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TOP MEXICAN IN FLA

n
netmover Mar 26, 2006 03:47 PM

Mexican! Authentic if you "know" what I mean? Texmex is not Mexican...there ain't no such thing as a Burrito in Mexico...unless of course you're talking about a baby jackass! So, if there's Burritos on the menu, make sure there's some real "RAZA" in the kitchen. BTW, 'Raza' is Mexican for Mexican!

Here go my top (3), I urge you to post yours all over this great Sunshine State. Not many people know this but the number one tourists in FLA are Floridians! I am from Miami-Dade, but travel to Pompano Beach in Broward for my Mexican...I still have not found much of the real thing down here. Homestead had it going on for a while, but my investigation has concluded that those places that claim to be, are not Mexican anymore.

1. Doña Raquels - BY FAR #1. You will feel like a gringo when you go to Doña Raquels and if you're after true Mexy food, that's a good thing! Dixie HWAY in Pompano. Be sure to check out the family's seafood and meat market in the same strip mall. They have all the Mexy spice and ingrediants you'll ever need to do it yourself.

2. La Fondita - just opened also in Pompano, also on Dixie. Warning, the only thing I have ever ordered here is Tacos al Pastor which they do outside swarma style on the weekends. My buddy, who is too intimadated to go to Doña Raquels solo for lack of español and feeling like he just got off the boat in Vera Cruz found this place. You can sit outside and on the weekends they roll out the mobile swarma style Tacos al Pastor. The place is an old Chicago style hot dog stand (SAL's) and definately is a work in progress. Pompano Beach, in addition to their big Brazilian population, now has a solid Mexican community. They have many authentic Mexy Markets and eateries. Please report back if you know of any other good ones I should try.

3. Burrito Grill - What can I say? There's an exception to every rule, even my own! This IS in fact authentic though, the owner is a Yucateco (Yucatan Peninsula). This place is on 125th St in NMB. My man works the griddle himself and does a nice job too.

That's all I got-how about your Top (3) ? ? ?

  1. netmover Feb 11, 2014 05:40 PM

    Dade County Clutch

    Rincon Mexicano - Little Havana between 19-20th Calle8

    Jacalito - 36th and Flagler

    1. netmover Nov 30, 2013 08:58 AM

      Rinconcito Mexicano and Jacalito top Dade County Mexy joints!

      1. h
        HogHunter Jul 30, 2013 05:01 PM

        I am stunned! While it has been 25 years since I lived in Pompano even then the best Mexican restaurant in Florida or for that matter east of the Mississippi is in Ft Lauderdale! It is just east of US 1 on the 17th Street Causeway. The name is Carlos & Pepe's 17th Street Cantina. They have the best appetizers anywhere. There are little old Mexican ladies hand making each nacho. These aren't a pile of chips with ingredients poured over the top. They have regular nachos with retried beans guacamole and cheese. Super nachos add a nice dollop of sour creme. My favorite is the Crab nachos essentially Super nachos with a healthy chunk of sweet crabmeat.

        They have perhaps the best salsa I've ever eaten. They also have a very unique Tuna dip. It has a hint of jalapeño heat and some other flavors that require me to order a to go bowl for later on.

        The truth is we rarely order entrees any more because we love the apps so much. However the Flautas con Guacamole is amazing!

        For dessert if you save room the fried ice cream is awesome. Not true fried ice cream but terrific nonetheless.

        To give you an idea of our love for the place, my wife and I will not get anywhere within Palm Beach county without going down to Carlos & Pepe's. in fact on more than one occasion we have twisted a reason to drive from Jacksonville to eat there!

        1. netmover May 18, 2013 10:00 PM

          Anything new cooking in South Florida?

          1. netmover Feb 4, 2013 06:54 PM

            Anything new out there?

            1 Reply
            1. re: netmover
              s
              sherris Feb 4, 2013 07:36 PM

              We have a fairly new food truck in Melbourne at the intersection of Croton & Aurora. It sits in the parking lot of a small Mexican grocery. The truck is called Tacos El Vaquero. It is absolutely the best, authentic Mexican food around this area. They have a simple, inexpensive menu. Our favorite is the gorditas!!! Have never had anything close to theirs. Everything is good and they have just recently added a few new items to their menu. They have one picnic table. This is definitely a stop worth making...you won't regret it.

            2. j
              JPR Dec 14, 2012 03:24 PM

              Agave in St. Pete Beach is up there.....

              1. g
                gulfbreeze Sep 5, 2012 11:09 PM

                Can't speak for the rest of FL, but in the Tampa area if you're looking for authentic Mexican, avoid places gringos usually eat and instead look where those from Mexico are eating. And that means inside Mexican grocery stores more often that not there will be a taqueria, as well as small hole in the wall taquerias found in strip plazas.

                In Tampa:
                Acapulco Mexican Grocery at 1001 N Macdill.

                Across the bay in North Pinellas, there are great choices:

                Tarpon Springs:
                Cielito Lindo Taqueria on East Tarpon

                Clearwater:
                La Cabana Del Tio on Drew St
                El Chicanito on Gulf to Bay
                Marcellas on Gulf to Bay
                Lakeview Grill on Lakeview Rd
                Encanto Mexicano on Drew St

                Dunedin:
                Casa Tina (great food, the only upscale place on the list, go when you have plenty of time as the service is often slow)

                Pinellas Park:
                Señor Taco on Park Blvd in Pinellas Park

                1 Reply
                1. re: gulfbreeze
                  m
                  mountdorahound Oct 11, 2012 10:14 AM

                  Mount Dora has its first taco Truck on Hwy 19 leaving town. Tortas with homade bread! They also have taco's with a cilantro jalepeno sauce for them that is to die for! I still haven't tried there quesodillas but will report back when I do!

                2. j
                  jtboyd Aug 26, 2012 08:41 PM

                  All due respect to the other recs, the best Mexican I have ever had (and I worked on the border, in Guadalajara, and Mexico City for 6 years) is Las Tapatias on Old Baymeadows in Jacksonville. My GF is a relatively skinny gal from Arizona and the first time I took her there (against her will) she had a $35 tab all by herself. Its purely incredible is all, and the restaurant is in the back of a store that sells cowboy boots and tack. LOL

                  1. netmover Aug 26, 2012 07:23 PM

                    Anybody tried jacalito in Miami?

                    1. netmover Aug 15, 2011 06:34 PM

                      This post seeks to revive this thread while displaying unto you my delicious lunch today over at Dona Raquel's in Pompano Beach. Enchiladas de Carne Asada con Mole Rojo....YES PLEASE!!!

                       
                      10 Replies
                      1. re: netmover
                        netmover Dec 23, 2011 06:40 PM

                        MERRY CHRISTMAS dONa RaQueL...BEST MEXY THIS SIDE OF THE RIO GRANDE!

                        1. re: netmover
                          netmover Dec 31, 2011 07:01 AM

                          I need some GOOD Mexy in Boca!!! Anybody??? Porfavor...

                          1. re: netmover
                            netmover Jan 3, 2012 06:01 AM

                            Pepper's Burrito Grill in South Beach and now near Brickell has some excellent Barbacoa.

                            1. re: netmover
                              e
                              elgringoviejo Jan 10, 2012 05:09 PM

                              Dona Raquel is reasonably close to Boca.

                              1. re: netmover
                                s
                                sherris Jan 14, 2012 06:55 PM

                                The very BEST Mexican that we've found in Florida (it'd be a road trip from Boca) is the Taco Mobile in Fellsmere. It is the only authentic Mexican that we've found in central florida. We drive 30 miles or so south for the carne asada tacos, tortas, and burritos. This is just a food truck but is well worth the trip. The above are wonderful - and the green and red salsas and roasted jalepenos are magnificent. They only have five or six items on the menu. There is a park across the street with picnic tables. The Taco Mobile can't be missed!!!

                                1. re: sherris
                                  netmover Jan 22, 2012 06:22 AM

                                  sounds divine sherris! Tortas are very underrated...

                                  1. re: netmover
                                    netmover Feb 7, 2012 08:29 PM

                                    Shot on site...featured only on weekends.

                                    Red Mole
                                    "Ain't no Shwarma" Pastor

                                    @Dona Raquels

                                     
                                     
                                  2. re: sherris
                                    bkhuna Feb 14, 2012 01:57 PM

                                    Then you've not stumbled upon all the little mercado's with fonda's in the back making lengue, buche, cabeza, etc.

                                    There are dozens in Orlando alone that fly under the radar because 99.999% of the gabacho's in Florida wouldn't dare eat at a place that didn't have WiFi or taco salads on the menu.

                                    1. re: bkhuna
                                      s
                                      sherris Feb 14, 2012 08:34 PM

                                      Some examples PLEASE!!! Thanks.

                                      1. re: bkhuna
                                        netmover Feb 14, 2012 09:42 PM

                                        You'd be surprised how many I see at Dona Raquel's now and it's definitely a tribute to this thread on chowhound and the cyber grapevine which led to TV coverage. DR's has a bonafide restaurant attached to the butcher/bodega. Man we could really use a place like that in central Dade County. Calling all Raza!

                                        Actually, I just ran across a little tiny Taco shop in Coconut Grove, has any one tried it yet? The menu looked good.

                              2. t
                                taylork65 Mar 4, 2010 05:34 AM

                                My wife and I love Habaneros. They have a few locations in Central Florida.

                                1. netmover Dec 11, 2009 07:15 PM

                                  OFF THE BEATEN PATH AT AN OLD STANDBY

                                  Dona Raquel's line up tonight as follows:

                                  Sope de Chorizo
                                  Tostada de Carne Asada
                                  Taco al Pastor
                                  Gordita de Pollo?

                                  not sure why I had 'em throw that in there at the end? The Sope de Chorizo was awesome. Thick mass tortilla with topping of choice, beans, lettuce, tomato, queso, crema. Nice dish in deed.

