Jalapeños Grill's open kitchen and terra-cotta-colored walls please patrons' scanners, and authentic south-of-the-border dishes treat tongues to sweet and spicy flavors. Diners polish taste buds with appetizers such as shrimp vallarta, sautéed jumbo shrimp hot tubbing in chipotle-honey-mustard sauce and melted cheese ($10.99).
Banners of colorful papel picado decorations flutter above Cafe Sol Azteca's seasonal patio, where a tile mosaic wall echoes the folk art hanging in the main dining room. Inside, chefs whip up guacamole—ranked among the best in the city by Boston Magazine—and simmer chicken in rich chocolate-infused mole sauce, or tuck tender cactus into salads. These specialties match with more than 15 varieties of margaritas, such as the blue frozen margarita and the Three Generation Margarita with a glass rim that the kitchen staff rolls in salt uphill both ways.
As their name implies, the staff at Blue Agave mix up margaritas using blue agave tequila and a dash of French orange liquor. Their bar also brims with Mexican sodas, sangria, and imported beer. While cooks craft dishes such sizzling fajitas and enchiladas topped with mole, servers make guacamole table-side after opening avocados with a search warrant. The restaurant also features a private salon where guests can host parties and enjoy a buffet of savory and sweet items.
Before he could call himself a master of Mexican cooking, chef Jim Fahey knew what he had to do. He went straight to the source, traveling extensively throughout Mexico and picking up new skills wherever he could—in restaurants, at street vendors’ carts, and even in the kitchens of local homes. After more than 30 years as a chef, Fahey has found what it takes to craft Mexican food the right way. His discoveries abroad compelled him to open Habanero’s Mexican Kitchen and Tequila Bar, where he crafts dishes that are healthy, fresh, and simple. Take, for example, his guacamole. Whether infused with chipotle or topped with salsa and Mexican cheese, every bowl of the creamy dip is made to order. The same goes for the enchiladas and burritos, the latter of which can only reasonably be eaten with a knife and fork or two sharpened oars. Fahey is also an expert in tequila, as his menu of nearly 100 premium variations will attest. The agave spirits are served in margaritas, flights, or shot glasses.
Within the bustling Faneuil Hall, Mija Cantina & Tequila Bar’s old-style décor transports diners to Mexico, while authentically crafted enchiladas and burritos complement more than 100 kinds of tequila. Since its opening, which caught the attention of the Boston Herald, Mija Cantina has delighted tongues with fresh guacamole and queso fresco. Diners hoist sails above their tables and grip knives betwixt their teeth before casting off with red snapper, lobster, and swordfish, or stay on solid ground with grilled steak and seared chicken breast. A selection of sides rounds out meals with additions ranging from the spicy lime mayo of corn on the cob to a simmering portion of pinto beans, bacon, and chorizo, whose protein boosts muscles after an evening workout or before a late-night battle royale.
Mija Cantina's décor, highlighted by NECN’s TV Diner and Thrillist, incorporates sun-bleached wood reclaimed from a Wyoming highway, iron candelabras, and leather booths to recreate the feel of a cantina from the past. Vaqueros celebrate romantic anniversaries of the day they married their six-shooters in the glow of lanterns or in the fresh breeze of outdoor seating as they quaff tequila made with 100% blue agave.:m]]