Native Mexican and owner Juan Rodriguez serves a bevy of authentic stomach-stuffers to Floridian feasters with the help of an attentive service staff. Savvy snackers bombard embedded taste buds and online Scrabble nemeses with first-course forkfuls of tostadas de ceviche, shrimp, pico de gallo, and avocado seasoned with fresh lime juice on a flat, fried tortilla ($7.95). Hungry diners gladly muscle through main courses such as the hot and spicy burrito, topped with beef tips and Orale sauce ($10.95), or sizzling trios of marinated pork-filled tacos de carnitas ($9.59). The pollo de poncho features fiery chorizo sausage plucked directly from Florida’s finest encased-meat groves and spread across a grilled chicken breast with rice, beans, and three tortillas ($11.95). Finish off satiation symphonies with a cooling crescendo of fried ice cream ($3.99) or an order of fried churros ($3.50).
The chefs at Paquito’s fill hungry hands with a menu of Mexican fare for patrons to nosh while surrounded by bright, funky décor. To start, waiters drop off complimentary tortilla chips and chunky cilantro salsa at the tables, which are covered in fluorescent ponchos. Devour traditional favorites including chorizo-stuffed chimichangas ($13.50), tamales ($8.95), and enchiladas with your choice of meat ($11.50–$14.95). North of the border specialties such as guacamole burgers ($6.95) add a Mexican spin to standard American fare, especially when swallowed down with a classic margarita ($7.95) or a Negra Modelo ($4.50) and ordered while releasing a flock of bald eagles. Quirky knickknacks and art cover Paquito’s walls, whose bright colors represent all the flavors of the original margarita—strawberry, lime, raspberry, peach, and banana.
Bejeweled sombreros hang from Tequila Sunrise’s ceiling, their gems glinting next to strands of hanging lights. In keeping with this flashy, festive atmosphere, bartenders dole out award-winning margaritas, which are blended from freshly squeezed sour mix and served in glasses that dwarf the circumference of their customers’ heads. Though Tequila Sunrise specializes in libations, it doesn’t shirk cuisine: chefs sauté fresh seafood in Mexican spices and drizzle tender chunks of meat with homemade sauces. Their dedication to high-quality, fresh ingredients helped earn the eatery its spot as one of 2011’s best Mexican restaurants in South Florida, a poll determined by Local 10 viewers and one guacamole-obsessed Magic 8 ball.