                                  Viva la Dona! She was out putting up her christMAS tree tonight. It's now Christmas time on Dixie and 8th in Pompano!

                                  ps I'm still trying to get over the fact that they added Burritos to the menu. anybody try 'em?

                                  2 Replies
                                  1. re: netmover
                                    e
                                    elgringoviejo Dec 13, 2009 06:15 PM

                                    Last time I eat at Taqueria Dona Raquel, I had the shrimp Dona Raquel. For only $9.99, I received ten delicious fried jumbo shrimp and ten delicious sauteed jumbo shrimp, served with a nice, large salad that included fresh, sliced avocado, rice, delicious frijoles, charro-style, and more tortillas than we could possibly eat. DR is the place to go not only for antojitos Mexicanos, but also try their dinner dishes. I can certainly vouch for the camarones Dona Raqel.

                                    1. re: elgringoviejo
                                      netmover Mar 3, 2010 06:22 AM

                                      WoW that's BiGantic! 20 Shrimp? I have yet to try their shrimp, but you just piqued my "interes". Gracias Gringo Viejo.

                                  2. netmover Nov 5, 2009 06:54 PM

                                    Dinner @ Dona Raquels tonight.

                                    I finally got the nerve to try a Tongue Taco! no mas...gracias! Top to the right of the limes. Clockwise from there is Carne Asada, Suadero(pulled rib), and Champesana? (steak and chorizo). Red Green and Negra....Modelo that is.

                                    FYI they close at 9pm during the week.

                                     
                                    4 Replies
                                    1. re: netmover
                                      OysterHo Nov 9, 2009 04:06 PM

                                      LOL you didn't like the tongue? I swear it tasted like pot roast to me!

                                      1. re: OysterHo
                                        netmover Nov 9, 2009 07:16 PM

                                        No...mas lengua! It had been 24 years since I last tasted tongue...Lord willing I make it another 24 and give it a third try! I remember the family style Colombian Lengua more fondly. Tongue Tacos did not tickle my toes. In fact, they kind of gave me the heebie jeebies...talk about taking one for the team! Next tongue is slated for 2033, I'm thinking a Tongue Ruben. Lenguas are to be learned and kissed not eaten!

                                        1. re: netmover
                                          e
                                          elgringoviejo Nov 10, 2009 10:34 PM

                                          My favorite tacos at DR are tacos al pastor. Sopes de carne asada are quite good and certainly reasonably priced, but the tacos al pastor are DA BOMB.

                                          1. re: elgringoviejo
                                            netmover Nov 11, 2009 03:20 AM

                                            Heard! I can no longer stray into the unkown and will be sticking with those delectable Tacos al Pastor...

                                    2. netmover Nov 5, 2009 03:17 AM

                                      Talavera is now open in the Gables (Miami). They offer up an extensive menu of regional dishes featuring authentic ingredients. I did lunch there opening week, something I almost never do, and although I was not blown away by it - I know there are many more dishes to try.

                                      We did the Ceviche Tostadas (1 shrimp & 1 snapper), Guacamole, Chicken Tacos and a Chicken Huarache. Everything was good, but I am still looking for something GREAT! There must be 50 dishes on the menu so I am confident I will find at least one. Please let me know your thoughts...

                                      4 Replies
                                      1. re: netmover
                                        Frodnesor Nov 5, 2009 04:59 AM

                                        I also tried Talavera for lunch when they opened last week. It's a good menu and shows promise, and because of the Jaguar folks' track record I'm confident it'll get better, but I also wasn't blown away ->
                                        http://www.foodforthoughtmiami.com/20...

                                        The "vuelve de la vida" ceviche was probably the best thing we tried. The chicken huarache was good though the chicken itself was a little bland, which was a bit of an issue across the board. The chicken tacos were also a somewhat ungenerous portion without any sides. There is a lot on that menu.

                                        Again, this was just first day impressions and I am pretty confident the place will improve and do well.

                                        1. re: Frodnesor
                                          netmover Nov 5, 2009 08:04 AM

                                          Nice take Frod, I read both! BTW, what is the picture of on your blog review? It looks good!

                                          1. re: netmover
                                            Frodnesor Nov 5, 2009 09:18 AM

                                            short rib with mole coloradito. pic came from the restaurant, not my own. I've not tried the dish but I am interested in their moles.

                                            1. re: Frodnesor
                                              netmover Nov 5, 2009 01:37 PM

                                              I want to try Talavera's moles too! And after seeing that photo, I'm really amped up to try their Moles. I don't know why they didn't bring their phenomenal ceviches over from Jaguar.

                                      2. netmover Sep 30, 2009 05:12 PM

                                        Here's a little feast for the eyes! Dona Raquel's Pollo al Cuajillo is off the chain...finger slurping great. Today's 6.99 lunch special really made me happy, even though they do not offer breasts...

                                        On another note, Dona Raquels finally added Burritos to their menu a while back. No chance of this Gabacho savouring one soon since their tacos, sopes, tamales and other assorted daily specials keep me quite captivated.

                                        Buen Provecho!

                                        27 Replies
                                        1. re: netmover
                                          netmover Sep 30, 2009 05:17 PM

                                          sorry for some reason the photo did not load on the first go-round. Here is Dona Raquel's luscious Pollo al Cuajillo...

                                           
                                          1. re: netmover
                                            l
                                            laurie Sep 30, 2009 07:23 PM

                                            If you're ever in Clearwater on the weekend, stop by La Cabana del Tio and see if they are offering their pollo enchilado as a special. It's a whole chicken marinated in a chile sauce, wrapped in nopales (cactus) and aluminum foil, then slowly steamed to fall-off-the-bone deliciousness.

                                            1. re: netmover
                                              OysterHo Oct 8, 2009 12:02 PM

                                              That looks wonderful!

                                              Does DR have a web site yet? Or is there a menu posted somewhere? I googled, but haven't come across anything.

                                              1. re: OysterHo
                                                RickL Oct 8, 2009 01:43 PM

                                                I'm not sure how up-to-date it is but there's a listing on South Florida menupages: http://southflorida.menupages.com/res...

                                                1. re: RickL
                                                  OysterHo Oct 8, 2009 02:40 PM

                                                  Thank you!!

                                            2. re: netmover
                                              OysterHo Oct 11, 2009 05:22 PM

                                              We went to DR today, finally! I loved it! The chips with red and green salsas were delicious.

                                              We ordered the:
                                              tacos - marinated pork (al pastor), tongue (lengua), and lamb (baracoa?)
                                              sope - carne asada
                                              tamales - mole and rojo

                                              Everything was really great. Now I finally know what al pastor is! I was going nuts not knowing what everyone was talking about!

                                              1. re: OysterHo
                                                freakerdude Oct 11, 2009 07:14 PM

                                                Barbacoa in the U.S. is *usually* beef with head meat. Cabeza is definitely beef head meat.

                                                Al pastor is pork typically marinated in a paste of chilis, achiote, vinegar, garlic, cloves, and orange juice or even coca-cola. It is also typically cooked on a spit rotisserie but I have not seen that in Florida. It is also typically served with a slice of pineapple from the spit. Top it off with tomatillo salsa, onion, cilantro, and a squeeze of lime for the absolute best taco around.

                                                Al pastor rotisserie pic

                                                 
                                                1. re: freakerdude
                                                  dbarnard Oct 12, 2009 07:09 AM

                                                  Then there's the East vs. West Pastor rivalry! East Coast (Mexican coasts) style has a nasty amount of pineapple mixed directly in, and is typically milder in flavor and heat. West coasters don't care for the pineapple, and like it much spicier!

                                                  I believe that Dona Raquel has one of those rotisserie things... I've also seen them used for schwarma in Middle Eastern joints, a much poorer use for them, IMHO.

                                                  1. re: dbarnard
                                                    e
                                                    elgringoviejo Oct 12, 2009 08:23 AM

                                                    DR serves their tacos al pastor with a nice, big chunk of pineapple and both a red and green spicy salsa for the table. Yo amo a DR.

                                                  2. re: freakerdude
                                                    dmo305 Oct 14, 2009 08:29 PM

                                                    You can get Mexico City style al pastor cooked on a spit at the Bargain Town flea market down on us1 near sw 240th. its a trek but its the real thing, with the chunk of pineapple on the spit as well. there are several little shack-style restaurants with picnic tables and central american food, mostly mexican from what i saw. fyi walking around there could confuse you as to where in the world you are.

                                                    -----
                                                    Bargain Town Flea Market
                                                    24400 Packinghouse Rd, Homestead, FL

                                                  3. re: OysterHo
                                                    netmover Oct 14, 2009 06:28 PM

                                                    OHO...I am so glad you liked it! I friggin LOVE their chips, greasy yes, but they stand up to those incredible salsas. Which btw change daily even though there is always one red and one green. The green usually gets my knod, but some days the red steals the show. I just went yesterday again and always ask the waitrees to show me the specials up front...fortunately they had one of my favorites again "Ninos Envueltos" which is kinda like the Mexy version of Cordon Bleu in a killer red sauce as displayed in the attached photo. They do the rotisserie style Pastor on weekends only.

                                                    How was the lengua? I am still trying to work up the nerve to try one!

                                                     
                                                    1. re: netmover
                                                      johnmlinn Oct 15, 2009 06:38 AM

                                                      Woah, you haven't tried everything on the menu yet??? :-P

                                                      1. re: netmover
                                                        OysterHo Oct 15, 2009 06:58 PM

                                                        The lengua tasted like grandma's brisket, honestly. It was delicious though. Many years ago I swore I'd never, ever eat tongue after the first time I saw one in a deli counter. This was very stew-like and looked nothing like deli.

