Sombra Mexican Kitchen’s chefs take pride in the methods they use to arrive at their contemporary take on Mexican cuisine. Though they pickle their jalapeño peppers and stir their enchilada sauces back in the kitchen, they can’t resist allowing guests a peek at the creative process. So, under the twinkling lights of the multihued dining room, they craft their flour or corn tortillas from scratch. While the flavorful disks are still hot, they proceed to blanket each with homemade guacamole and salsa brimming with Mexican oregano and epazote. They also slow-roast whole chickens and sizzle USDA Choice skirt steaks for meals that can be enjoyed on one of two outdoor patios or amid the dining room’s eclectic collection of cow skulls, Mexican blankets, and foliage teeming with wild piñatas.
The tortilla artisans at King Tortas International Deli handcraft a menu of genuine south-of-the-border fare made fresh throughout the day. Skilled hands festoon the chopped and marinated pork loin inside a taco al pastor ($7.50) with sweet chunks of grilled pineapple and Christmas wreaths woven from cilantro leaves, and pork, steak, and shrimp harmonize in the fajita mix ($11), backed up by a trio of rice, beans, and salad. Weighing in at more than a pound, the torta cubana ($9.75)—one of more than 20 tortas populating the menu—packs ham, chorizo, eggs, steak, and pork loin between two slices of bread cinched with a heavyweight-wrestling championship belt.
The chefs at El Potrillo prepare authentic Mexican dishes using quality ingredients such as USDA-certified Angus beef, crisp vegetables, and housemade sauces. House specialties brimming with sweet scallops and pork carnitas arrive on sizzling molcajetes—traditional Mexican cooking tools made of volcanic rock. Healthy dishes include spinach enchiladas topped with green tomatillo sauce and chicken fajitas, all part of the massive nine-page menu that also features classic margaritas, wine, and imported and domestic beers.
Just like the holiday its name signifies, Cinco De Mayo celebrates Mexico, specifically its distinctive cuisine. Classic dishes include carne asada, or grilled sirloin steak and saut?ed veggies served with tortillas, and chicken enchiladas topped with sour cream. Seafood also dots the menu in the form of grilled jumbo shrimp doused in ranchero sauce or stuffed into cheesy quesadillas. Cinco De Mayo also dishes out chicken sandwiches and hamburgers more American than the herds of monster trucks from which all SUVs are born.
From an English-style cottage nestled in the Jackson Street Historic District, The Parker House offers a savory haven for home-style eaters with a menu of aged steaks and simple Southern comfort food. Lavish starters tempt eager stomachs with rich mouthfuls of duck quesadilla, served with gouda, roasted corn salsa, and spiced sour cream ($9), or grit fries, crusted in herbs and bread crumbs topped with a smoky honey-chipotle aioli ($8). The Catfish Katherine astounds palates with a fresh Mississippi catfish blanketed with a sizzling sauté of crab, mushrooms, and green onions alongside edible islands of mashed potatoes and turnip greens ($24). With only certified Hereford and USDA prime beef, rehabilitated werebears can stymie carnivorous pangs with a marbled ribeye ($32) or an aged six-ounce tenderloin fillet ($25).
Tampico Mexican Grill’s expert chefs sizzle fresh meats and veggies to forge a variety of traditional dishes, served with homemade salsa. Culinary expeditions or temporary sculptures begin with fresh guacamole, prepared to taste with diner-selected ingredients such as cilantro and jalapeños ($4.99). The pollo Tampico’s marinated grilled chicken breast cozies beneath a melted cheese blanket ($10.99), and breaded and deep-fried chicken or steak pair ably with a single roasted jalapeño and hearty helping of fries in the Milanesa Tampico ($9.99). Five fajita offerings sail sizzling to plates in portions for either solo diners or dynamic duos, with fresh scallops, shrimp, or steak filling a choice of flour or corn tortillas ($10.99+). Midday munchers can fill plates or fanny packs with 1 of 19 lunch specials, including meat-centric and vegetarian options. Several beers and wines wash down meals, while frozen or rocks margaritas quench thirsts in several sizes, including regular ($4.25+), jumbo ($6.99+), and monster ($10.99+).