Rattlesnake Cantina operates under the idea that going out to eat should be like a mini vacation. The restaurant backs up that belief by leading its visitors on a colorful trip through the Southwest of the United States, complete with a vibrant wall mural of a Southwestern desert?s golden sand hills and pink and purple skies. Seated next to that mural, or in one of Rattlesnake?s other brightly lit nooks, you can tackle traditional Mexican specialties while sipping on a margarita or tipping an invisible cowboy hat in approval between bites. You can also try out the restaurant?s southwestern spin on American classics, including an avocado and chorizo burger and pork chops served with hot cherry peppers.
Underneath Mexican Mike's festive, cactus-bearing rooftop, servers deliver a menu of fresh Mexican-American cuisine. The four soft corn tortillas served with Mom's enchiladas ($8.25–$11) embrace heaps of oaxaca cheese and a choice of meat, vegetables, or fish before being smothered in house-made sauce and secret butterfly kisses. The Diablo tequila-chicken burrito ($9) unites spicy vegetables with a tequila sauce to create a tongue-intoxicating bundle that's aptly washed down with margaritas fashioned from Mike's mixes and customers' tequila (BYOB). Competitive stomachs can take on the Papa Grande burrito challenge, requiring them to consume a pair of rice-, bean-, and spicy chicken-tinga-filled tortillas in less than 15 minutes, using no more than six wisdom teeth to chew. Mexican Mike's delivers its eats to designated nearby towns—Caldwell, Cedar Grove, Essex Fells, Fairfield, Montclair, North Caldwell, Pinebrook, Roseland, Verona, and West Caldwell—and customers can recognize their approaching food by its trusty chaperone, a 1988 lime-green Reliant, topped by a brave sombrero hat. This Groupon does not cover delivery fees.
Tortilla Sunrise’s gastro gurus imbue succulent meats and fresh vegetables with authentic south-of-the-border flair to create a menu of Mexican favorites. Feasting duos and foursomes can race to solve Pythagorean’s theorem with a basket of right-angled, homemade tortilla chips dunked in fresh red salsa and delivered straight to their door. Succulent cuts of beef, chicken, or lamb mix with a garden of fajita peppers and onions to allay stomach abandonment issues, and a cheesy plate of three enchiladas arrives stuffed with beef, chicken, pork, chorizo, or vegetables, and doused in the chef’s signature sauce. In addition to delivery, patrons can also place an order and carry out their fare on the way back from work or a peace-treaty signing that ran late.
Tinga Taqueria slakes stomach suspirations with a menu stocked with quesadillas, tacos, salads, burritos, and other contemporary Mexican cuisine. Halt hunger with a classic Tinga burrito ($9.75), a flavor bomb of tender char-grilled chicken slathered in Tinga salsa and wrapped in your choice of a flour or whole-wheat tortilla wrapping paper. Customers ordering for their inner-brontosaurus can select the grilled vegetable platter ($9.45), a savory concoction of yellow and green zucchini, red pepper, and portobello mushrooms with rice and beans. Each order can be savored in Tinga Taqueria's welcoming restaurant or enjoyed at home with the help of a real-life delivery person. Like sock garters in an appropriate business suit, the delivery fee is included.
Ivan López, head chef and owner of Casa Piquin, dishes up modern Mexican cuisine that fuses techniques he honed in French kitchens with authentic flavors he learned to weave as a chef in Mexico. Ivan ensures the freshness of his vegetables by purchasing them himself before crafting colorful salsas and sautéed fajita bell peppers worthy of being served in an eatery whose name means "House of Peppers." Signature molcajetes—traditional hot lava-rock bowls—cradle marinated and grilled mixed vegetables, meats, and seafood, and traditional dishes are sauced in a choice of five salsas, from a rich, sweet salsa mole made with dried peppers to a piping salsa arbol that lights mouths aflame so molars can lead campfire sing-alongs. Pitchers of sangria cool down mouths, as does flambé-fried ice cream, which is torched tableside.
Find the right door in either Orange or Bridgeport, and you can walk right into a Latin American paradise. The colors of coastal waters and sunny beaches envelop the dining room, and bartenders serve drinks worthy of the tropical atmosphere: jalapeño pineapple margaritas, South American wines, and 10 kinds of mojitos—including one made with fresh guava.
These slices of the tropics arrive in Connecticut thanks to Ola Restaurant. Here, chefs grill, bake, and will Nuevo Latino cuisine into existence. They define that culinary genre through shareable tapas such as lobster and avocado quesadillas as well as heartier entrees. These meals might star guava-glazed ribs, churrasco strip steak, or salmon caramelized with dark rum and sugar cane, all prepared with the gustatory finesse that earned the restaurant praise from the New York Times.