                                                        The al pastor was mild and had the pineapple, but I really liked it. I bet it would be good with the pineapple AND hot sauce. The red salsa was kind of smokey/spicey and the green wasn't too hot with the exception of an occasional bite.

                                                        The lamb was definitely lamb so I must have gotten the name wrong. lol

                                                        1. re: OysterHo
                                                          netmover Oct 20, 2009 07:56 PM

                                                          I'm working on it!

                                                          Their Barbacoa is lamb...unlike Chipotle and your typical US/MEX place that serves up beef "Barbacoa". I ordered the Lamb Caldo one day and trust me I will not be doing that again! Hearty and gamey. I really dig their "Stuffed Children" aka Ninos Envueltos.

                                                           
                                                        2. re: netmover
                                                          k
                                                          Kid texas Oct 25, 2009 05:09 AM

                                                          Where is this place? The only good mexican I have found since moving from Texas 3 years ago is in PBG at Cantina Laredo on PGA. I love both the salsa's there and the margaritas are from fresh juice not a mix. But you can't have too many places to eat. Dona Raquel sounds like a home cooking place. How are the rita's?

                                                          1. re: Kid texas
                                                            freakerdude Oct 25, 2009 04:41 PM

                                                            Taq. Dona Raquel is in Pompano on Dixie West just south of Atlantic Blvd. I have tried to make it three times when headed to Miami but it hasn't worked out yet.

                                                            If you like Mexican street food, try Tacos al Carbon in West Palm Beach. It is a mainly latino based clientel and eat in or take out. It's a taqueria, so don't expect anything but a dive type place. It's nothing like Cantina Laredo, thankfully.

                                                            -----
                                                            Tacos Al Carbon
                                                            4420 Lake Worth Rd, Lake Worth, FL 33461

                                                            1. re: freakerdude
                                                              k
                                                              Kid texas Oct 29, 2009 08:52 PM

                                                              I like cantina. So if Dona Raquel is nothing like it, why would I like it? Cantina has excellent service, food obviously made from scratch and a FULL bar (not a beer & wine only place). Maybe I don't want to make a drive to a hole in the wall place like that. Maybe you need another trip to Cantina. When was the last time you were there?

                                                              1. re: Kid texas
                                                                e
                                                                elgringoviejo Oct 29, 2009 10:41 PM

                                                                Dona Raquel has the best tacos al pastor and sopes de carne asada that I have ever encountered north of the Rio Grande.

                                                                -----
                                                                Grande Cafe
                                                                450 Alton Rd, Miami Beach, FL 33139

                                                                1. re: Kid texas
                                                                  netmover Oct 31, 2009 09:00 AM

                                                                  Dona Raquels is NOT a hole in the wall! I have never made it to Cantina since I reside in Dade. DR"s in North Broward is as far north as I've been for cuisine.

                                                                  1. re: netmover
                                                                    freakerdude Oct 31, 2009 03:45 PM

                                                                    Net....I said Tacos al Carbon was the dive in my post. Kid Texas mixed up the two places I was talking about.

                                                                    One day I will make it to Dona Raquel.

                                                                    1. re: freakerdude
                                                                      netmover Nov 2, 2009 02:17 PM

                                                                      Ok no worries, I thought it was a little confusing. Let me know if you like it when you make it. Most do, some have not?

                                                                      I just noticed another very MEXY joint over on Calle 8 in LIttle Havana down here in Miami. It looks like a dive, but it is sporting the Red, Green and White proudly. I want to say it's on the 1100 block, but I whizzed by it and cannot confirm for certain, even the name escapes me now. It looked promising, can anyone attest? Thanks...

                                                                      1. re: netmover
                                                                        dmo305 Nov 2, 2009 05:18 PM

                                                                        The place on the right hand side, with the giant rock in front painted like a mexican flag?

                                                                        1. re: dmo305
                                                                          netmover Nov 2, 2009 08:08 PM

                                                                          SI !!! That's the place. What's the name and dealio?

                                                                        2. re: netmover
                                                                          j
                                                                          jimmyodonnell Mar 1, 2010 07:22 PM

                                                                          TACOS LOS ALTOS is on the north side of Calle 8, so it's on your left as you head east into downtown. It's a two or three-story building and the whole facade is painted in the restaurant's colors though the restaurant occupies only the first floor.

                                                                          I went there this past weekend after spotting it several times via drive-by. I'd say it's "promising" but by no means a slam-dunk . . . some things were good, others weren't.

                                                                          1 -- The carne asado tacos were no good, the meat was dry and tough and they came dressed like a Taco Bell taco with chunked tomato and shredded cheese, maybe you can order them without the dressings but on my first visit I chose to go with the default presentation. Don't think I'll order them again

                                                                          2 -- The chips were homemade and hot (good sign) but not seasoned at all with anything, so very crispy but not very tasteful. The default salsa served with the chips was the worst I've had in a long time . . . making fresh salsa takes some work, and I can't see how somebody regularly goes through the process to yield something so tasteless.

                                                                          At this point -- if you can't put out a decent carne asada and your chips & salsa suck -- things weren't looking so good. However . . .

                                                                          3 -- The al pastor tacos were pretty good, surprising me after the carne asada was not. I did NOT see the vertical spit roaster, but the meat was quality and well-seasoned nonetheless. Served with chopped onions and cilantro, the real thing . . . I came for the al pastor and I will go back for it again.

                                                                          4 -- I asked for a hotter salsa, and was brought salsa verde . . . I wouldn't call it hot by any stretch, but it was still very tasty and I'll be glad to have that again too.

                                                                          5 -- The place was busy, the staff was friendly and everyone seemed to be having a good time. It's not the best taco joint I've had but surely not the worst, and I'll go a couple more times and try a little more before concluding.

                                                                          1. re: jimmyodonnell
                                                                            netmover Mar 3, 2010 06:25 AM

                                                                            Have you tried Tacos Carnal yet? I heard it was good! Calle 8 and +/- 19th Ave (southside). Little Habana, MIA-FLA

                                                                            1. re: netmover
                                                                              j
                                                                              jimmyodonnell Mar 3, 2010 10:47 AM

                                                                              I have not yet been there but will be glad to go and post my findings, THANKS for the tip!

                                                                2. re: Kid texas
                                                                  netmover Oct 28, 2009 09:31 PM

                                                                  Dona doesn't do Margaritas...beer and wine only. They hail from Michoacan. Good stuff and worthy of the trip if authentic is your bag.

                                                          2. netmover Aug 29, 2009 09:11 PM

                                                            'Sope deChorizo' from Dona Raquel's in Pompano.

                                                             
                                                            6 Replies
                                                            1. re: netmover
                                                              OysterHo Aug 30, 2009 05:04 AM

                                                              That looks delicious! Every time I'm in that neighborhood I end up at Jack's, but I have to get to DR one day soon.

                                                              1. re: OysterHo
                                                                netmover Aug 30, 2009 08:08 AM

                                                                it's a rarity for me to even go to Jack's anymore...Dona's is just too good to miss for a burger! I had their special Pollo ala Mexicana that day too which shined brightly. ala Mexicana is your basic tomato, onion and jalapeno stew sauce, very nice at $6.99 accompanied by veggy rice, the best black beans and about ten homemade tortillas.

                                                                I'm still waiting anxiously for somebody to open up something Mexy that rivals or even comes close to Dona Raquel's down here in central Dade. And no MD, Rinconcito ain't it...it's good, but not GREAT!

                                                                1. re: netmover
                                                                  dbarnard Aug 31, 2009 06:53 AM

                                                                  On the weekends they have some different moles, we had the mole verde... superb! This is more Oaxacan-style, not the Veracruz-style with the nasty chocolate in it. Imagine the best curry made with chiles by Mexicans! Same price a above. If DR was in S. Beach, staffed with bored, indifferent models, they could easily charge $20/plate.

                                                                  1. re: dbarnard
                                                                    OysterHo Aug 31, 2009 07:49 AM

                                                                    "If DR was in S. Beach, staffed with bored, indifferent models"

                                                                    LOL, love it! What do they charge for that dish?

                                                              2. re: netmover
                                                                a
                                                                aynrandgirl Sep 1, 2009 10:53 AM

                                                                Does DR really require jacket and slacks? The sign out front implies as much, but my boyfriend usually wears shorts and tshirts this time of year.

                                                                1. re: aynrandgirl
                                                                  netmover Sep 1, 2009 01:42 PM

                                                                  Of course not! I've been in my flip flops, shorts and tee shirt several times. Mind you, I usually go during the day, but would have no qualms showing up in said attire by night. It's casual...check out their store and butcher shop too. Not sure I've ever bothered to read the sign btw. What does it say?

                                                              3. a
                                                                aynrandgirl Feb 25, 2009 12:15 PM

                                                                I had lunch today at a pretty good Mexican place. It apparently opened recently. They can get fresh jalapeño on the side and have Yucateco Red at the table. Yum!

                                                                Maracas Mexican Bar & Grill
                                                                3001 N Federal Hwy, Fort Lauderdale 33306

                                                                1 Reply
                                                                1. re: aynrandgirl
                                                                  netmover Jun 27, 2009 07:09 PM

                                                                  Yucateco Red? Any relation to Panama Red??? LOL!

                                                                  There is a funky place near Dona Raquels in Pompano that is worthy of mention here: La Ranchera on 6th St is quite like crossing the border! With $1.39 barbacoa tacos and a pile of roasted jalapenos on every table, this place is 'muy autentico'! Be sure to check out their market and have a cooler ready to stock. Last weekend's special was 5 tacos and a homemade beverage (Lemonade or Horchata) for $5.99. During the weekends they have been serving up Elote which is roasted corn rolled in crema, sprinkled in quesito and then squirted with hot sauce. Yes, it is on my bucket list!

