How much can a 10-inch tortilla hold? In the case of Cisco's Cantina's SD–style burrito, a lot more than you might think. This crowd favorite starts with a bed of rice, beans, and avocado, to which chefs add plenty of chihuahua cheese, red or green sauce, and piles of carnitas or carne asada.
The rest of Cisco's Mexican food is equally hearty, if not quite as intimidating. Lemon vinaigrette adds zest to the California-inspired fish tacos, and a pork chili sauce spices up servings of huevos rancheros. Guests often linger in the cantina even after the kitchen closes, splashing their faces with salsa to stay awake past midnight as they sample the bar's 75 tequilas.
Born in Mexico City and raised in Yucat?n, Chef Tito has led a more than 30-year culinary career that's taken him through every position, from bartender to executive chef to tableside magician. He has cooked for celebrities as varied as Hilary Clinton, Sean Connery, and Norway?s King Olaf. With his bold mustache and even bolder personality, some of his dinner guests, such as The Pitch's Charles Feruzza, have claimed he could be a movie star. At his flagship restaurant Latin Bistro, he very nearly is.
In Latin Bistro's dining room, patrons are serenaded by Latin music as well as a symphony of shouts, bellows, and laughter. At the center of the room stands Chef Tito's open exhibition kitchen, where he and his chefs dash to and fro in a complicated dance, fashioning vibrant meals that draw from the regional recipes of Mexico, the Mayans, and more than 60 Latin countries in South America and Europe. With each dish, Tito balances three properties?texture, color, and flavor?and his most prized recipes come with extra flourish. He grills and braises pescado a la Veracruzana in white-wine rum sauce and Spanish spices, and tosses in green olives, onions, capers, and raisins. He conjures Mayan cochinita pibil after slow-roasting banana-leaf-wrapped pork in a pit with spices for up to eight hours. His crew drapes chile rellenos en nogada?ground beef-stuffed poblano peppers?in dried fruits, pine nuts, and creamy pecan sauce.
Bearing the name of its two owners, Nick & Nino's Pub is welcoming and unpretentious, serving up scratch-made food and cold craft beers on tap in a 7,000-square-foot loft-like space that hosts live music every Thursday, Friday, and Saturday night. Open from 11 a.m. to 2 a.m., the chefs serve up a menu of classic American pub fare, including hand-formed burgers and fries, the fan-favorite stuffed and fried mushrooms, and hefty entrees such as a 14 oz. ribeye.
According to the chefs at Real Jalisco North, Mexico's most flavorful, inventive ingredients hail from the Jalisco region. The menu at this north-of-the-border eatery is an homage to those interesting creations topped with signature sauces. At the new Northwest Englewood Road location, they stuff poblano peppers with a mix of steak and rich walnut sauce served atop a bed of rice, or top a choice of meat with a sprinkling of Oaxacan cheese, tomatoes, and onions in a savory tomatillo sauce. The kitchen also serves a select menu of classic favorites, such as chimichangas and steak tacos. These can be paired with the handmade cocktails from the bar, which feature boutique, hard to find tequilas.
Ixtapa's kitchen creates authentic Mexican dishes with an emphasis on artfully prepared seafood and Yucatan-inspired flavors. Diners who order the pollo adobado entree, for example, can sink teeth into a chicken breast marinated in a sauce made with achiote seeds that, like most of North America's toffee supply, are native to the Yucatan peninsula. Fifteen chicken entrees—from the classic arroz con pollo to the spicy pollo Ixtapa—populate the menu alongside fiery shrimp dishes such as camarones a la diabla. The eatery's signature dish, camarones Ixtapa, presents a catch of succulent shrimp sautéed with mushrooms and onions in green tomatillo sauce. A full bar supplies adults with beer, top-grade tequilas, and reasons to talk about high school.
Cuisine Type: Authentic traditional Hispanic and pit-smoked barbecue
Most popular offering: Burritos
Delivery / Take-out Available: Yes
Alcohol: Full bar
Number of Tables: 11?25
Outdoor Seating: Yes
Parking: Free street parking
Handicap Accessible: Yes
In your own words, how would you describe your menu?
We have a simple menu with plenty of options.
D?cor can say a lot about the type of food a restaurant serves. How does your d?cor inform or reflect your culinary practice?
Our restaurant features southwest Texas-style d?cor.
Are there any dishes on the menu you consider to be a hidden gem?not necessarily the most popular, but surprisingly delicious?
The carne guisada burrito, the smoked brisket nachos, and our jalapeno salsa.