At Mexico Lindo, heaping plates of sizzling meats and authentic Mexican dishes—the recipes for which were gleaned during owner Jose Perez’s time spent training in Mexico—emerge from the kitchen and head toward red-checkered tables. Tantalizing aromas of fresh corn tortillas mingling with the salty fragrance of chorizo and marinated pork fill the air, and glasses overflow with beer and wine brought from each diner’s home or vestigial wine spigot. China poblana, Mexico Lindo’s speciality, submerges two enchiladas under traditional mole, and packs an additional two with marinated pork and Oaxaca cheese.
Ornate paper flags and glimmering stars are suspended from Fiesta Ole Mexican Restaurant’s colorful, tiled walls, accenting plates of authentic Mexican dishes that appear from the cocina. Chefs crease tortillas into tacos, fajitas, burritos, and enchiladas while sautéing a variety of meat, seafood, and vegetarian specialties. Bartenders pour cups full of Mexican beers and cocktails as dinner conversations blossom at tables and booths in the cheerful dining room. The restaurant hosts regular salsa nights, offering diners a reprieve from trying to dance with strangers’ great danes at the dog park.
At Los Sarapes, the Marin family and its chefs eschew southwest and Tex-Mex recipes in favor of traditional and contemporary Mexican cuisine. Housemade, corn-based dough morphs into tortilla wedges, which diners dip into fresh guacamole and ceviche. They also smother chicken in their smoky mole poblano sauce and grill beef and pork tenderloin until they sport perfect sears.
At the bar, patrons can sample an array of tequilas and an outdoor patio lets sunshine cascade over the house?s specialty margaritas. As for the dining room, tables are covered with colorful tablecloths and surrounded by equally bright walls that support Mexican-style artwork.
Since its founding on Cinco de Mayo, 1989, El Taco Loco has sought to transport the flavors of a California taqueria to the East Coast without the help of preservatives, fillers, artificial flavoring, or lard. Along with classic fajitas, enchiladas, and carne-asada burritos, the extensive menu tweaks tradition with offerings such as the Mexican BLT taco and french fries with a piquant house spice blend, all of which can take on extra heat at the complimentary salsa bar. In the summer, sidewalk flower boxes beckon guests into El Taco Loco's storefront, designed to resemble a beach hut complete with grass roof and vacationing starfish.
Tortuga's Cocina keeps belly bearings delectably lubricated with an expansive menu of tacos, enchiladas, burritos, and more. Dull appetites can be sharpened to deadly keenness with starters such as the guacamole dip ($9 for lunch, $10 for dinner) or the nachos supreme, layered with refried beans, ground beef, melted cheese, jalapeños, and sour cream ($12). With their bellies properly primed, diners can dig into house specials such as the chipotle shrimp, ($18), or the pollo mole, a boneless chicken breast marinated in chilis and slathered with a cocoa-based mole sauce ($16).