Arturo and Tina Vargas have a unique way of celebrating their family's central Mexican roots. They make an annual journey to different locales south of the border, ending each trip with a visit to their hometown of Cuernavaca. But these aren't average vacations. Instead, Arturo and Tina use the opportunity to discover new ingredients or recipes that they can bring back to Cristina's Fine Mexican Restaurant, their flavorful franchise of Texas eateries. Their culinary findings appear throughout the menu of Tex-Mex cooking.
The staff at each of the Vargas' venues wholeheartedly embraces those deep roots, making flour tortillas in-house, hand-rolling enchiladas, and preparing orders of guacamole directly beside diners' tables. But that's not to say the dishes are expected?salmon with pineapple butter and fried chicken breast with white wine-cream sauce demonstrate some of the kitchens' more experimental inclinations. Flavored margaritas and mojitos can add spirited refreshment to meals, as can any of the beers that the restaurants import from Mexico via man with a very strong throwing arm.
The flavors of Mexico City get an inventive reboot at Cantina Laredo, which has specialized in modern Mexican cuisine since 1984. Over the decades, Catina Laredo locations have spread to numerous states, countries, and at least two planes of reality. Classic dishes fill the menu, including guacamole prepared tableside and hand-rolled enchiladas stuffed with everything from Angus beef to avocado and artichokes. At the same time, the chefs elevate and refine traditional flavors by creating chicken fajitas with bacon, mushrooms, and chipotle-wine sauce and filling tortas with slow-roasted pork, apricot spread, goat cheese, and fried egg.
As for drink pairings, the Casa Rita?Cantina Laredo's signature margarita?is versatile, its classic version including silver tequila with Cointreau and fresh-squeezed lemon and lime juice. Diners can customize their drink by adding flavors such as mango or tamarind into the mix.
A joint venture between a professional boxer and a team of successful kickboxing-equipment tycoons, Title Boxing Club maintains a network of dozens of studios spread across 19 different states, winning over a devoted clientele with its invigorating and engaging boxing- and kickboxing-themed classes. Each workout uses the heart-healthy exercise of cardio training to satisfy people’s innate desire to punch and kick something other than a broken jukebox. Participants build lithe, strong muscle tissue by delivering powerful blows to punching bags, and build flexibility and agility by practicing roundhouse kicks and hooks. Students can build their core strength and endurance with medicine balls and burpees, enlist a qualified personal trainer to practice their newfound skills in the ring, or just torch calories during intense full-body Power Hour workouts.
At Los Jalapenos Mexican Restaurant, the staff knows how to make each diner feel welcome. This means they serve with kind attention, but not too much, so diners can focus on having a conversation with their companions or the face they've painted on their plate with salsa. Owners Esteban and Leticia sate appetites with a menu of traditional Mexican fare culled from generations-old recipes, including classics such as fajitas, tacos, and grilled chicken smothered in mole. Between bites at the Carrollton location, diners can also catch a live musical act, including an Elvis impersonator who unfurls his cape one Friday a month.
Petra Fresh Mexican Bistro's street-food-inspired menu is filled with salsas, tacos, seafood, and salads. And though these freshly made dishes may seem simple, they burst with the bold flavors of serrano and guajillo chilies, citrus, beer batter, and Mexican spices.
Guests enjoy made-from-scratch dishes and frosty cervezas or margaritas while perched on the green and orange chairs on the breezy outdoor patio. Housemade churros at the end of a meal encourage sword fights, and when they?re gone, lots of finger licking.
When not playing host to local diners, the Petra opens its doors to nonprofits and schools that are in need of a space to hold their fundraisers and events.
Nico's Cocina sports an atmosphere that is comfortable and casual, while maintaining a high level of charm and elegance. Spacious, roomy tables allow for hungry groups of friends and family to dine together. Mood lighting helps promote an intimacy that allows diners to enjoy the culinary experience as though it was for them