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.
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.
Munchies boasts a simple menu of fast Mexican-American fare, as well as all-inclusive meals for two. For this dine-in or takeout feast, customers can select one appetizer, such as chips and queso (a $3.79 value), to kick things off. With just six types of entrees including burritos, tacos, salads, and quesadillas, guests can spend their evenings engrossed in riveting conversation with dates or indecisive litigators rather than fretting over what to order. Two entrees, such as 12-inch carnitas burrito with slow-roasted pulled pork (a $9.27 value) and a chicken quesadilla (an $8.72 value), stuff stomachs, and two beverages wash it all down (a $3.90 total value).
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.
At Rocco's New Orleans Style Poboys & Cafe, chef Troy Moreau channels Big Easy culinary traditions into a menu rife with po boys and Cajun dishes. Each po boy begins with classic french bread that, like a spit-roasted marshmallow Peep, has a crisp crust and a light, airy interior. The roast-beef po boy drips with homemade brown gravy ($9.49 for a whole), and the frito's Cajun-spiced fried-chicken po boy ($8.99 for a whole) brims with piquant flavors. In keeping with tradition, chefs dress all po boys with lettuce, tomato, mayo, and pickles. Chicken-and-sausage gumbo ($3.99 for a cup) and a basket of crispy fried shrimp quell seafood cravings in tandem with fries and hush puppies ($9.99). The eatery's TVs light up with high-octane sporting events or adrenaline-pumping home-shopping programs as fans sip Miller Lite and Killian's brews.
Rough wood walls and exposed brick-and mortar accents frame wood-topped tables at Sante Fe Cattle Company, lending it the look of an Old West ranch or corner saloon. Behind walls covered with western movie posters and cowboy portraits, the kitchen staff cuts steaks by hand, commands yeast rolls to rise, and builds sauces from scratch instead of melting them from freeze-dried blocks. The kitchen follows precise family recipes to grace tabletops with a menu of southern-style favorites, such as hickory-smoked ribs, chicken-fried steak, and fried catfish fillets. Live music fills the room on certain nights, and mist fans on the outdoor patio cool people off after a long day on the range or singing about spending the days on one.