Beneath the glow of warm lights, Casa Tequila delights taste buds with the vivacious flavors of authentic Mexican dishes. Chefs draw on fresh ingredients and produce exclusively, ensuring that every dish is free of packaged sauces and Lincoln Logs. Sauciers prepare guacamole before tables, and the restaurant's many flat screen TVs fill the space between bites with UW Badger and Green Bay Packer games. A full bar, replete with imported beer, margaritas, and daily specials, keeps spirits merry and coasters employed.
In a sleek, modern space, alternating red and brown walls provide a bold backdrop to pastel-yellow seats and hanging teardrop-shaped ceiling lamps as Anton's Salon & MSpa's talented staff greets customers. Looks are transformed and bodies receive potent doses of relaxation via a full slate of services, including haircuts, massages, makeup applications, laser hair reduction, and Botox injections. Stylists happily snip off 9 inches of patrons’ ponytails or pet ponies’ tail hair so strands can be donated to Locks of Love before offering a trendy haircut free of charge. Additionally, the team of trained professionals helps churn out tomorrow’s beauty pros in Anton’s Academy, which features an apprentice program and workshops.
Homemade guacamole and fresh cornbread spread with guava sauce balance Antigua Real's Latin culinary dishes, whose rich spice blends have won over palates by showcasing global flavors. Cuts of meat pick up campfire flavors and learn cowboy songs on the grill, and absorb chipotle, tomatillo, and tamarind from marinades and gravies. Entrees smothered in two thick moles (chocolate and almond) ensure those dining in get a taste of Mexican tradition, whereas seafood dishes accompanied by plantain recall the country's oft-overlooked proximity to the Caribbean. If you are not admiring collections of Central American art decorating the walls and fireplace of the entry, you can relax in Antigua Real's inviting lounge, where a diverse collection of tequilas, signature margaritas, mojitos, and beer inspire sun-soaked relaxation.
Punctuated by festive colors, a plentiful bar, and ample outdoor seating, La Chimenea's two locations put diners in the mood to celebrate. Owner Hector Jimenez—who also has a website dedicated to healthy Mexican food—offers dishes that run the gamut of Mexican staples. Menu items include homemade guacamole and sirloin-steak fajitas, along with more innovative creations, such as the specialty chilies en Nogada, which fills two poblano peppers with ground beef, peaches, apples, and nuts before slathering it all in a creamy cashew sauce. At the bar, a variety of tequilas anoint lime, strawberry, or raspberry margaritas, and patio seating keeps the seasons at bay with a fire pit during the winter months and a restaurant-sized snow globe over the summer.
Every Friday at The Spot on Sunset, diners flock to this neighborhood eatery for the weekly fish fry. Crispy batter covers tender fish filets and french fries fill the air with salty aromas. If you're keen on the fish fry but want a healthier option, the waiters at The Spot are eager to please. Customers praise their willingness to swap out the fries with fresh fruit including watermelon, pineapple, and cantaloupe. Once you've gotten hooked on the fish, come back any day of the week for a selection of cheeseburgers, salad, and local beers.
With its half-timber historical façade, Arriba Mexican Restaurant & Lounge wouldn’t be out of place in an Alpine ski village. But step inside and the space practically glows with south-of-the-border charm: walls are swathed in warm magenta and yellow hues, and the original tin ceilings are gilded in gold.
The pleasant incongruity extends to Arriba’s menu, which landed the eatery the No. 10 spot on CityVoter's 2011 list of best Mexican restaurants. Traditional Mexican cuisine, such as shrimp fajitas and deep-fried chimichangas stuffed with housemade chorizo, takes center stage, but the restaurant also hosts Friday fish fries and serves thick burgers piled with southwestern toppings such as chorizo and guacamole.
Arriba's adjacent lounge hosts live music, potlucks, and open mics. Here, guests can sip libations from a vast drink menu that features 18 varieties of tequila, seven flavored martinis, and precisely one flavor of water.