At Don Pepe Mexican Restaurant, an expansive menu of fajitas, burritos, and steaks illustrates the breadth and depth of the Mexican culinary tradition. Nachos in 10 varieties greet diners with juicy morsels of chicken or beef and a crunch that could wake a jet-lagged Rip Van Winkle. Enchiladas team up with tacos or tamales to form hearty combos, or go solo to showcase classic Mexican ingredients such as poblano peppers and green tomatillos. Quesadillas can be stuffed with vegetarian-friendly fillings, such as mushrooms, or meaty delights, such as house-made chorizo. To round out meals, xangos come with a dusting of cinnamon sugar that impresses sweet teeth as much as a coating of edible diamonds.
Though it’s far from the border, Nuevo Mexico Restaurante serves up dishes of traditional Mexican cuisine. The staff rolls seasoned pork or chicken burritos, stuffs taquitos with beef, or grills spinach and tucks it into quesadillas. One of the benefits of their location on the East Coast is the ability to ship in real blue crab from Maryland, granting chefs fresh ingredients for crab salads and enchiladas. One location’s decor unites rich wood accents with exposed red brick, a mural of a matador dodging a bull, and a bar that has three sides, like any argument between a husband and his wife with a crime-fighting alter-ego.
The sounds of sizzling fajitas and lively chatter mingle within Su Casa Mexican Restaurant, which lives up to its name with a menu of home-cooked Mexican and Tex-Mex entrees served in a cozy and convivial dining room. Glasses filled with foamy cerveza and smooth tequila clink against one another to commence meals of oven-baked chicken nachos, steak fajitas, and burritos stuffed with beans and tender meat. Cheese and potatoes fill the piñata-like chili rellenos, whose spice counteracts sips of an icy top-shelf margarita served blended, on the rocks, or filtered through the woven straw of the bartender’s sombrero.
Cha Cha's provides hungry patrons with a bevy of border-straddling dining options ranging from authentic Mexican cuisine to Tex-Mex and Southwestern favorites. The enchilada-centric menu allows diners to launch their feast rockets with an appetizer of enchilada dip—a creamy blend of green-chili queso, chicken, and melted cheese sealed in by a layer of sliced avocados ($7.49)—before tackling a myriad of 'chilada main courses, such as Cha Cha's signature cheese enchilada ($8.99). Or savor the taste of traditional street tacos stuffed with fajita beef, chicken, or blackened shrimp ($9.99) from the modern convenience of tables and chairs. Stubborn thirsts can be tackled with a double-punch-packed Margarona, the liquid lovechild of Jose Cuervo and Senorita Corona.
One of Mi Hacienda's simplest dishes may also be one of its most revealing: the chicken soup. Each morning, cooks simmer a broth, shred chicken, and peel carrots and potatoes for the restaurant’s mainstay. Similar care is evident in traditional dishes such as the carnitas—a slow-cooked pork marinated with a special blend of seasonings—and inventive creations such as the philly cheesesteak quesadilla. For dessert, diners sip from tropical margaritas, washing down golden fried pastries (sopapillas) or creamy caramel cheesecake (xango), each dusted with cinnamon and sugar. Once a month, Mi Hacienda hosts free salsa lessons, and they frequently broadcast pay-per-view boxing, UFC fights, and hidden camera shows that feature MMA fighters crying at the end of Steel Magnolias.
Little Mexico Restaurant crowns its menu of traditional Mexican recipes with ranchero, mole poblano, and other zesty sauces. Chicken fajitas arrive in sizzling skillets with spanish rice, beans, guacamole salad, sour cream, and tortillas, joining tabletops alongside house specialties such as carnitas and taquitos. The kitchen also caters to vegetarians with meat-free twists on taco salad and enchiladas, and prepares deep-fried ice cream for dessert with help from a crunchy breading and the fifth law of thermodynamics.