When they made them move from La Piedad, Mexico to Aurora, the Hernandez and Alarcon families brought more than just their possessions; they brought their families’ entire repertoire of classic Mexican recipes. They prepare everything from classic burritos stuffed with meat or vegetables, to their own unique contributions such as grilled shrimp, scallops, and pineapple tossed in chipotle sauce. Most of their dishes come with Mexican rice, beans, and tortillas, and pair nicely with the sharp sweetness of their margaritas, which come by the glass or the pitcher.
In 1981, Luchita Galindo and her son Jorge began Luchita's, a humble family endeavor that focuses on fresh, authentic dishes. Over the course of 30 years, the Galindo family has continued to grow along with their restaurant, which began as a 24-seat eatery and currently occupies three locations throughout the Cleveland area.
Luchita's chefs work to maintain the family's vision while constantly seeking out new flavors to add to the menu. Their specialties include authentically prepared meats and seafood, such as shredded chicken simmered in a smoky sauce (tinga de pollo), tender strips of marinated steak (carne asada), and shrimp sautéed with potatoes, cactus, and poblano peppers (camarones borrachos). Chef Galindo also concocts vegetarian-friendly entrees, such as cheesy chiles rellenos, and tinkers with new recipes until—like a klutz unleashed on the stage of an awards show—he stumbles on a winner.
Los Habaneros packs its extensive menu with bona fide, south-of-the-border fare prepared from scratch. Fill a beckoning boca with the enchiladas rancheras, overflowing with tender beef and chicken, smooth mole poblano, and creamy cheese ($11.99), or the seafood fajitas ($16.99), which encase a catch of scallops, mussels, shrimp, and mermaid dreams. Get energized before tunneling straight to a neighbor’s pool with a selection of vegetarian options, such as spinach enchiladas ($8.25) and vegetarian fajitas ($8.99). The restaurant also proffers smaller portions for pintsize patrons ($4.49 for children’s menu items). Los Habaneros’ mouth-stuffing guests dine at tile-mosaic-topped tables, amid authentic Mexican décor and supported by booth seats that offer a softer surface to sit on than a sleeping lion’s mane.
Qdoba's burrito baristas handcraft a catering menu of Mexican-inspired cuisine, customizable with a panoply of fresh ingredients for a taco, nacho, or burrito bar. Qdoba's culinary crafters craft succulent fillings for burritos, tacos, nachos, and quesadillas, including protein-packing choices, such as slow-roasted pulled pork, adobo-marinated grilled steak or chicken, and spiced shredded or ground beef, with vegetarian options also available. Taste the gooey flavor accents of the signature queso sauce, a three-cheese blend with roasted poblanos, tomatoes, and jalapeños, the pinto or black beans simmered in cumin and onion, or the creamy, hand-smashed guacamole that's ideal for filling up Queen Elizabeth's diamond-studded guacamole chalice. Tortilla chips with salsa bar and desserts complete each catered event, and customers can opt for burrito-boxed lunches and any add-ons.
The chefs at Tres Potrillos are perfectly in tune with the dozens of Mexican dishes that have been enjoyed for generations. They pile pork, shrimp, and chorizo into big and extrabig burritos, top enchiladas with fresh green tomatillo sauce, and craft specialty tacos with wheat tortillas and avocado-cilantro sauce made in-house. If you're in the mood for steak, they've got it cooked with Jalisco-style sauce, grilled up with chicken, or buried in shrimp and melted cheese. To wash down feasts and to help you break the ice with all those balloon animals that show up for Kids Night Thursdays, the bartenders hand out daiquiris, sangria, margaritas, and Coronas.
Zócalo Mexican Grill & Tequilería pulls its recipes from four different regions in Mexico, each with its own distinctive flavors and flairs—from the smoked meats of the Yucatán to the rich, chocolaty mole of the Puebla to the tangy seafood of the Veracruz and the inventive salsas of the Baja. Skilled cooks place innovative spins on traditional regional dishes, layering quesadillas with goat cheese, seasoning carnitas tortas in chipotle-barbecue sauce, and folding beer-battered fish into tacos.
Out in the dining room, bartenders mix margaritas beneath shelves of dozens of glimmering tequila bottles. They pair shots of premium Agave Loco, Dos Lunas, and Espolón tequilas with lime and a serving of spicy, citrusy sangrita. Ornate copper lanterns hang from the ceiling, casting a muted, twilight-like glow on tabletops and booths. A spiraling staircase leads down to the lower dining area, bordered by ornate metal railings. Colorful towers of light illuminate the outdoor patio, ideal for people watching or pointing out constellations to your date in a loud and impressive voice so everyone else can hear.