                                                                2. rippingyarns Jan 3, 2009 05:39 AM

                                                                  Hi,
                                                                  Thank you for those tips for good Mexican in Florida. For those of us who love the cuisine there can never be enough options! BTW I was wondering if you happen to know of a good recipe for home made Tortilla's? Seems like a simple enough thing, but the ones I've tried either fall apart or are too thick and gummy when I cook them. Any thoughts helpful.

                                                                  Thanks,
                                                                  DPS in Sarasota

                                                                  1. netmover Dec 30, 2008 10:51 PM

                                                                    Ok it's been close to 3 years since I started this thread and I can say without hesitation that Dona Raquels still rox the FLA with their Mexican Cuisine. I have yet to find a replacement and look to YOU for one...DR's is in Pompano, so it's a trek for me, but it is worth every mile (I am still slepping from South Beach!).

                                                                    Anyway, I have recently stopped ordering their Tacos in lieu of their Daily Specials which I check out upon entering in their open kitchen. That's tight, I make them "show me" each and every daily dish prior to ordering the 6.99 steal dujour...because the reality is, it is a steal of a deal! Have you ever had "Stuffed Children"? How about "Chili Morita"? Every day there are four different dishes to choose from and each one is as delectable as the next. If there is better Mexy food in the FLA, I have not found it and YOU have yet to turn me on to it! So I ask, what are you waiting for? Viva Raquel in the meantime...

                                                                    BTW, it seems there has been an explosion of Mexy Restaurants down in Homestead since I started this post. Is there any you swear by? They all seem to be from Morelia?

                                                                    1 Reply
                                                                    1. re: netmover
                                                                      Miami Danny Jan 2, 2009 10:48 AM

                                                                      NM-I was back at Mi Rinconcito a little while ago, and I have to say they are still tops-the daily special was 'tortitas', which is poached, shredded chicken that is formed into a patty with egg and then crisped on the griddle, served with nopales, yes, the cactus. They are fresh, and taste a little like okra (which I love, and I know some people loathe). A great cheap meal, and they have added a bakery that sells my favorite dessert item of 2008, Corn Cheesecake! For photos of the new space (and the food, of course), go to www.dailycocaine.com and scroll to 'Art Basel...' in December; or http://www.examiner.com/x-853-Miami-R...
                                                                      They have doubled their space and the chef/owner from Hidalgo is still in the kitchen. They still have the great weekend menu, and Sunday brings shrimp ceviche tostadas-with a cold Tecate or 2, you can start your day off right-or do like the locals do, and come here straight from church.

                                                                      Mi Rinconcito Mexicano
                                                                      1961 SW 8th St (Calle Ocho
                                                                      )Miami, FL
                                                                      305-644-4015
                                                                      Open 10 a.m. to 9:30 p.m. daily

                                                                    2. johnmlinn Jan 27, 2008 07:54 AM

                                                                      There's a taco truck that roams Palm Beach county that I found to be really close to the real thing. It looks like a converted laundry truck, but I can't remember the name (if it had one). Last time I checked, which was a few months ago, I caught them on a Friday night at a gas station on Southern Blvd. next to the old Carefree Theater. I found them another time in Palm City at a gas station on Federal (across from an Martin Co. Airfield). Anyone else have an idea about this truck? The tacos were unbelievable - soft, fresh tortillas, beautifully spiced pastor with onions, cilantro and lime. They had exceptional salsa roja and another tomatillo style that hung from a basket on the side of the truck. Unfortunately, I only got a few drops of the tomatillo salsa because it was almost completely gone by the time I got my tacos. The roja was great though, very spicy and fragrant from charred tomatoes and peppers. The only problem is I don't make it up that far North too often. The last time I went was a while ago, so I couldn't safely say where they stack next to Doña Raquel.

                                                                      1 Reply
                                                                      1. re: johnmlinn
                                                                        s
                                                                        southflfoodie Oct 22, 2008 12:04 PM

                                                                        That taco truck set up shop at the Palm City gas station for a while. Now they have actually moved into the building that used to be the gas station and have tables to eat at, and a little grocery store. I think the place is called Wachanang.

                                                                        So the truck itself is probably back to roaming the county, but their food is available on Martin Downs Blvd. It's awesome!

                                                                      2. karmalaw Jan 21, 2008 07:06 AM

                                                                        I tried a place called "100% Natural" at the Dolphin Mall last night (yeah, yeah I know -- but I was hungry)-- one of the restaurants on the perimeter near Borders Books. I was told that it is a mexican owned chain restaurant, with mexican chef. The menu told me an ugly story: there were actually Pita sandwiches on it! I would have left. but it was mall closing time and the traffic was backed up to Hungary or so..

                                                                        I tried the tacos al pastor that were advertised on a table card as a new item on the menu. I wouldn't go back. Please, please tell me how someone can manage to serve tasteless tacos al pastor? There were wispy hints of cilantro, no lime served with them -- and when I asked for a salsa picante, I was given chopped red onions with habaneros mixed in. Oddly, the onions on the tacos were white onions. Oh, and don't order the fresh limeade.. I'm pretty sure they put the whole lime in the blender... it wasn't a squeezed juice.. it was a blended one... and tasted eh.

                                                                        2 Replies
                                                                        1. re: karmalaw
                                                                          netmover Jan 21, 2008 03:11 PM

                                                                          I went in there (100% Fake) one day hoping to get a Taco or two...walked out shaking my head. The crap that gets dubbed Mexican in this town is a flippin' joke! Pita in lieu or Tortilla. What were they thinking?

                                                                          1. re: netmover
                                                                            karmalaw Jan 21, 2008 04:03 PM

                                                                            I was feeling so invaded by having eaten it -- I had to go to Mi Rinconcito Mexicano today to make things right! Paid $7 for 3 tacos al pastor and a tall glass of horchata -- the lime wedges for the tacos made it to the table before the tacos... there was more cilantro on one of their tacos than on 3 of the 100% Fake place's.

                                                                        2. eatnbmerry Jan 19, 2008 09:29 PM

                                                                          Hey guys whats up with that Lime place on Alton?

                                                                          On my way to Macaluso's I saw a line forming outside, granted the place isn't very big but even so. Anything worthwhile there?

                                                                          Thanks.

                                                                          2 Replies
                                                                          1. re: eatnbmerry
                                                                            t
                                                                            tpigeon Jan 20, 2008 03:32 AM

                                                                            I haven't been in a while but it is ok, more "healthy" than authentic but it is not expensive.

                                                                            1. re: tpigeon
                                                                              eatnbmerry Jan 20, 2008 01:24 PM

                                                                              TY for info.

                                                                              Now I get it. Inexpensive And healthy is not a common thing around those parts hence the lines.

                                                                          2. d
                                                                            DAGriff Jan 19, 2008 05:01 AM

                                                                            I am not a EXPERT on Mexican food other than I go to Mexico once a year and enjoy some fabulous fresh Mexican food there. I have been to a couple of Mexican restaurants in Florida and lastnite I found the one I think is by far the best.....Paquito's @ 16295 Biscayne Blvd,NMB.(305)947-5027. It is in a little retail plaza and pretty non discript from the outside but once you get inside,the place is very large and quite loud but I don't know anyone who goes to a Mexican restaurant and expects "quiet". There were a lot of people waiting to be seated and the bar was packed....they told us it would be a few minute and we were seated in less than 5 !!!!! The service was awesome and friendly and the best part was the food, the Salsa and chips was all I needed as it was fantastic and you could tell it was freshly made and just the perfect consistency as the chips were also fresh.(I have had stale chips in a lot of places),we had Enchiladas and Fajitas and they were fabulous. I suggest that if anyone is in the area it is WELL WORTH THE VISIT.

                                                                            10 Replies
                                                                            1. re: DAGriff
                                                                              netmover Jan 19, 2008 06:33 AM

                                                                              I have consistently heard good things about Paquitos over the years. Nice to hear they still got it going on.

                                                                              1. re: DAGriff
                                                                                Frodnesor Jan 19, 2008 07:19 AM

                                                                                Paquito's is decent but I highly recommend you work your way down the street a little bit and try Cheen Huaye for what would seem to be pretty authentic and tasty Yucatanean food.

                                                                                -----
                                                                                Cheen Huaye
                                                                                15400 Biscayne Blvd, Aventura, FL 33160

                                                                                1. re: DAGriff
                                                                                  m
                                                                                  mialebven Jan 19, 2008 04:14 PM

                                                                                  I wasn't impressed by Paquito's, and while I wasn't impressed by Cheen Huaye either, I did think Cheen Huaye was significantly better.

                                                                                  1. re: DAGriff
                                                                                    netmover Jan 19, 2008 09:22 PM

                                                                                    I have never been to Paquitos and know deadgum well it ain't the REAL DEAL, but I have heard good things from fellow Gringos...and now even the Mexies know they got to appeal to the marketplace...this isn't Mexico as much as I wish all the restauarants were Real Mexican!

                                                                                    Pepper's Burrito Grill coming to Washington Ave is Mexican owned, but it's a Burrito-eria. Why, because he knows what will sell...and authentic is a tuff pill for most gringos to swallow having been brought up on the Tex - Mex grub.

                                                                                    Cheen Hueye is good! Nestled in between a very famous Dade County Tex-Mexy joint named Paquitos and now the 900+ chain Chipotle...they have their work cut out for them. We should all make a point to support Cheen Hueye!

                                                                                    1. re: netmover
                                                                                      eatnbmerry Jan 19, 2008 09:30 PM

                                                                                      If you were forced to bet, who would you say survives? Thrives?

                                                                                      1. re: eatnbmerry
                                                                                        Frodnesor Jan 19, 2008 10:12 PM

                                                                                        I think they're all doing fine. Paquito's is an old stalwart. Chipotle obviously has its fans. And whenever I drive by Cheen Huaye there seem to be a good number of cars out front.

