Chevys serves up Mexican fare in Texas-sized portions, with salsa and tortillas made from scratch daily. Begin by ordering a bowl of guacamole to witness a server capture, skin, and gut a live avocado right at your table before hand-mashing it into fresh guacamole. From there, let your taste buds tango across tender tamales of real masa (wrapped by hand each morning), or play mad scientist and suture together an electrified monster plate from enchiladas, tacos, tamales, flautas, and chile rellenos ($11.99 for any two, $13.29 for any three, $14.49 for any four). Seafarers, meanwhile, will want to try the seafood enchilada ($13.69)—a mélange of shrimp and blue crab sautéed in white wine and garlic that's folded into corn tortillas with veggies and Jack cheese, then topped with spicy habanero-pesto cream sauce. To keep the hot peppers and piquant salsas from singing the sinuses, douse your mouth-flames periodically with a prickly pear or blue agave margarita ($6.95) mixed with top-shelf plata, reposado, or añejo tequila.
Moctezuma’s first came to life in 1978, when Arturo Garcia decided to share his culture, love of cooking, and knowledge of the correct spelling of “Montezuma” with Northwest diners. To this day, diners can expect excellent service and a tasty menu of authentic, home-style Mexican cuisine prepared from the finest ingredients. Focus the palate with some fiesta queso dip ($5.99) or some chorizo bean dip ($5.99), then use your mouth mowers to shred a carne-asada salad ($11.99) with homemade chipotle-ranch dressing. Discriminating diners can find out what it takes to win Weekly Volcano's brutal, no-holds-barred Tournament of Tacos by trying a serving of Mexico City tacos ($12.99) stuffed with carne asada, marinated chicken, or pork carnitas. Final Fantasy fans, meanwhile, will get a kick out of watching the waiter cast Firaga on a plate of steak, chicken, or shrimp fajitas ($16.49) using a little gold tequila and a flamethrower. And if a cheddar-, guacamole-, and sour-cream-topped chimichanga ($11.99) doesn't make one sufficiently nostalgic for one's former life as a mermaid, enjoy a plate of camarones a la diabla ($14.99) with rice and sautéed vegetables, or happily consume a Cabo shrimp cocktail ($12.99) and then wash away the evidence with a refreshing Jalapeño Margarita, with house-made jalapeño-infused tequila, triple sec and fresh-squeezed citrus juices, hand-shaken and served in a 20 oz. shaker ($7.95).
At Casa Durango, chefs whip up a smorgasbord of Mexican eats, with a spread of tortas, tacos, salads, and burritos paired with frosty tropical cocktails and margaritas. Like a computer manual written by Stephen King, the menu is as lengthy as it is appetizing. It presents dozens of different steaks, enchiladas, seafood, and chicken dishes ladled with zesty sauces and complemented by sides of savory rice and beans. The dishes run the gamut from traditional, homey plates of marinated lamb shank and slow-simmered pork to group-pleasing dishes of nachos and taquitos. And when it comes to entertaining groups, the restaurant also hosts karaoke performances that lighten the mood on weekends.
Located close to the Fauntleroy ferry terminal, Guadalajara lets diners fill up on authentic Mexican eats before or after crossing the Puget Sound. Cooks conjure up house specialties such as chicken fajitas served on sizzling plates, slivers of shredded beef seasoned and cooked according to a traditional recipe, and beef soup filled with various vegetables. The restaurant’s popular happy hour highlights its assortment of margaritas—available frozen or on the rocks—ranging from the tart cabo rita to the tequila sunrise, which features sweet grenadine.
El Quetzal Mexican Restaurant sates ravenous appetites with a menu of ample eats inspired by Mexico City's street fare. Tuck teeth into the midsection of an overstuffed torta—a sandwich lined with melty mozzarella and teeming with chipotle-sauce-soaked tasties such as mexican sausage, breaded flank steak, or the pleasant paradox of sliced ham with pineapple and five-dimensional bacon ($8.75). El Quetzal’s epicureans test the tensile strength of their homemade corn-dough tortillas with quesadillas gigantes that come overflowing with smoked chipotle-braised meat and a flood of fresh-made cheese ($8.99). Dinnertime diners can graze on a platter of beef with carne-asada steak ($12.99) paired with a Mexican beer or margarita or opt for an all-day breakfast dish, retroactively improving their day with huevos con jamon's diced ham and three scrambled eggs ($8.99).