The right blend of Mexican spices turns meals into fiestas and lures droves of grazing piñatas within the reach of a sturdy broomstick. Enjoy south-of-the-border zest with today's Groupon: for $15, you get $30 worth of Mexican fare at Senor Patron in Pickerington.
Chefs work with bold spices and ingredients from Jalisco to fill Senor Patron's menu with flavorful dishes from central Mexico to match the restaurant's lively atmosphere. Eighteen seafood dishes showcase the coastal region's taste for shrimp, casting them in a starring role or hiding them under saffron rice and behind uncanny portrayals of Jacques Cousteau with clams, scallops, and sausage in Veracruz-style paella ($18.95). Strips of chicken develop appetizing tan lines on the grill before donning traditional Yucatan regalia of cooked zucchini, green peppers, and tomatoes draped in a mantle of the peninsula's special sauce ($10.50). Steaks vanquish hunger with a spectrum of cuts ranging from 8-ounce filet mignons to 12-ounce T-bones ($12.95–$16.95). Appease shifting appetites with one of 22 unique combination platters loaded from a cast of burritos, stuffed relleno peppers, tacos, enchiladas, tamales, and other classic taqueria eats ($8.50).
Between rows of arches inside Senor Patron, walls colored sunset pink and sky blue provide a lively backdrop to high-backed wooden chairs painted with scenes of the Mexican countryside's flora and fauna. Solo musicians and mariachi bands send their serenades wafting through the dining room or install themselves on the brick patio to sweat under the passionate glare of the sun.
Servers, arms laden with tacos, burritos, and fajitas, pass through rounded colonial doorways en route to Zapata's Grill colorfully decorated tables, which are adorned with bright folk art inspired by the founder's roots in Jalisco, Mexico. Images of orange suns cast a cheery glow on authentic Mexican fare such as grilled steak, sautéed seafood, slow-cooked pork, and fresh vegetables, and green cacti painted on seatbacks try to nab a stray chili relleno with their thorns. Bartenders blend margaritas by the goblet and pitcher, pour cocktails conceived south of the border, and fill frosty glasses with domestic and imported brews.