Authenticity is the secret ingredient in Tortilleria La Mexicana #5's mouthwatering Mexican fare. The family-owned restaurant takes pride in crafting many of its items entirely from scratch, starting with the house-made tortillas, all the way down to the homemade ice creams, available in a dozen flavors including coconut, pistachio, and cheesecake. The menu covers all the favorites from cheese-covered enchiladas suizas, to sizzling platters of steak and seafood fajitas, but also includes unique items not typically seen on more Americanized menus, such as burritos stuffed with fried pork skin or cactus. The outdoor enclosure invites visitors to sample the cuisine and sip margaritas amid picturesque gardens, while a jukebox in the main dining area tempts patrons to serenade the restaurant with their favorite pop songs or tuba solos.
Harry's Old Place specializes in poaching, broiling, frying, and baking fresh seafood plucked from the Gulf and Atlantic. Each day's dinner draft depends on what the boats bring in and the sailors don't hire as deckhands, but typical seafood starting lineups include tilapia, monkfish, flounder, and Chilean sea bass. Do-it-yourself diners keep hands busy with the peel 'n' eat shrimp ($7.95/half pound, $12.95/pound), while the homemade seafood chowder tests soup's stretchiness by wrapping its creamy base around generous helpings of fish, clams, shrimp, and scallops ($3.25). Sophisticated grouper fingers tempt even the most urbane adults to revert to their fish stick days (with hush puppies and two sides, $14.95), while the wildly popular house specialty, Harry in the Bag, gifts gourmands with a bag full of fresh grouper, crushed pecans, ritz crackers, and special spices (market price). Pair Harry's eclectic fish dishes with a draft beer or a selection from the well-traveled wine menu, boasting bottles from New Zealand, Chile, Spain, and Oregon.
Woody's Bar-B-Q smokes and grills the finest cuts of pork and beef before slathering proteins with tangy secret-recipe barbecue sauces. Fulfill contract clauses to consume fried cuisine by noshing appetizers such as the fried okra ($3.29) and sweet-potato fries (3.29). Woody's menu sates meat savants with a colossal offering of meats including ham chops ($9.49) and loaded mesquite-grilled chicken breasts ($8.99). The signature baby back ribs ($14.99 for full rack) come slow roasted in a secret marinade before being basted and grilled to seal in flavor and text revealing the marinade's ingredients.
With free wine tastings all day Monday through Saturday and beer tastings on Tuesday nights and Saturday afternoons, Tapping The Vine lubricates taste buds with its extensive collection of lesser-known libations and globally imported specialty wines and craft beers. Browse aisles brimming with fermentation favors and malted liquid gold while the friendly staff offers helpful suggestions to determine if customers' palates might prefer the tarty taste of a Wallace Brooks pinot gris ($16) or the bittersweet chocolatey Charles Smith Velvet Devil merlot ($16), among other white, red, and dessert wines. Barley buffs can analyze the feel of various brews, such as the flavorful Rogue Hazelnut Brown Nectar ($6.99) and organic Scarecrow golden pale ale ($4.69). Like the mouths of famous rappers, Tapping The Vine wouldn't be complete without an assortment of accessories, including professional-grade bottle openers ($9) and champagne stoppers ($5).
Neon blue lights curve across The Blue Room’s covered patio, echoing the curve of archways that line the perimeter. Inside, a wraparound granite bar reflects the same amethyst glow, and votive candles flicker behind blue glass at high-top tables and in lounges filled with leather chairs. Chefs craft modern small-plate fare that complements the sleek interior, drizzling lobster and crab cakes with dill cream and pairing grilled portobello mushrooms with warm brie. Additionally, live bands take to the stage each week as an alternative to the metronome that traditionally moderates mealtime chewing.