                                                                                        1. re: Frodnesor
                                                                                          eatnbmerry Jan 19, 2008 10:20 PM

                                                                                          As they say from your keyboard to ..... cause as we all know we need all the south of the border good chow we can get here. I had asked only because I think I remember Net thinking Chipotle might have an economic effect on others? Chains tend to do that for better or worse in my experience.

                                                                                          1. re: eatnbmerry
                                                                                            Frodnesor Jan 19, 2008 10:24 PM

                                                                                            I actually think they're different points of the market. Chipotle is more of a lunch place, I don't see many people going there to have a sit-down dinner. Paquitos is for people who want 10 varieties of margaritas (some in day-glo colors) and mariachis. Cheen Huaye is for people who want good Mexican food.

                                                                                            (Paquitos actually has decent food but not as good or as interesting as Cheen Huaye IMO).

                                                                                            1. re: Frodnesor
                                                                                              eatnbmerry Jan 19, 2008 10:28 PM

                                                                                              Very solid business observations. They might all proper if thats the case. Let it be so!

                                                                                        2. re: eatnbmerry
                                                                                          netmover Jan 20, 2008 06:23 PM

                                                                                          no CLUE! But it stands to reason that the one I'm pulling for would be the odd man out!

                                                                                          We are fortunate to have Cheen Hueye...

                                                                                    2. netmover Jan 17, 2008 05:58 PM

                                                                                      BRAVO MIAMI DENNY! And Karmalaw too...

                                                                                      I got a new 'Riconcito' Mexicano!!! Mexy (whoops is that PC?) Corner.

                                                                                      I can confirm it IS the REAL DEAL. Calle Ocho and 18th. They did move from across the street about a year ago. I devoured 3 Tacos, one Puerco Adobado, 1 Carnitas and one Carne Asada. Yup, they got a couple Burritos on the menu for the mainstream, but confirmed is was more of a "frontera" or boarder thing...read TexMex. They are from Hidalgo. It's all good there and I am so happy not to have to drive to Pompano for my mex fix. Gracias un millon! Thanks a million...

                                                                                      The weekend and especially Friday menu looks sick! Sorry, NO Fish Tacos. I asked just to make sure my 99% theory was in line with reality...it is.

                                                                                      Anyhow, I know I always look for the restaurants that are busy as a gauge to how good they are. Well, this is the exception to the rule...very few people at Riconcito which btw closes at 9pm...they may go a little later on weekends depending on flow.

                                                                                      As I drove back to the beach I peaked over at Taqueria Mexicano which is very much inferior to Riconcito Mexicano and it was packed with poor pathetic people who do not know what good authentic Mexy food is...such a shame. I can only say that makes for better service! I highly recommend you drive the extra 12 blocks West on Calle 8 to savour the REAL DEAL.

                                                                                      Thank you again MD...you are truly a Doctor!

                                                                                      3 Replies
                                                                                      1. re: netmover
                                                                                        eatnbmerry Jan 17, 2008 06:04 PM

                                                                                        Sounds great!

                                                                                        Which of the three tacos you like best? What is "99%" theory? Does this mean that it is better than your Dona Raq?

                                                                                        Thanks.

                                                                                        1. re: eatnbmerry
                                                                                          netmover Jan 17, 2008 06:16 PM

                                                                                          Adobado was my favorite. BTW they do the spindled Al Pastor on the weekends.

                                                                                          99% of Mexico does not serve Fish Tacos. That diatribe kind of got censored on the other post. I was hoping you saw it...oh well.

                                                                                          It's close to Dona's...very close. I'd have to try Rinconcito a few more times to give a definitive. At this point, I'd say Dona's by a head.

                                                                                          1. re: netmover
                                                                                            eatnbmerry Jan 17, 2008 06:41 PM

                                                                                            Wow, great news!

                                                                                            Its definitely a taco weekend for me! You can't imagine the smile I have right now. I just love them all :):) but carnitas is my favorite. Can't wait!

                                                                                            Thanks Net and MD too!

                                                                                      2. jmdhsmiami Jan 1, 2008 01:58 PM

                                                                                        I don't know if it has been mentioned, but Toro Taco in Homestead, right by the Homestead Police Station is as authentic as it gets. If we are making a trip to Homestead for plants/produce, we stop by there for lunch. So down home, they don't even have a liquor license and you can bring a cooler with whatever alcohol you choose.

                                                                                        1 S Krome Ave
                                                                                        Homestead, FL 33030
                                                                                        (305) 245-8182

                                                                                        1 Reply
                                                                                        1. re: jmdhsmiami
                                                                                          netmover Jan 1, 2008 06:13 PM

                                                                                          Yeah, it's (TT) been mentioned...not feeling the authenticity there now that it's owned by cubanos!

                                                                                        2. eatnbmerry Dec 28, 2007 09:07 PM

                                                                                          Although not your typical tex-mex style place (the owner admits as much), Ver Daddy's on Biscayne and 70 something is a great addition to the mejicano vibe in Dade (lets face it we are a few heart beats away from flat-lining on this one so ANYthing with a decent pulse is most bienvenido Orale!).

                                                                                          Their Macho Taco with steak and french fries (yes thats right) and all the trimmings (beans, queso, crema, and multiple salsa cruda options) is a heckva a combo that will warm your tummy long after you are done. They also have great fresh home-made guac and chips. Sure they are more expensive than Taco Dull, but fresh cooked to order usually is.

                                                                                          11 Replies
                                                                                          1. re: eatnbmerry
                                                                                            Frodnesor Dec 29, 2007 11:16 AM

                                                                                            The guy running Ver Daddy's is the nicest guy you will ever meet, but I am not a big fan of the food (and I'm being diplomatic here).

                                                                                            1. re: eatnbmerry
                                                                                              Frodnesor Dec 29, 2007 01:26 PM

                                                                                              For more on the subject of Ver Daddy's, here are a couple good threads ->

                                                                                              http://www.chowhound.com/topics/423982
                                                                                              http://www.chowhound.com/topics/374852

                                                                                              Even Miami Danny, who was originally a fan, finally realized he must have been impaired when he formed that opinion. Their salsas are decent, I'll acknowledge - whether there's anything good to put them on is a different question.

                                                                                              1. re: Frodnesor
                                                                                                netmover Dec 29, 2007 03:45 PM

                                                                                                ouchale!

                                                                                                1. re: Frodnesor
                                                                                                  eatnbmerry Dec 31, 2007 06:01 PM

                                                                                                  Yes he is. Their guac and chips are good (I guess its pretty hard to screw this up but I've definitely seen it done more often than you would think at other places). As to the steak/fries combo, while not authentic (my post said that), the taste combo of meat and potatoes is almost universally saluted in one form or another. When Ver Daddy's wraps it around a tortilla with all the trimmings, I find it to be a nice and innovative alternative take on same.

                                                                                                  I must admit that I have not tried anything else, but stand by my comment that it IS a better alternative to Taco Dull as a fast food thing. And most definitely I stand by : "in Dade (lets face it we are a few heart beats away from flat-lining on this one so ANYthing with a decent pulse is most bienvenido Orale!)."

                                                                                                  Furthermore, not that it should mean anymore or less than what it is, the Herald's critic, Victoria Pesce Elliott echoed the same sentiment a while back.

                                                                                                  Frod, during the short time I've been reading your posts, I've learned to respect your views based on your intelligent and insightful opinions. Unfortunately you had not posted on this thread that I was able to see and now look forward to try out the places you mentioned in the threads you provided.

                                                                                                  Peace and health to you and yours in the coming year!

                                                                                                  1. re: eatnbmerry
                                                                                                    netmover Jan 1, 2008 12:07 AM

                                                                                                    VPE's echo is certainly not word! The FF on a Taco combo is orginal that's for sure. How're the fries?

                                                                                                    1. re: netmover
                                                                                                      eatnbmerry Jan 1, 2008 04:53 PM

                                                                                                      Not as crispy as I would like (I think it would also add an additional texture angle to the combo) but definitely homemade taste. I can understand how others have been disappointed with their execution and consistency (his help seems to have completely changed the few times I've been), but I think the owner has his heart in the right place and at least is trying to create an alternative to Taco Dull.

                                                                                                      BTW, read what you wrote about Chipolte and am looking forward to trying. Peace and health be with you NET in the new year!

                                                                                                      1. re: eatnbmerry
                                                                                                        netmover Jan 1, 2008 06:08 PM

                                                                                                        Back at you ENBM...

                                                                                                        I know the OP looks for authentic Mexy cuisine, and I for one cannot get enough of it down here, however, there is nothing wrong with places that put their own twist on said cuisine.

                                                                                                        A long time ago on Lincoln Road there was a place called the Lazy Lizard that was far from authentic, but their Shrimp Fajitas were phenomenal!

                                                                                                        Fries on a Taco ala Primanti Bro's Fries on their sammies are a signature dish and authentic in their own right. The problem with most "mexy" joints is they simply rehash the same ole sh*t! And ultimately, that's what they get...sh*tty Mexy.

                                                                                                        Next stop for me is MD's mexy joint on Calle 8...that's if I can get past El Rey de las Fritas while enroute! Whoever it was who coaxed me into trying El Rey...I would like to thank you!

                                                                                                    2. re: eatnbmerry
                                                                                                      Frodnesor Jan 1, 2008 05:52 AM

                                                                                                      Happy New Year to all!
                                                                                                      I like Cheen Huaye for Mexican. My favorite, Taco Max, is long gone (used to be in a spot just north of 79th St. on Biscayne) I have not gotten to any of the places up in Broward or down south in Homestead.

                                                                                                      1. re: Frodnesor
                                                                                                        netmover Jan 1, 2008 08:09 AM

                                                                                                        Back at you Frod! What dishes do you like at Cheen Hueye?

