El Charro Mexican Restaurant, a family restaurant since 1982, has been voted the city's best Mexican eatery for four consecutive years in the Metro Pulse Best of Knoxville readers’ poll. The spot's perennial popularity is due to dishes such as carnitas pork tips in salsa verde and taco salad with chicken tenders and grilled red and yellow bell peppers. Cooks fill burritos with hefty portions of vegetables or beef tips, causing their tortillas to bulge like a burlap sack packed with a thousand burritos. Cold Mexican and domestic beers wash it all down.
Under Azul Tequila Mexican Grill's bright pink sign, chefs whip up simultaneously exotic and comfortingly familiar Mexican specialties. Sizzling chicken, steak, and shrimp make mouths water in the form of fajitas, and plates of pollo fundido aim to slap satisfied smiles on patrons’ faces. Margaritas moisten mouths, allowing guests too cool off and decompress after a particularly stressful day at the office, or day of being accidentally locked in the office.
Inside La Parilla, bright sunflower-colored walls stretch from the rustic tiled floor to the lofty ceiling and overlook a spread of hearty Mexican dishes and fruity, top-shelf margaritas. In this light and airy eatery, chefs spin out all the south-of-the-border favorites, from cacophonously sizzling fajitas and fish tacos to seven types of enchiladas teeming with liberally spiced meat and floods of melted cheese. At the full bar, mixologists update the classic margarita with mango and strawberry flavors, imbuing drinks with a tropical essence usually achieved only by puréeing a box of miniature umbrellas.
The chefs at 3 Amigos Mexican Grill forge meaty and vegetarian versions of such classic south-of-the-border dishes as tacos, chimichangas, and burritos. At the full-service bar, a troupe of bartenders shakes up salty margaritas and pours beer and wine to quench thirsts of any caliber. The eatery's textured yellow walls, curved archways, and carved wooden chairs swaddle patrons in Spanish-mission style, and an outdoor patio hosts edible enjoyment beneath clear blue skies and unchained tanks of helium.