Nacho Mama's recently opened Gentilly taqueria illustrates the local chain's commitment to fresh preparations of classic Mexican chow with the occasional southern twist. Its extensive menu is stuffed to the gills with a hearty assemblage of fajitas, tacos, quesadillas, burritos, and more. Decorate freshly fried corn chips with a homemade dip such as tropical salsa ($5) or white queso ($5) before trying a nontraditional offering like the Mexicali shrimp wrap, a spinach tortilla stuffed with fajita shrimp, fresh veggies, cheese, and ranch dressing ($9). Skeptics who need to witness the miracle of cooking with their own eyes to believe their fragrance-filled noses can order the skirt steak ($16) or portobello mushroom ($14) fajitas, partnered with grilled onions and peppers on a plate of sizzling romantic tension. House favorites include Carla's cheesy chimichanga, a queso-covered, deep-fried tortilla stuffed with cheese and chicken or ground beef ($11). Less fried and cheesified fare arrives in the form of baked burritos, including the southern-style sweet and spicy barbecue pork burrito ($10.50), which arrives outfitted in layers of crinoline and corsetry.
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The flavors found in El Chico’s enchiladas and fajitas are a tasty testament to what the Mexican eatery does best: cultivating a menu that bustles with authentic Mexican and Tex-Mex dishes. Fajitas provide a savory meal for two, with flour tortillas embracing veggies and chicken, beef, or a combination of the two with the gusto of a bear giving a bear hug. Or opt to reward tongues with enchiladas, which accentuate a variety of proteins with slick coats of cheese and sauce. The spicy beef of Mama’s Favorite enchiladas plays nicely with the fiery nature of chili con carne, and the Top Shelf fajita enchiladas capture rare glimpses of grilled fajita steak and ranchera sauce frolicking on the plate. Avocado enchiladas are also on hand for sets of vegetarian cravings.
After 27 years of continued business, Cucos is now under enthusiastic new ownership eager to dish up heaping platters of Louisiana-Mexican cuisine. Order up something savory from the teeming variety of menu options. Spinach or chicken flautas ($7.95) with sweet-chili dipping sauce snuff burgeoning grumbles, and entrees of carne-asada fajitas ($13.95) and, at the opposite end of the meat spectrum, the vegetarian burrito ($7.95), come flanked with your choice of two sides, including Mexican corn, rice, black beans, or fries. If you prefer to mold your own bowls from old records instead of using bourgeois china patterns, Cucos accommodates your bohemian creativity with build-your-own combo platters that include two items for $8.95 or three items for $9.95, similarly sided and brimming over with your choice of enchiladas, hard- or soft-shell tacos, tostadas, tamales, quesadillas, and flautas. With two convenient locations and a family-friendly atmosphere, the taqueria is an ideal gathering spot for friends, family, or caravans of hungry Victorian street urchins to enjoy a generously portioned Mexican meal.
Celebrating its seventh anniversary in August, El Mariachi’s family of epicureans crafts authentic Mexican meals with fresh ingredients and traditional recipes. Tables can devour complimentary bowls of chips and hot sauce while ordering meaty plates of carne asada ($12.95) or beef chimichangas ($9.25) to fuel a night of gossiping about the sun behind its back. Enchilada-bound shrimp don tortilla bathing suits before diving into pools of homemade chili sauce ($8.95), and pairs of hungry diners can fill the fajitas for two with a simple choice of chicken or beef ($19.95), reaching a détente as their stomach growls subside. Lunchtime visitors can dress a tamale and a taco ($5.75 for both) in one of seven sauces, including cheesy queso, chocolatey mole, or spicy ranchero. With a casual atmosphere and a kids’ menu of tacos and burgers, El Mariachi makes an ideal pit stop for families and salsa-fueled racecars.
At Tacos and Beer, soft corn tortillas enfold 10 types of grilled and marinated meats in their warm embrace. Above the crunching of freshly fried tortilla chips and the scribbling of odes to guacamole, live music drifts from the brick-walled dining room out onto Tacos & Beer's patio until 2 a.m. Wednesday?Saturday. During these hours, both early risers and night owls can recalibrate their mental clocks' built-in roosters with breakfast options served all day.