                                                                                                        1. re: netmover
                                                                                                          Frodnesor Jan 1, 2008 09:51 AM

                                                                                                          Love their sopa de lima, a chicken & lime soup with some subtle spice I'd swear is cinnamon. The salbutes topped w/ cochinita (or chicken) pibil or good. Their pibil generally is pretty good, sometimes a touch dry. Also like the "tacos cheen huaye", done open face and topped w sliced tenderloin, lettuce, avocado and salsa verde.

                                                                                                          Didn't like as much the "poc chuc," which gets a sour orange and garlic marinade and then topped w/ a roasted tomato salsa, but I believe it's a pretty authentic yucatanean dish.

                                                                                                          Haven't yet tried the tacos al pastor or chicken mole yet.

                                                                                                          1. re: Frodnesor
                                                                                                            netmover Jan 1, 2008 11:13 AM

                                                                                                            They, CH, have a ruff road ahead with Chipotle opening up so close...they are two different styles of very similar cuisine. And with all the natural products the "chain" chipotle serves, not to mention the quick serve style of service they feature, I for one, will be hard pressed not to hit up Chipotle when in that neck of the woods...in fact I could really go for a nice burrito right now...but that's not going to happen today as I am already late for my first of the year salt water bath!

                                                                                                2. netmover Dec 22, 2007 08:00 AM

                                                                                                  Add Orale Taco truck to the list down here in Miami. Citgo gas station Tue, Wed, and Thursdays until about 5pm, then somewhere in the Gables during the weekends. I think he said Douglas and 28th.

                                                                                                  5 Replies
                                                                                                  1. re: netmover
                                                                                                    eatnbmerry Dec 28, 2007 02:05 PM

                                                                                                    Net,

                                                                                                    Have you ever tried the lunchera truck(s) on weekends at the Flea market in Homestead?

                                                                                                    I had some excellent carnitas tacos there about 5 years ago. I don't remember the name (sorry too many dead brain cells ago) but I think they were located way in the back and were the middle of the three luncheras that were there. All the trucks had good sized tents set-up in front of them with picnic tables for eating.

                                                                                                    This truck was rec'd by a mexican worker who was helping me out at the time and I remember him saying that during the week it was at another location (like some field in Homestead?). I haven't been back since and was just wondering if you or anyone else has more current chow news?

                                                                                                    BTW, when I lived in LA I used drive an hour to NoHollywood in the Valley just to get carnitas from my favorite lunchera so I know the itch. Definitely will try to hunt down the Orale lunchera soon.

                                                                                                    1. re: eatnbmerry
                                                                                                      netmover Dec 28, 2007 05:13 PM

                                                                                                      I did not even know there was a Homestead Flea Market...I don't get there or to any Flea Markets often enough for that matter.

                                                                                                      Orale's 27th ave location is quick and easy.

                                                                                                      And I still got to hit MD's Calle 8 mexy emporium.

                                                                                                      Dona Rocky's (Raquel's) up in Pompano the same distance as Homestead and 10x better than most of what I have had down there. I see the Mexy community getting smaller down there. Homestead will be Homes before too long.

                                                                                                      1. re: netmover
                                                                                                        eatnbmerry Dec 28, 2007 05:17 PM

                                                                                                        I'm down with that.

                                                                                                        BTW, because of your raves, I had already put raquel's on my must try list. TY as always.

                                                                                                        1. re: eatnbmerry
                                                                                                          netmover Dec 28, 2007 05:59 PM

                                                                                                          I hope you don't come back underwhelmed again! They're just tacos...

                                                                                                          1. re: netmover
                                                                                                            eatnbmerry Dec 28, 2007 06:58 PM

                                                                                                            LOL!

                                                                                                            I didn't go to Jimbo's expecting smoked sturgeon from Barney Greengrass (you gotta miss those NYC delis (was it you who said katz had closed down?, if so a big RIP).

                                                                                                            I didn't go to Jacks expecting a kobe burger from Old Homestead Steak, or better yet, Bouluds foie gras creation with truffles to boot (well if not the delis than all the darn choices and the watawh bagels of course).

                                                                                                            So I will venture to dona raqs with a lunchera appetite and if it delivers on carnitas, etc (and after a few dos XX what doesn't) I promise not to be harsh. When it comes to mexican I must admit that I'm more used to and prefer Pico blvd/Monterey park (LA barrios) street corner fare than moles and the likes. I mean, who drives hour plus through LA traffic to eat at a lunchera in the middle of Bum F Nowhere?

                                                                                                            And I think you know that while discovering previously unknown great chow is the aim, I have found that a lot of times you have more fun in the actual hunt. And as I have said previously, you my dear Net /Frod/ and most others make this endeavor especially appealing on our Fla board.

                                                                                                  2. p
                                                                                                    pringle347 Dec 16, 2007 05:21 PM

                                                                                                    #1: El Paso, on Wiles Road, in Riverside Square, in Coral Springs....
                                                                                                    #2: El Mariachi, further west on Wiles Road in Coral Springs, corner of University, and another location on University and Ramblewood.

                                                                                                    1. j
                                                                                                      Jack Barber Nov 6, 2007 06:47 PM

                                                                                                      Is there any good Mexican in (or near) Sarasota these days?

                                                                                                      1 Reply
                                                                                                      1. re: Jack Barber
                                                                                                        h
                                                                                                        hibeta Jan 11, 2008 05:53 PM

                                                                                                        El Adobe on U.S. 41 near Bee Ridge has been there forever....excellent chips, salsa and guacamole...and the best chicken tacos I've had. Casa Del Sol on Cortez in Bradenton is not bad...they've got a very good mole sauce.

                                                                                                      2. l
                                                                                                        LargeLife Nov 6, 2007 03:07 AM

                                                                                                        Being from the Homestead/Florida City area, we think we have some of the best Mexican food around and it doesn't hurt that we have the largest permanent Mexican population in Florida. NicaMex is outstanding and if you're a gringo, you'll be the only gringo eating there. The food is extremely authentic, service is quite good, comfortable and spotless. NicaMex is located one block off Krome Avenune. El Toro Taco is the most popular and that's because they allow you to bring in your own cooler! The food is more touristy but reasonably good, not great and not nearly as good as NicaMex. On weekends El Toro is very loud and rowdy with iffy service. El Toro is located on Krome Avenune just across the street from the Homestead Police Station. Casita Tejas is located just a block north of El Toro, the food is somewhat more authentic than El Toro and is also reasonably good. All three are no more than a 9-iron away from each other with NicaMex being the most authentic with the best service. The locals eat at NicaMex and that's usually a good sign while Yankees (anyone that lives north of Cutler Ridge) eat at El Toro at Casita Tejas.

                                                                                                        Another very good and very authentic Mexican resaturant in Rosita's which is located about 5 minutes south in Florida City. If you head south on the FL Turnpike, go the very end which puts you out on US1 and then take your first right at the light. Rosita's will be the first 2-story building on your left. Rosita's features extremely authentic Mexican fare and their menu also includes a few seafood dishes which are quite good. Service is reliable. Not much atmosphere but clean and friendly.

                                                                                                        Rosita's and NicaMex are easily the two best with El Toro and Casita Tejas two steps behind but still decent. On weekends, these places are all busy so sometimes you have to opt for plans B, C or D.

                                                                                                        22 Replies
                                                                                                        1. re: LargeLife
                                                                                                          netmover Nov 6, 2007 03:24 AM

                                                                                                          Nice run down LL. NicaMex sounds like Nicaraguan/Mexican and you say it is where the locals eat...it sounds like the poor locals got to go to a Nicaruguan to get their fix! Nicas do a comprable version albiet Central American style Mexy and it does peek my appetite.

                                                                                                          Which leads me to this, while I won't say Toro is dreadful but, it is hardly authentic! La Quebradita used to be good, but I heard somewhere that it was sold to Venezuelans and the last time I went was boarderline at best. Rositas sounds interesting and La Fondita which I found while exploring one day down there was very solid. Are there any others worthy down that-a-way?

                                                                                                          Seeing how Pompano is about the same distance as Homestead for me, I prefer to head North for my tried and tested Mexy fix at the DR's (Dona Raquels) the DR of Mexy here in the FLA...now featuring spindled shwarma style Tacos al Pastor! orajle.

                                                                                                          1. re: netmover
                                                                                                            l
                                                                                                            LargeLife Nov 6, 2007 07:18 AM

                                                                                                            At NicaMex, one owner is Nicaraguan while the other is Mexican. However, their menu is Mexican and that's it! If you're a paleface, you will very likely be the only paleface eating there. Their tostadas are big, juice and obscenely delicious. Soups are awesome as is just about everything else. Owner is always there and runs the show and on weekends Mariachis show up and play for tips and they're quite good as well. You can even watch TeleNovelas there! Interesting place and a restaurant we eat at once or twice per month. Also highly rated in The Miami Herald restaurant reviews. And as I mentioned, Rosita's is quite good and these two are a step ahead of El Toro and Casita Tejas. Only ate at LaQuebradita once and it was just fair. From what I understand they've changed hands a time or two and I haven't been back. LL.

                                                                                                            1. re: LargeLife
                                                                                                              Miami Danny Nov 6, 2007 09:26 AM

                                                                                                              With all due respect, ethnicity of customers is not an indicator of quality-that's a myth. I've been in many Asian restaurants populated entirely by Asians, and the quality was not good. Same goes for Cuban, Italian, and, yes, Mexican. .And paleface is derogatory as is gringo. Non-Hispanic (or, more specifically, non-Mexican) is the word you're looking for.

