When the owners of Que Pasa Cantina renovated the restaurant almost a decade ago, they looked to Mexico for inspiration. As a result, the cantina feels like a portal to Mexico itself?tin and glass stars dangle from the ceiling, portraits of poppies decorate walls, and vibrant, striped blankets counterbalance dark woodwork. As for the menu, it strikes a balance between traditional and original. Among traditional options, margaritas contain hand-measured proportions of tequila and fresh lime, and posole brims with hominy, roasted chicken, and spicy tomato broth. A handful of the contemporary entrees rank among the most popular. In particular, the chicken enchilada casserole merges green chilies, corn, and cheese into a stick-to-your-sides entree that?s as comforting as a nap in a bed of mashed potatoes. The restaurant keeps eight Mexican beers on hand and four beers on tap.
What started as a refreshment stand during a 1924 Pioneer Day celebration has since grown into Arctic Circle, an eatery that transcends typical fast-food standards by building its menu items from high-quality ingredients. Black Angus patties support burgers stacked with mushrooms or bacon, and 100% Alaskan halibut keeps the fish sandwiches filler-free. Over more than 60 years of business, Arctic Circle has handcrafted original eats, such as a fry sauce blended from tomato and lemon, and the Brown Topper, an ice-cream cone dunked in chocolate and placed atop the heads of nearby gentlepersons. The dessert menu also includes milkshakes, whose creamy contents harvest flavor from real fruit or hunks of candy.
A place where the colorful interior is rivaled only by the vibrant cuisine, Taqueria Nicos is an authentic Mexican eatery that prepares made-to-order fresh fare. Step up to the counter to try specialties such as tender carne asada and cheesy enchiladas, or breakfast burritos filled with bacon or sausage, cheese, and eggs. The chefs have also mastered a number of classic American plates, such as burgers and fries, turkey sandwiches, and chicken nuggets.
The seasoned chefs at Limo Peruvian Restaurant serve northwest Peruvian coastal cuisine with a touch of sophistication. Choices on Limo's dinner menu range from paella-style seafood mixed with cilantro paste and fish broth ($20) to a braised leg of lamb marinated in cilantro, Peruvian yellow chiles, garlic, and spices ($19). Diners can enjoy their mouth-friendly treasures indoors, or, when the weather’s right, sip a glass of wine under the ruby-red umbrellas of the eatery’s outdoor patio while scanning the heavens for clouds shaped like Herbert Hoover.
Three generations of kitchen expertise inform the mouth-melting meals at Lorena’s Mexican Restaurant, a new restaurant with no shortage of seafood specials and tender carnitas combos. General manager David Robles calls on the expertise of Mama Robles in classic meals such as the chorizo burrito with huevos, the Chili Colorado with slow-cooked beef and red sauce, and the house’s signature cocktail, the Prickly Pair Margarita. Those in the mood for a light snack might simply pair the complimentary chips with a flight of dips—queso, bean, and guacamole—which allows diners to choose which sauce best matches their shirt.