Taking its name from the Spanish word for a young colt, El Potro treats diners to zesty feasts of sizzling steak fajitas, saucy chilaquiles, and tacos filled with spicy peppers and marinated meats. Festive Mexican décor surrounds diners, with red tile floors and orange walls framing chunky, solid-wood chairs that feature hand-painted images of horses, galloping vaqueros, and lasso-swinging centaurs. Alongside spreads of food and margaritas from the full bar, diners can revel in karaoke on Thursday or Sunday nights or swinging jams from the house band Mariachi Estampa de America on Fridays and Saturdays.
Named Boston's best Mexican restaurant in 2011 by readers of El Planeta newspaper, José's Mexican Restaurant curries favor by importing the culinary traditions of a small farming town in the mountains of southern Mexico. Chef Carlos Mendez's family members bustle by while patrons peruse the dinner menu for spicy starters such as homemade jalapeño poppers ($6.95/five), which burst with more cheesy flavor than a confetti cannon loaded with pepper jack. Mole—a complex brown sauce comprised of ground chilies, chocolate, tortillas, and spices—coats chicken enchiladas ($11.95), and a choice of sauces, including tomatillo or chipotle, accompanies two cornhusk-steamed pork tamales ($12.95). To craft Doña Reyna's original recipe for chilies rellenos ($15.95), chefs stuff poblano peppers with morsels of steak, then batter, deep-fry, and dress the chilies with salsa verde or traditional seasonings. José's Mexican Restaurant resembles a home, except for its uncommon lavender siding and neon-colored interior walls. In the dining room, Mexican-style paintings create an authentic ambiance, and an abundance of cacti imitate Gumby as they pose along the walls.
Beantown Taqueria specializes in spicy dualities. One side of their chalkboard menu splits off into authentic territory, boasting tacos on homemade corn tortillas and tostadas that Thrillist Boston claims will satisfy "SoBo purists." The other side embraces crispy Tex-Mex classics such as burritos and chimichangas drizzled in sour cream and guacamole. Guests stroll up to a counter whose wooden slats evoke a street taco stand, placing orders until 11 p.m. from Sunday to Wednesday and until 4 a.m. on weekends.
Tex-Mex culture influences every aspect of Sunset Cantina, from the distinctive Southwestern cuisine to the selection of more than 110 tequilas that helps create classic frozen margaritas—named on Boston magazine's list of 30 Best Cocktails. These icy oases offer tongues much-needed respite after they explore an expansive menu of Mexican comfort food, Texas-style barbecue, grilled new york strip steaks, and other cookout cuisine. Chefs create signature beer-bathed burgers—perhaps their centerpiece—by searing half-pound patties of ground sirloin on a steam grill. These treats as well as 38 beers on tap are available throughout the day and well into the night, as the kitchen stays open and cooking until 1 a.m.
The high-ceilinged dining area combines the scattered booth seating of a roadside diner with the intimate lighting and ambiance of a neighborhood bar. Metal lanterns hang over each table, framed collections of beer-bottle labels decorate the walls, and flat-screen televisions entertain patrons with sports and endless footage of the United States’ secretary of education playing Trivial Pursuit.
Within the bustling Faneuil Hall, Mija Cantina & Tequila Bar’s old-style décor transports diners to Mexico, while authentically crafted enchiladas and burritos complement more than 100 kinds of tequila. Since its opening, which caught the attention of the Boston Herald, Mija Cantina has delighted tongues with fresh guacamole and queso fresco. Diners hoist sails above their tables and grip knives betwixt their teeth before casting off with red snapper, lobster, and swordfish, or stay on solid ground with grilled steak and seared chicken breast. A selection of sides rounds out meals with additions ranging from the spicy lime mayo of corn on the cob to a simmering portion of pinto beans, bacon, and chorizo, whose protein boosts muscles after an evening workout or before a late-night battle royale.
Mija Cantina's décor, highlighted by NECN’s TV Diner and Thrillist, incorporates sun-bleached wood reclaimed from a Wyoming highway, iron candelabras, and leather booths to recreate the feel of a cantina from the past. Vaqueros celebrate romantic anniversaries of the day they married their six-shooters in the glow of lanterns or in the fresh breeze of outdoor seating as they quaff tequila made with 100% blue agave.:m]]
Boloco aspires to delight diners with the unexpected and strives to take care of its employees and the planet in the process. The Boston-based business first opened in 1997 as Under Wraps. But in 2005, it changed its name to Boloco, realizing wraps incited some terrible feelings - often involving alfalfa sprouts. With the fresh name came a new mantra, "Globally Inspired Burritos."
Despite winning an award for "stupidest name change", Boloco's menu has steadfastly offered customers globally inspired burritos and burrito bowls alongside smoothies and shakes, such as the Jimmy Carter, infused with all-natural peanut butter and premium ice cream. Boloco also uses eco-friendly practices, recognizing that today that might mean corn cups and utensils, but tomorrow it could mean driving to work in cars fueled by guacamole.