1. Hugo’s ($$$)
If you’re trying to impress, you won’t fail with Hugo’s. Margaritas are must at Hugo’s, and the best part is that you don’t have to waste your money on the top shelf version – their house margaritas rock! If you’re too big time to order “house” anything, try their Isidro or Gran Reposado Margaritas, both are to die for. To start, go with the queso flameado or the taquitos de pollo – consistent pleasers for any crowd. Someone in your party must order the Enchiladas Suizas – hands down their best dish. Their meat dishes are also outstanding, my personal favorite is the Cabrito (goat) dish. Save room for dessert – their chimmichuris, accompanied by an amazing hot cocoa dipping sauce, are worth the calories. Skinny options: (1) order one taquito de langosta and a cup of tortilla soup or the ceviche; (2) Hachinango a la Veracruzana (roasted red snapper with olives and capers).
2. El Tiempo ($$)
El Tiempo is Clutch City’s ultimate “go to” Mexican restaurant. It’s a great place to take a date, go for a fun birthday celebration, or bring an out-of-towner. Their queso is great and comes with those awesome flour tortilla chips, but their best appetizer is their crab and bacon quesadillas, which, in my opinion, are best served with their whole wheat tortillas. The fajitas – they have great chicken and beef fajitas but also have good game options (e.g., quail) and of course the pork fajitas – are among the best around. For those who are not interested in fajitas, their crabmeat enchiladas are remarkable. I am not a big fan of El Tiempo’s house margarita on the rocks – you really need to go with the platinum, but their frozen margaritas (regular or flavored) are great. Skinny option: grilled chicken fajitas with whole wheat or corn tortillas.
3. Ninfa’s on Navigation ($$)
Don’t shy away from this restaurant simply because of its chain restaurant name – this is the original Ninfa’s and is far better than any other Ninfa’s around. It has an authentic ambiance and is the opposite of pretentious. Everything on Mama Ninfa’s menu is good: the fajitas, tacos, and enchiladas are all consistent. This is the perfect place to introduce an out-of-towner to Tex Mex. Skinny option: chicken fajitas with corn tortillas.
4. Lupe Tortilla ($$)
There are two reasons to go to Lupe Tortilla: (1) hands down, they have the best beef fajitas in town; (2) it is very kid friendly. Lupe’s has a sandbox and play area for the kids to play in while the parents sip margaritas (their house frozen are passable) on the deck. If you like beef fajitas you have to try this place. You won’t be disappointed! Skinny option: skip the skinny option at Lupe’s; just do a little extra cardio so that you can enjoy the beef fajitas.