                                                                                                              1. re: Miami Danny
                                                                                                                l
                                                                                                                LargeLife Nov 6, 2007 10:49 AM

                                                                                                                Well, Miami Danny, no respect necessary as we haven't met. I find that when folks of a particular ethnic background frequent a particular restaurant that matches their particular ethnic background (and when there are other choices available serving the same ethnic food) then it's usually a pretty good indicator. That's just MY experience. If yours differs, that's fine too. But for what it's worth, I work in a building of 45 and I'm the only gringo in the place and my fellow employees refer to me as their "Loveable Gringo" and the "Token Gringo" and I'm fine with that as I take it in the spirit it's applied. Much like the term pale face - as when I visit NicaMex I'm am the only pale face there and those folks there always make me feel very welcome, appreciate my patronage and look forward to my generous tips. So, take it in the intended spirt! Good Day!

                                                                                                                1. re: LargeLife
                                                                                                                  Miami Danny Nov 6, 2007 11:11 AM

                                                                                                                  Funny-I'm often referred to as the token Jew-face in my office. It's also a laugh riot!

                                                                                                                  1. re: Miami Danny
                                                                                                                    lax2mia Nov 6, 2007 11:19 AM

                                                                                                                    Back to the discussiong guys?

                                                                                                                    I've been to Rosita's and it sucks. I can't remember my meal, but I remember the disappointment. It was boring and awful. In fact, most of the Mexican food I've run into in Homestead can be categorized as bad to awful. The taco truck in Coral Gables is better than anything I've come across in Homestead. MiaDan, in a twist on seeing ethnic people at a sub-par ethnic restaurant, Homestead is a whole city full of Mexicans and there's not a single place that's any good.

                                                                                                                    1. re: lax2mia
                                                                                                                      Miami Danny Nov 6, 2007 11:26 AM

                                                                                                                      L2M- my experience mirrors yours 100%. For example, I was eating at this absolutely dreadful Asian restaurant last week, and it was filled with Asians-eating the same horrible food as my wife and me. I'm Jewish, and I've been to more bad Jewish restaurants than I can count-filled with Jewish customers! Sometimes people just want the taste of their own ethnic cooking, even if it's not that good. Oh, and you should try the tacos al pastor at Mi Rinconcito-I think you'll like them.

                                                                                                                      1. re: Miami Danny
                                                                                                                        lax2mia Nov 6, 2007 11:51 AM

                                                                                                                        I'm looking forward to it.

                                                                                                                        1. re: Miami Danny
                                                                                                                          netmover Nov 6, 2007 03:39 PM

                                                                                                                          I stopped in the Rinconcito one day, no tacos ala carte? Got to order them 3 at a time if my memory serves me correct. That was a red flag for me! It seemed mexy and since the MD has given it his stamp of approval and it's about 27 miles closer than DR's in Pompano or NicaMex in Homestead, I will try it.

                                                                                                                          I must say, it has been my experience that ethinic restaurants that cater to people of the same ethnicity are generally a good interpretation of said cuisine. Whether you think it's good or not is not really the question, the question is whether it's authentic. Many gringos, myself included, have been bred to beleive that Taco Bell and other "mexy" cusine in this country is in fact authentic...NOTHING COULD BE FURTHER FROM THE TRUTH!

                                                                                                                          Maybe, you've never been to that region of Asia you referred to earlier MD? If I see an Asian joint filled with Asians, or a Mexy joint filled with Mexies, it's a pretty good sign you're gonna get the real deal-like it or not.

                                                                                                                          Dona Raquels has a second store out West and they were forced to gringo-ize the cuisine due to the clientel.

                                                                                                                          1. re: netmover
                                                                                                                            Miami Danny Nov 6, 2007 03:53 PM

                                                                                                                            Three tacos for $5. They don't even have to be the same kind of taco. That's $1.67 per taco (approximately).
                                                                                                                            NM baby, all I can say is, por favor muchacho!

                                                                                                                            1. re: Miami Danny
                                                                                                                              netmover Nov 6, 2007 04:56 PM

                                                                                                                              I'm on my way and they better be good! Could this be my mexy fix in the MIA? I sure hope so!!!

                                                                                                                              1. re: Miami Danny
                                                                                                                                netmover Nov 6, 2007 05:08 PM

                                                                                                                                oh and BTW, what if I want a forth Taco and not six???

                                                                                                                                1. re: netmover
                                                                                                                                  Miami Danny Nov 6, 2007 05:21 PM

                                                                                                                                  No te preocupes, queria seis.

                                                                                                                              2. re: netmover
                                                                                                                                karmalaw Jan 11, 2008 10:49 PM

                                                                                                                                I have been going to Mi Rinconcito since it opened -- I order 1 or 2 tacos when I want -- no issues at all. Just ask -- the menu doesn't tell all... and do NOT miss the shrimp ceviche tostada they serve on the weekends. yum!

                                                                                                                                1. re: karmalaw
                                                                                                                                  netmover Jan 12, 2008 03:51 AM

                                                                                                                                  good karma! thanks...if I weren't on my way to Pompano (home of Dona Raquels) now, I would pledge to go there today! I still may...

                                                                                                                                  1. re: karmalaw
                                                                                                                                    m
                                                                                                                                    mialebven Jan 12, 2008 04:41 AM

                                                                                                                                    Has anyone tried Los Jarritos on 27th and SW 1st St? I thought it was good.

                                                                                                                                    1. re: mialebven
                                                                                                                                      netmover Jan 16, 2008 07:51 PM

                                                                                                                                      What did you have at Jarritos?

                                                                                                                                      1. re: netmover
                                                                                                                                        m
                                                                                                                                        mialebven Jan 16, 2008 08:40 PM

                                                                                                                                        They had all the typical Mexican taqueria classics and the decor is decent as well. There seems to be a stage for live music in the evening. I went during an off hour so there were not many people there, but it looked promising.

                                                                                                                                        But because they were new, they only took cash so I wasn't able to order much, but I must say that their quesadillas were the best I've had so far in Miami, and just the right size from what I remember them being like in Texas - big! The ingredients in them seemed to be fresh and it was well made and prepared.

                                                                                                                                        I only had to gripe about one thing - their avocados that they use were not the California type HAAS avocado but the ones we see more common in Miami. Those avocados in Miami tend to be less flavorful and more watery - so it doesn't contribute as much to a meal as would, say a Californian avocado or even a guacamole.

                                                                                                                                        But other than that, I wouldn't hesitate returning. But just to let you know, I'm not one who is absolutely crazy about Mexican food. I just go whenever I have a craving for it, but it's not in my list of the top 3 favorite cuisines (especially in Miami). I have not tried Mari-Nalli or another place to compare the quesadillas yet, except for Orale (however, I must say it is one of Orale's few weak points).

                                                                                                                                        1. re: mialebven
                                                                                                                                          Frodnesor Jan 16, 2008 09:17 PM

                                                                                                                                          Avocado is one example of where I"m not in favor of going local. Unfortunately, the Florida avocado can't even compare for flavor or texture with a haas avocado.

                                                                                                                                          1. re: Frodnesor
                                                                                                                                            eatnbmerry Jan 16, 2008 09:24 PM

                                                                                                                                            But it competes too well in price, thus the usage I'm certain. I actually like the Fla ones better in a simple avocado salad with a little EVOO and some salt. But I would be very suspect of any Mexican resto that uses them in favor of the Haas. They should know better. Not even VD's does that! (forgive me couldn't resist :)

                                                                                                                                            1. re: eatnbmerry
                                                                                                                                              m
                                                                                                                                              mialebven Jan 17, 2008 05:02 AM

                                                                                                                                              Well, but I can't really blame them. Florida's avocados are cheaper. If they got the California one, I'm assuming, they'll use less avocado in their dishes, or they'll raise the prices. And then everyone will start talking about how they could get cheaper Mexican food in Texas or California. In a way, I do favor Mexican places, as well as other places, for going local, but they should find a way to balance the flavors to maintain a taste in which people would recognize as Mexican.

                                                                                                                                              It's still a good restaurant though, and it's not a shoddy one, on top of that, compared with some other restaurants I've seen in the area.

                                                                                                                                              1. re: mialebven
                                                                                                                                                eatnbmerry Jan 17, 2008 04:52 PM

                                                                                                                                                mia,

                                                                                                                                                I haven't been so will not argue your other taste points and definitely appreciate your local balance statement.

                                                                                                                                                Only will say that a Mexican restaurant not using the Haas can only mean they are skimping (or located where none is available, obviously not the case here). And if they are doing this with a basic taste ingredient of the cuisine, than yes, I wouldn't mind paying more and going elsewhere.

                                                                                                                                                I mean, go to the Wal-Mart in FlaCity on any weekend and you'll see the Mexican families doing their shopping for the week only buying the haas ones even though they are more expensive and even though a couple of dollars probably means more to them than it does to me (us).

                                                                                                                2. netmover Sep 15, 2007 09:02 AM

                                                                                                                  I checked out Garabaldi's in Pompano yesterday. A block North of Sample on US1. Ordered 3 tacos, 1.99/each, carne asada, pastor and carne guisada. They were good, not Dona Raquel's but better than most down here in the MIA. Did I read someone mention this name elsewhere in the FLA? Could there be a relationship?
                                                                                                                  Feliz Dia de Independencia Mexico! 15 de Septiembre...no stinko de Mayo.

                                                                                                                  1. r
                                                                                                                    ronijeni Sep 12, 2007 08:20 PM

                                                                                                                    Cantina Laredo just opened in Palm Beach Gardens. I have been there three times in about a week. I can't get enough!

                                                                                                                    1. netmover Sep 10, 2007 07:38 PM

                                                                                                                      I realize this goes against my OP, but I have to mention East Coast Burrito's "hot" sauce...or should I say "exxxtra hot sauce" it is the real deal and deserving of honorable mention. whoooooooooeeeeeeeeee that's a serious hot sauce!

                                                                                                                      2 Replies
                                                                                                                      1. re: netmover
                                                                                                                        i
                                                                                                                        i360 Sep 11, 2007 03:03 PM

                                                                                                                        For those in the Tampa'ish area...

