Fiesta Tapatia's menu brims with authentic Mexican flavors complemented by festive Mexican décor and a friendly, bilingual wait staff. While munching on a free first order of chips and salsa, visitors can peruse a description of Mexican dishes, which outlines the correct pronunciation and atomic weight of popular items for the chalupa-unfamiliar. Sizzling slices of new york strip steak snuggle into beds of spanish rice and refried beans in the Steak a la Tampiquena ($11.95), which arrives tableside with an entourage of tossed salad, tortillas, and slices veggies. The mole ranchero ($9.49) pairs its signature red mole sauce with tender pieces of chicken and a side of gauca salad, whereas vegetarians can combat mealtime indecision with a number of combination plates that marry meatless favorites such as a bean burrito, cheese enchilada, and bean tostada or a hearty helping of veggie fajitas ($6.45). Real sugar and warm-weather fruits such as strawberries or carbonated pineapples comingle in Jarritos mexican sodas ($1.75), and imported beers ($3.25) and sangria ($3.95/glass) help keep the dinner conversation flowing for diners of imbibing age.
El Amigo Mexicano understands that cravings for tacos, burritos, or chorizo can strike at any time. That’s why the restaurant fills its menu with breakfast selections alongside lunch and dinner options and stays open late. The eatery greets early risers with eggs scrambled with chorizo, smothered in red sauce, or delicately cocooned inside a tortilla. Lunch and dinner options sate cravings with burritos topped with melted cheese or gordita pockets filled with beans, avocado, and the diner’s choice of meat. Combination and à la carte options adjust platings to appeal to light or hearty appetites.
Recognized for four years running in the Kalamazoo Gazette’s Readers’ Choice awards, Mi Ranchito stands as one of the area's oldest Mexican restaurants and carries on a rich culinary tradition with a menu of generations-old recipes. Native Guadalajarans Jose and Lucia Franco incorporate ingredients imported form Mexico into starters such as the signature nachitos—four taco shell halves daubed with refried beans, melted cheese, and jalapenos that combine cheesy and crunchy better than a knock-knock joke spelled out in granola ($4.25). Freshly prepared entrees include the barbecue sauce-infused pork platter, “Mi Ranchito" ($12.95), and the flauta seaprema, made from crispy bites of butter-sauteed seafood topped with cheddar cheese sauce ($9.95).
A vermilion overhang of adobe-style tiles decorates the façade of Agaves Mexican Grill, giving only a hint to the south-of-the-border dishes the chefs inside are busy creating. Their menu pays homage to distinctly Mexican dishes, such as made-to-order guacamole, which also embellishes the popular enchiladas rancheras. But like accounting majors hailing from a long line of mariachi dancers, cooks aren't afraid to stray from the norm, as evidenced by their creative bites such as Mexican lasagna: a house specialty of cheese and shredded chicken stacked between layers of corn tortillas.
Evencio Sanchez grew up on a coffee farm in Colombia and opened Mexicali Restaurant in 1983, fulfilling his lifelong dream of owning a business. To prepare the restaurant's traditional Colombian and Mexican fare, Sanchez's cooks follow family recipes that have been passed down through generations and certified as delicious by a committee of petulant children. Appetizers, such as creamy guacamole, are served with house-made tortilla chips. Mexicali's chefs draw from fresh ingredients and can add a fiery zest to most entrees with jalapeño and poblano peppers.
Enchilada, nacho, burrito, taco, chimichanga, and quesadilla options are abundant on el Azteca’s lunch and dinner menus. Evening diners line stomach pantries with fresh guacamole ($5.79) or chicken mole ($8.39) before stocking shelves with soft flour tacos ($5.79 for two with mesquite chicken) and tamales ($6.79 for two with beef and pork). El Azteca’s signature Benji burritos, gigantic creations stuffed with meat, lettuce, diced tomato, and a dab of sour cream then baked slathered in cheese and a homemade sauce, can be created with veggies or 10 types of meat during dinner ($7.99–$12.59). Chip lovers crunch barbecued nachos with smoked pulled pork ($11.49, large) or a plate of nachos locos with jalapeños and spicy chile con queso ($7.99, large). Evict spices from your esophagus with a soft drink ($1.89) or cocktail made with one of el Azteca’s more than 100 tequilas.
Executive chef Jack Rickey brightens up his dishes at Billy Jack’s Bar and Grill by packing every recipe with crimson tomatoes, yellow sweet corn, and other colorful southwestern ingredients. The fiery flavors of chipotle peppers and chiles stimulate tongues when blended into the poblano-cream sauce poured over sizzling steak and shrimp or the aioli drizzled over sweet and spicy pork medallions. Bold ingredients find their way into seafood dishes as well, from the peaches that sweeten the BBQ roasted salmon to the jalapeno sauce that coats the restaurant's crab-stuffed tilapia and crab-stuffed piñatas.