Within Casa Del Rio's warm orange walls, chefs cobble together fresh meats, vegetables, and seafood to forge authentic Mexican lunch and dinner specialties. They douse shrimp in Diablo hot sauce, stuff flautas with shredded beef and chicken, or slice up grilled steak to accessorize with bacon, ham, and poblano peppers. Traditional and frozen margaritas drench adult palates, and a kids' menu entices tots with both Mexican and American classics. A kaleidoscope of colored tables scatters across the family-friendly dining room, which features vibrant artwork and rustic brick barrel vaults, and televisions above the bar entertain guests with sports games and newscasts acted out through interpretive dance.
At El Jalapenos, servers bustle between tables and through kitchen doors carrying plates of queso fundido, chicken fajitas, and carnitas. Here, armed with margaritas and overstuffed burritos, guests can savor a Mexican meal that's as relaxing as a nap underneath a warm tortilla blanket. Slice into carne asada or La Oaxaquena—grilled steak served with poblano peppers, bacon, ham, cheese, beans, and rice. Or, grab a tortilla filled with pork al pastor, stir-fried peppers, and refried beans. El Jalapeno has vegetarian options, too, including spinach enchiladas and cheese quesadillas.
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.
El Tapatio's chefs invest in their kitchen's culinary culture, prepping authentic Mexican platters that range from chimichangas to the impressive super burrito. Though they specialize in a repertoire of steak, chicken, and seafood dishes, they extend the culinary invitation to veggies with meat-free meals. The cantina side of the restaurant mixes citrusy libations—including margaritas, daiquiris, and piña coladas—that counterbalance the spicy salsas and the wounded pride of losing a salsa-guzzling competition.
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.
At Tlaquepaque, the only thing more vibrant than dishes adorned with multicolored bell peppers and miniature mountains of salsa is the lively decor. While diners settle themselves at booths emblazoned with celestial paintings or upon chairs decorated with carvings of peacocks, the kitchen staff envelopes meat or seafood in chimichangas, braises carnitas, and prepares other Mexican classics. On the outdoor patio, the wait staff ferries shrimp quesadillas and chalupas to tables against the backdrop of a three-tiered fountain that lights up by night, illuminating a trio of stone frogs and the Marshalls, an unconventional-yet-loveable family of pennies.