, skin, and gut a live avocado right at your table before hand-mashing it into fresh guacamole. From there, let your taste buds tango across tender tamales wrapped by hand each morning, or play mad scientist and suture together an electrified monster plate from enchiladas, tacos, grilled chili rellenos, tamales, and chimichangas ($10.29 for any two, $11.99 for any three, $12.99 for any four). Seafarers, meanwhile, will want to try the grilled fish tacos—a mélange of grilled fish, chipotle aioli, lettuce, and pico de gallo, warmly embraced by the floury flaps of El Machino tortillas and topped with a sprinkling of crumbled cotija cheese ($10.99). To keep the hot peppers and piquant salsas from singing the sinuses, douse your mouth-flames periodically with drinks such as the Kraken fruit punch, black spiced rum coupled with spicy mango and orange juice ($8.75), or the Blue Agave margarita, a mixture of El Mayor Reposado tequila and blue Curacao ($6.75 regular, $11.50 grande).