Rattlesnake Ranch Cafe first alerts the senses with the sight of sunset-pink walls. Around the room, a Southwestern-themed mural and bison head express the restaurant’s touch of the eclectic. Traditional Latin meals and wild game highlight the plates. Chef Miguel Garrido has exemplified this unique flavor since 1997 with cooking techniques that he brought with him from Guatemala. His blackened catfish and chicken habanero evoke recipes from the Gulf with Cajun spices and spicy peppers, and the country-fried alligator serves up a tamer version of the snapping specimen, with battered strips of alligator tenderloin and country gravy.
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.
At Badlands Tacos, diners are transported to the titular locale upon gazing at the eatery's southwestern decor. Cow skulls adorned with feathers and bright ceramic art festoon the umber-colored walls. From behind a walk-up counter, a chalkboard menu displays an array of Mexican tacos, chimichangas, and 11 kinds of enormous burritos filled with fixings such as flank steak, cilantro, and guacamole. Badlands Tacos offers booths and tables at their BYOB restaurant, outdoor seating, catering for special occasions, or take-out to feed pet llamas hidden under the porch.
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.
The cooks at Tito’s whip up a menu of fresh, inventive Mexican fare, customizing dishes to diners' desires for a personalized meal within a colorful, relaxed atmosphere. Giant burritos enswathe savory sustenance, such as grade-A steak ($8.95) and blackened salmon ($8.95), within 12-inch tortillas. Or quell shell cravings without licking a conch's home with an order of twice-wrapped tacos ($3.50+), food satchels that boast both an internally crispy shell and an externally soft covering. Tito's also carries an array of other Mexican staples, including nachos ($6.95), cheesy quesadillas ($6.25), and a taco salad brimming with veggies, salsa, and—for an extra cost—your choice of meat ($6.95+). Conclude Latin American–style feasts by slurping on a nonalcoholic margarita slush ($3.75/small, $7.95/pitcher) or covertly grazing on the tassels of neighboring Mariachi horn players.
Though the culinary focus at Olé Olé Restaurant is largely Mexican, the restaurant's chefs also draw inspiration from cuisines across North America, Europe, and Asia. North America, Europe, and Asia. Mexican favorites such as tacos, enchiladas, and fajitas rest side-by-side with creative dishes like Adobe Pork and creamy Italian pastas.
To complement these diverse offerings, the eatery's bartenders dole out frosty Mexican beers, international wines, and specialty drinks including fruity sangria and tart pomegranate margaritas. Tabletops as colorful as these cocktails decorate the festive space, which also features artwork from local artists and festive music creating an ideal backdrop.
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.