At Jalisco Restaurant, the Rodriguez family whips up traditional Mexican dishes enhanced by fresh veggies, natural-aged cheeses, and homemade, preservative-free corn tortillas. Every day, chefs blend sauces and marinades from scratch to match with top sirloin steak, pork loin, and lamb shank, as well as ocean-fresh red snapper, prawns, scallops, and Dungeness crab. Crisp chips emerge from the fryer mere hours before appearing on tables to scoop up salsas or remnants of vegetarian burritos stuffed with cactus and black beans. Against a vibrant backdrop of yellow and adobe-colored walls, bartenders rim margarita glasses with salt and lime wedges or feed tropical cocktails to thirsty piñatas.
Bartenders fill shakers with icy pomegranate and Midori margaritas. Servers deliver cast-iron skillets sizzling with spicy chicken fajitas and barbecue-pork-stuffed quesadillas. And in the kitchen, the cooks at Los Mariachis Bar and Grill craft a plethora of Mexican mainstays, including their signature soft tortillas and salsa verde. They pair these specialties with dishes such as crunchy tacos and fish burritos, which they fill with sautéed tilapia and avocado. Housemade fried ice creams finish off meals on a sweet note.
The cuisine isn't the restaurant's only draw. Red walls with colorful paintings of traditional Mexican vases give the eatery a warm atmosphere, which was even featured in the independent film Burial Boys. And, the outdoor patio boasts umbrella-topped tables for dining alfresco while keeping enchiladas out of sight of hungry paratroopers.
The chefs at Acapulcos Mexican Family Restaurant & Cantina aim to cook authentic Mexican dishes unaltered by any Tex-Mex influence. Their recipes reach back generations within the owners' family and several miles into their underground tortilla vaults. Spanish-speaking servers deliver simple combinations of protein or veggies, topped with vibrant sauces: carne asada steak dressed in green pepper and guacamole, tender pork loin in tomatillo sauce, chicken in chocolate mole. The chefs' adherence to tradition doesn't preclude experimentation. Case in point: the dessert burrito, a lightly fried tortilla wrapped around apple-cinnamon or creamy cheesecake filling.
Both the menu and the decor change slightly from location to location?a painting of Mexico here, a tiled mosaic there. Each one, however, has a full bar where bartenders mix margaritas and flat-screen TVs broadcasting sports overhead.
Casa De Nana lives up to the warmth and tradition implied by its name, which translates to grandmother's house. Founded in 1968, the cantina still retains many of the same Mexican recipes designed by its founders. The chefs make their own chips, salsa, and hot sauce and whip up favorites such as spinach enchiladas, blackened-shrimp tacos, and Nana's Diablo, a spicy chimichanga with ranchero sauce, pico de gallo, and jack cheese. At the bar, the staff serves Mexican beers and specialty margaritas crafted from more than 30 types of tequila as televisions practice broadcasting live sports.
What goes well with tableside-mashed guacamole, tilapia baja fish tacos, and fried poblano peppers stuffed with chipotle chicken? Tequila. The northeast's largest selection of tequila, according to staff. Mama Iguana pairs a menu of Spanish-written dishes with more than 200 tequilas, which they use to kick-start their popular house and specialty margaritas. Patrons can sip drinks and bite into tacos while seated in the restaurant's colorful indoor dining area, out on the 100-seat outdoor patio, or standing in the doorway armed with poblano peppers in each hand.
A stone’s throw from the shore, Ortega’s Mexican Restaurant greets visitors with warm wood and terra-cotta tones throughout its interior. The kitchen churns out sizzling shrimp fajitas, taquitos, and chicken enchiladas topped with melted cheese, and the bar serves mojitos and margaritas in freshly grown cactus glasses.