Founded in 2001, Ixtapa Mexican Family Restaurant and Cantina rode a wave of authentic mole sauce and frosty margarita mix expand from one location to four. They treasure the same family recipes in each kitchen, be it the slightly sweet vercruz sauce that bedecks grilled red snapper and veggies or the signature fish tacos with mango. The décor and specials, on the other hand, varies from joint to joint, with the Lunenburg location boasting stucco-like walls with red accents and a taco bar during NFL games.
Dining at a Mexicali Fresh Mex Grill is a different experience in every city. While every location shares the same Guadalajara based menu—with plates of authentic enchiladas, fajita burgers, and flautas covered in ranchero cheese—the decor of their dining rooms varies from location to location. In Spencer, Massachusetts, diners gaze at warm-toned desert paintings and statues of running horses, whereas the Ware, Massachusetts, location treats the eyes to views of blue-tiled divides and potted plants. In Holden, Massachusetts, a look around the dining area gives customers views of brightly painted walls on which ponchos and hats are hung, simultaneously providing colorful scenery and ideas for repurposing their old swimming trunks at home.
A smiling statue of a mariachi musician named Pepe keeps watch over Auténtica Mexican Restaurant’s dining room and menu of classic and contemporary Mexican dishes. Red and green chilies sourced from New Mexico add an extra kick to dishes ladled with Auténtica’s housemade sauces, such as extra-large 10-inch burritos filled with grilled vegetables and chicken, soft ground beef tacos, and housemade tamales. The menu also includes vegan and gluten-free iterations of quintessential Mexican flavors and recipes.
The chefs at this small, authentic eatery appease appetites with a slew of classic Mexican fare, including burritos, tacos, enchiladas, and favorite entrees. Diners can stoke hunger fires with meat-infused taquito bites or fajita nachos, piled high with cheese, onions, peppers, sour cream, and either chicken or steak. Hearty enough to combat extreme hunger and put dents in passing cars, california burritos provide homes to spiced meat, cheese, rice, and beans. The chimichanga del mar hides generous hunks of crabmeat, scallops, shrimp, and veggies under a deep-fried tortilla cloak, and street tacos, despite their name, are better to eat than they are to drive over.
Part Mexican cantina, part Irish pub, and all cop, Garcia Brogan's blends disparate cultures in both its menu and its decor, which features murals and folk art from Mexico and Ireland. Whether guests want a glass of Irish whiskey or a fine tequila, Garcia Brogan's bartenders keep the drinks flowing, pouring a river of alcohol in which tacos and shepherd's pie bob appetizingly. The restaurant hosts pub trivia nights and live Irish music on the weekends.
Mexican chefs prepare Mexican food that's served in a dining area enclosed by walls decorated with Mexican art. Wooden hot plates keep tile-topped tables and overzealous servers' heads safe from fajita skillets that emit the sounds and scents of sizzling chicken, beef, or shrimp. Patrons may enhance their authentic meals with sprinkles of salt and pepper shaken out of repurposed Coronita bottles and complement their cuisine with oversized margaritas—crafted at the wraparound bar with a selection of more than 40 tequilas.
Inside Sierras, an antlered chandelier overlooks cream tile-plated tables, ocean blue floors, and walls festooned with antlered skulls and colorful plates in pale blues and vibrant reds. The meals are just as colorful, from the dollops of sour cream, pico de gallo, and chili that top a tower of homemade corn nachos to the roasted red peppers, sweet corn, and Monterey jack cheese that pops out of burritos.