If you're not sure what you have a taste for when you walk in the door of Portobello Cafe, it'll probably take you awhile to decide. The dinner menu challenges timid eaters with more than 75 menu items, predominantly Italian-style dishes such as veal saltimbocca and rosemary-crusted rack of lamb. There are some playfully international dishes as well, such as Italian egg rolls stuffed with broccoli rabe and parmesan risotto. Folks can always leave the decisions up to the professionals, however, with prix fixe dinners. During the day there's an equally extensive lunch menu to ensure that none of the meals think the chef is playing favorites.
The small-plate prodigies at Ole Tapas Bar & Restaurant craft a variety of Spanish-inspired tapas served to eager patrons as they lounge in a dimly lit, comfortable bar atmosphere. Diners can peruse an eclectic menu packed with carne skewers glazed in teriyaki or wasabi ($8) and crab cakes smothered in spicy remoulade sauce ($8). Those with dietary restrictions or those who lost hard-fought spelling bees to wheat can sample a wide range of gluten-free bites, including bacon-wrapped shrimp enhanced by a tomatillo sauce ($8) and the seared thai tuna served rare, topped with thai barbecue sauce, and paired with cucumber salad ($10). Frequent live acts envelop patrons in musical embraces, made even warmer with the addition of a drink from the full bar.
Blue and yellow walls alternate with stone accents and Mexican flags at Cinco De Mayo, calling to mind the fun and vibrant atmosphere of a celebration. The food—which includes slow-roasted tacos al pastor and guacamole made fresh tableside—fits right in, especially when paired with an ice-cold margarita made from real Mexican tequila. Guests can settle in for lunch or dinner to enjoy Mexican favorites such as quesadillas, fajitas, and burritos, along with more innovative creations such as camarones amarrados—cheese-stuffed jumbo shrimp wrapped in a crispy piece of bacon.
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 numerous ways to celebrate Cinco De Mayo: from booths and tables at their BYOB restaurant, outdoor seating, catering for special occasions, or take-out to feed pet llamas hidden under the porch.
At Que Chula es Peubla, a parade of friendly servers carts out plates laden with torta de milanesas, burritos, tacos, grilled pork chops, and steaks. Live musicians and a sunny surrounding of murals, red tile accents, and adobe-colored walls make for a charming atmosphere, perfect for sipping frosty margaritas and chowing down on fajitas and chicken mole.
Salsa Fresca Mexican Grill emphasizes freshness in each taco, burrito, and quesadilla, filling dishes with locally sourced ingredients and house-made salsas that range from mild sweet chipotle to hot fire-roasted jalapeño and tomato dip. A smattering of wood-topped tables populate the crimson- and cream-hued eatery. The eco-conscious business packs up patrons' leftovers in compostable corn based to-go containers, and the delivery person carts food in a banana-yellow Smart car.