Orbs of freshly made dough chug along the lustrous metallic conveyor belts of Marquez Bakery and Tortilla Factory's enormous tortilla-making mechanism, polka-dotting the chainlink pathways as they're flattened, baked, and morphed into the eatery's trademark fare. The chefs at the family bakery load the disks with traditional Mexican meats, such as chorizo and chicharrón, by hand, whisper "goodbye" to each morsel, and send them off to catered events or the onsite restaurant. They also sate sweet teeth with meticulously constructed custom cakes, harking back to founder Jose Marquez's legacy of selling donuts, pies, and sweet bread from his own home.
For more than 15 years, the cooks at Beto's Mexican Restaurant have been using family recipes to craft traditional Mexican dishes remixed with Texan inspiration. Patrons may kick-start their meals with a batch of guacamole, which a server will prepare right at the table, before moving onto bigger eats such as a hand-rolled and fried poblano pepper packed with beef, monterey jack cheese, and caramelized onions. A seven-member list of margaritas, each named after a Mexican city, helps to cool tongues set aflame from overzealous salsa-sampling. Fueling more than just bellies, Beto's Mexican Restaurant also pumps goodness into the community by hosting fundraisers and offering scholarships to college-bound high-school seniors.
For nearly two decades, Arlington diners have been savoring Mexican cuisine prepared by the Zavala family. At La Isla, the Zavalas serve up traditional favorites such as richly flavorful seafood soup, Mexican-style steak, and shrimp cocktail. They also specialize in Tex-Mex dishes such as the Tejas burger and nacho fries topped with pico de gallo and chile con queso. Their drink list includes Mexican sodas, Micheladas, and American and Mexican beers, and their dessert menu features house-made flan sweet enough to make the best revenge taste bitter.
Rodriguez's fresh-baked "pan dulce" includes Mexican sweets such as cinnamon cookies, fruit-filled turnovers, gingerbread cookies, and vanilla-flavored azucarado pastries. Earning acclaim for its dinner fare as well, the restaurant's house-made tortillas are so popular they're sold in sold in dozens of grocery stores across Oregon and Idaho?perfect for shoppers looking to make their own tacos or replace an old mousepad.
Drawing on his experience as an artist, Pablo Esparza festoons the walls of his restaurant with a rotating display of work from local artists and framed prints of his own black-and-white photography. He also taps into 20 years of restaurant experience, staffing his kitchen with cooks who skillfully grill carne asada, assemble torta sandwiches, and wrap tortillas around beef, rice, and beans according to his specifications and the whims of a giant magic 8 ball. Bartenders mix custom cocktails and dispense brews from behind the full bar, and diners croon out hits during karaoke nights or dance to tunes from live DJs.
After ten hours of slow-cooking, the barbecue ribs at Joe’s American Bar & Grill land on tables tender and ready to fall of the bone. Served with fresh-made coleslaw, these ribs are the centerpiece of a menu overflowing with upscale comfort food. Chefs cut potatoes by hand to accompany bacon cheeseburgers topped with aged cheddar and bread-and-butter pickles made in-house rather than flown in by a talking stork. Grilled pizzas are made fresh to order and never frozen, and hefty sandwiches and hand-cut steaks stack plates with sustenance. On the weekends, brunch dishes come out of hibernation to sate guests with made-to-order omelets and specialties such as eggs benedict and prime-rib hash. Diners enjoy the fresh air on the outdoor patio or cluster around the bar to keep track of sports scores or find out who really got married on Days of Our Lives.