The burritos at Ixtapa Mexican Grill & Cantina aren't the handheld fast-food variety. Far from it, actually. The sauces and melted cheeses that smother the tortillas make them best eaten with a fork. Some of the burritos are stuffed with classic fillings, such as chicken or slices of grilled steak, whereas others are more innovative: the Atlantic Burrito is filled with shrimp, crab, fish, and scallops. There's even a fried apple-caramel burrito for dessert.
Though Ixtapa's chefs eagerly experiment with their dishes, there's no "Tex-Mex" on the menu?every taco, chimichanga, and enchilada is a remnant of an old family recipe. Each one can be traced back to its inspiration in Guadalajara and its namesake resort in Mexico. Margaritas complement the food with flavors of blackberry and kiwi, and range from the classic hand-shaken lime margarita to El Presidente, made with Cuervo 1800 tequila and delivered via motorcade.
At Acitrón, chefs elevate traditional Mexican mainstays to bistro-level sophistication. Like the world’s most edible bionic man, each dish is assembled by a crack team using locally sourced produce, meats, and seafood, with menu items including tilapia fish tacos and the crepas de rajas poblanas stuffed with grilled poblano strips, corn kernels, yellow squash, zucchini, and sour cream. Meals unfold in a dining room decked with hardwood floors, floral artwork, and sparkling granite tables topped with flickering candles. Shielded by a basket of fresh limes, a full bar slings libations including margaritas, specialty cocktails, and tequila drinks. Acitrón’s scratch-made desserts also add sweet punctuation to meals with bites including flan, tres leches, and chocolate tamales topped with Mexican-vanilla ice cream.
Classic Oaxacan cuisine receives a contemporary update at Zocalo Mexican Bistro. Crispy flautas and grilled chicken topped with house-made mole sauce showcase the restaurant's traditional roots. However, chefs exercise a bit more creativity when making dishes such as beer-battered, fried avocado sticks or a Cuban-inspired torta—a slow-cooked pulled pork sandwich with smoked applewood bacon, a black bean purée, pickled jalapeño, and chipotle mustard.
These bold flavors complement the dining room's vibrant decor, which features sunset-hued walls, colorful tiles, and hand-painted ceramics. During the warmer months, the outdoor patio opens, providing guests with a cozy place to enjoy a bottle of Mexican beer, a glass of sangria, or a balloon animal filled with sparkling water.
There's only one way to describe the drinks at Cantina La Mexicana: colorful. The bartending team specializes in fresh fruit margaritas, which they blend together and serve on the rocks with 30 different tequilas, instead of one tequila with 29 nicknames. They also squeeze limonada, melon, and other seasonal juices, serving up sweet counterpoints to the zesty cuisine.
That cuisine is inspired by a combination of family recipes and Boston-area chefs. On command, the kitchen springs into action to cook homemade chicken mole, pulled pork, and grilled chicken with pickled cactus, pairing these entrees with rice, beans, avocado, salad, and corn tortillas on the signature "Mexican Plate." At lunch time, the focus turns to satisfying meals such as chalupas and fish tacos.
Taking its name from the Spanish word for a young colt, El Potro treats diners to zesty feasts of sizzling steak fajitas, saucy chilaquiles, and tacos filled with spicy peppers and marinated meats. Festive Mexican d?cor surrounds diners, with red tile floors and orange walls framing chunky, solid-wood chairs that feature hand-painted images of horses, galloping vaqueros, and lasso-swinging centaurs. Alongside spreads of food and margaritas from the full bar, diners can revel in karaoke on Thursday or Sunday nights or swinging jams from the house band Mariachi Estampa de America on Fridays and Saturdays.
Even before you step inside, Tu Y Yo proves its authenticity. According to The Phoenix, a handwritten note on the door warns guests, “No burritos served here!” But with grasshopper tacos on the food menu, and micheladas (Mexican beer cocktails) on the drink list, the burritos will hardly be missed.