El Quetzal is renowned for its fish tacos, tortas, and other Mexican favorites. Here’s more about this beloved hotspot:
The recipes at Chilitos Mexican Restaurant chart a trail from Guadalajara, Mexico, to chef Carlos Padilla’s kitchen. Chef Padilla infuses these recipes with 25 years of culinary experience, stuffing Anaheim chili peppers with cheese and dipping them in egg batter before topping their crisp shells in homemade sauce. Over the grill, the chef and his team flame-broil steaks and pork loin topped with a green sauce of tomatillos, peppers, and onions, while mixologists pour classic Sauza margaritas as well as strawberry- and banana-flavored cocktails at the bar. Once a month, a band of mariachis perform, serenading couples with romantic ballads and practical tips for joint-filing tax returns.
For more than a quarter century, the Arias family has served a menu of classic Mexican cuisine at El Farol Mexican Restaurant. Plates full of enchiladas, fajitas, and burritos add their own colors to a space where bold and bright oranges, greens, and blues are splashed across the walls. A spicy shrimp dish, camarones a la diabla, leads a list of more upscale dinner feasts, including sirloin steak infused with cayenne pepper, and burgers, chimichangas, and tacos head the lunch menu. Patrons can quench their thirst with the usual suspects, such as beer, Jarritos, horchata, or a fire hydrant.
At La Luna, chef Luis Castro transports tongues across the border with enchiladas, slow-roasted short ribs, and housemade mole sauce. Inside or on an outdoor patio, guests bite into burritos and grilled chicken garnished with locally sourced ingredients, served alongside glasses of agave-distilled spirits such as mescal and more than 60 types of tequila. La Luna's mixologists blend 100% agave tequila with fresh seasonal fruits, creating margaritas as powerful as a tractor outfitted with a jet engine.
The Santa Fe Café has been concocting its spicy stews since 1981, when two New Mexican brothers yearned for the sultry tastes of green and red chilies found back home. The resulting menu of peppery portions became a Seattle staple, serving up homemade posole and authentic Land of Enchantment dishes. Heat-hankering hungers will quiver before the chile relleno tart ($16.50), in which hot green chilies, mozzarella, and gruyere cheese are baked into a blue corn pastry with goat cheese custard, and the green chile burrito ($14/small, $16/large) awakens weary taste receptors to the joys of young love with shredded beef, onion, and tomato on a fresh tortilla topped with green chile and colby cheese. A drink like the Santa Fe Café style margarita ($7.50) will keep your gullet icy throughout your magma-inspired meal so you’re still able to taste a dessert of amaretto and orange flan ($6.25) nightcapped with a Santa Fe coffee (Herradura silver, Frangelico, and a touch of red chile topped with whipped cream; $9.50). The restaurant’s comfortable décor of green-and-white tiling and brightly painted wooden seats will make diners feel like they’re dining al fresco in Albuquerque while sparing them the comic misadventures that befall those who fail to take the left turn there.