                                                                                                                        There is Algustos, very friendly staff and overall pretty good food try the Tampaquena!

                                                                                                                        When we are in the traveling mood there is Casa Tinas in Dunedin, nice place in a cute townish setting, the black bean soup is awesome. Food has some good flavor and worth the trip.

                                                                                                                        We visited a divish place on Hillsborough Avenue called Guadalahara (mis-spelled), this is authentic Mexican at a reasonable price. They love to cover everything in cheese, only went once but we will try to make it back there...Again think dive (but clean) but authentic.

                                                                                                                        There is also Vallardes which has a huge selection of food, reasonable price, but sometimes the service can be lacking. Give yourself some time if you go Friday or Saturday nights, it gets crowed and noisy.

                                                                                                                        I have some more but need to get moving, on the way to school.

                                                                                                                        1. re: i360
                                                                                                                          Mild Bill Dec 29, 2007 10:09 PM

                                                                                                                          I can't believe i360 called Guadalajara on Hillsborough Avenue in Tampa a dive!
                                                                                                                          It's a medium sized, beautifully decorated, Mexican restaurant...
                                                                                                                          It has a giant inside fountain for the love of Pete!!

                                                                                                                          It's right up the road and I'll pop in for a huge plate of food, or more frequently their Menudo, which they do nicely, but not as good as me...

                                                                                                                          I eat at dive Mexican jernts all the time, and this place could hold 6 of them!

                                                                                                                      2. netmover Jul 2, 2007 06:29 PM

                                                                                                                        Thought I would re-serve this thread up for our Hound who inquired about Mexican.

                                                                                                                        Add JAGUAR Ceviche Spoon Bar and LatAm Grill to this list in Coconut Grove. Although it is not dubbed as a "Mexican" restaurant, the owners and operators are and I have had some of the best Mexican food in my life there. Be sure to try the Blue Corn Tortilla Chicken Tacos and check out their weekly specials. Their Ceviche is devine. Other interesting dishes that can be shared, or not, are the Taqueria Mexico City and that Mexican Lazagna which is very different and tasty too. I have not tried many entrees or their Sunday Brunch which features Huevos Rancheros.

                                                                                                                        1. TomOHaver Jan 14, 2007 01:10 PM

                                                                                                                          Our favorite is Cilantro Tamales in North Naples. This is a small, friendly, local place. The tamales are great and there are several kinds. Don't miss the signature dish, the cilantro tamales, stuffed with cheese. Other Mexican standards are also very good. The chips are crisp and served with salsa and pico de gallo. This is NOT fast food: everything is made from scratch here, so you may actually have to wait 15-20 minutes to get served. But it's worth it. It's located at 10823 US 41 N, just south of Immokalee Rd. Open 11am.

                                                                                                                          1. chiffonade Jan 13, 2007 11:31 AM

                                                                                                                            Cancun Mexican
                                                                                                                            9818 USHighway 19, Port Richey, FL 34668
                                                                                                                            (727) 816-8483

                                                                                                                            This place is incredible. I have never had a bad meal there. It's decorated in the tackiest pinatas and the usual Mexican tchotchkes. The table numbers are written in chalk on the wall.

                                                                                                                            My favorite dish is their Menudo. You have to like tripe but if you do, it's heavenly. Menudo is served with warm flour or corn tortillas (I always have flour); chopped onions and chopped cilantro on the side (I usually dump the whole bowl of garnishes into my soup). The tripe is tender and the soup is fragrant and rich.

                                                                                                                            The LONE waitress speaks very little English and handles roaring hot plates bare handed. I always leave a huge tip because the food is dirt cheap.

                                                                                                                            The combination plates are great too. Salsa is dispensed in small-ish bowls but it's outstanding. Don't ask for more because you probably won't get it. The waitress is crazy busy and doesn't have time to refill your salsa. The entree when delivered will erase any hard feelings.

                                                                                                                            1. netmover Jan 13, 2007 04:44 AM

                                                                                                                              LA FONDITA in Homestead...Tiki Hut serving up MEXY authenticity. Passport optional!

                                                                                                                              1. p
                                                                                                                                pralinepatty Jan 7, 2007 04:37 PM

                                                                                                                                I have eaten real Mexican food on quite a few vacations in Mexico, Yucutan area, Isla Mujeres, Cozumel, Cancun, Mexico City, Oxaca, Porta Escondido (down near Belize), and I have to admit that to me the line kind of blurs between "the real thing" and Tex-Mex and maybe my memory or my tastes have changed, but I really like Ole Ole on Broward Blvd in Ft. Lauderdale, Mi Casa Su Casa on Griffin near Dania Beach, Cafe Del Rio (on something or other Avenue) off 17th off of Hwy 1 in Ft. Lauderdale near downtown and I think they all do have some of the authentic food as well as the kind you do not care as much about and they are all reasonable in price. I really do not like to spend a rediculous amount for eating out, I cannot really enjoy the meal if I consider it overpriced even if it is good enough to justify the cost. I do love good food and I love to cook, I just do not cook as much now.

                                                                                                                                1. GroovinGourmet Jan 7, 2007 03:43 AM

                                                                                                                                  Thanks for filling in the blank...so many of the posts seem to be from Miami-ish area.

                                                                                                                                  We like to cruise from FLL and would not miss a visit to Eduardo the night before sailing.

                                                                                                                                  1. GroovinGourmet Jan 6, 2007 10:57 PM

                                                                                                                                    All these posts and no mention of Eduardo De San Angel???

                                                                                                                                    REAL gourmet Mex, like you would get in a fine restaurant in Mexico City.

                                                                                                                                    The space is gorgeous, the service excellent, the furnishings and food are fabulous.

                                                                                                                                    Only drawback is no booze...beer and wine only. They do make an interesting margarita with agave wine, but I stick to Bohemia.

                                                                                                                                    2 Replies
                                                                                                                                    1. re: GroovinGourmet
                                                                                                                                      Bob Mervine Jan 6, 2007 10:59 PM

                                                                                                                                      Might want to mention where they are located. Florida is a big state.

                                                                                                                                      Bob

                                                                                                                                      1. re: Bob Mervine
                                                                                                                                        t
                                                                                                                                        tpigeon Jan 6, 2007 11:03 PM

                                                                                                                                        Eduardo is in Ft Lauderdale, I am going there soon...

                                                                                                                                    2. s
                                                                                                                                      sonoman Jan 6, 2007 08:42 PM

                                                                                                                                      try Puerto Vallarta, south of kendall, almost homestead for excellent mexican seafood

                                                                                                                                      Puerto Vallarta

                                                                                                                                      24811 S Dixie Hwy
                                                                                                                                      Homestead, FL
                                                                                                                                      33032

                                                                                                                                      » South Miami-Kendall-South Dade
                                                                                                                                      305-257-5012

                                                                                                                                      Not many of us think of a Mexican restaurant when we’re hungering for a stuffed crab-back, or salivating over sucking on prawn heads. Perhaps, being stone crab claw and Key West pink shrimp-centric, we haven't had the necessary exposure to inspire such an appetite. Or maybe, being offered mostly central Mexican cuisine here in South Florida, we simply haven't had opportunity enough to appreciate the fact that Mexico has a cuisine derived from its vast stretch of coastline -- and that's just on the Pacific side, where the town of Puerto Vallarta is located. Fortunately our education is at hand via El Puerto de Vallarta, and we're not just talking about the three R's of fish tacos, but the ABC's as well: Avocado-garnished shrimp and snapper ceviche with pico de gallo; botana (appetizers) including shrimp quesadillas and oysters on the half-shell; and seafood caldos (soups), such as the luxurious combination of seven different types of shellfish served with homemade corn tortillas. Finish off your secondary schooling with bacon-wrapped shrimp, or garlic-sauteed lobster and a cool Tecate beer, and you'll be set to graduate.

                                                                                                                                      Hours: Daily 10 a.m. - 10 p.m.
                                                                                                                                      Payment Types Accepted: Visa, MasterCard, American Express and Discover
                                                                                                                                      Price: $$
                                                                                                                                      Serving: Dinner and Lunch
                                                                                                                                      Reservations: Yes
                                                                                                                                      Parking: Yes
                                                                                                                                      Dress: Casual
                                                                                                                                      Features: Private Party, Takeout and Catering
                                                                                                                                      Handicapped Access: No
                                                                                                                                      Kids Menu: No
                                                                                                                                      Entertainment: No

                                                                                                                                      1. j
                                                                                                                                        jimokeys Dec 22, 2006 07:31 PM

                                                                                                                                        One more great Florida Mexican restaurant: Casa Loca in Key West. It has been open for perhaps a year now but people still call it The New Mexican Restaurant on Duval Street. Awesome food, open air eating in the back and Dos Equis on tap. The owners and waitstaff are very friendly and welcoming. Did I mention that the food is awesome?

                                                                                                                                        1. m
                                                                                                                                          mrs1432 Dec 22, 2006 04:17 PM

                                                                                                                                          We went to Dona Raquels yesterday and it was OK, the chips are really greasy, but the food is good. I had the Tacos al Pastor, which I think El Ranch Grande in SOBE makes better. The Carnitas were really good and tender. We had a guisado the pierna de puerco, which was very good again. Thanks for the tip - will go back when in the area. Does anyone know where I can have real Tacos al Pastor where the meat is cut off the spindle in front of my eyes?

                                                                                                                                          4 Replies
                                                                                                                                          1. re: mrs1432
                                                                                                                                            netmover Dec 22, 2006 09:46 PM

                                                                                                                                            La Fondita right near Doña Raquels(north on Dixie)...have Pastor right off the spindle. See the original post...let me know what you think.

                                                                                                                                            BTW, if Doña's is just 'ok', please provide some good to great recommendations here in SO-FLA, I will gladly try new places. I have yet to find anything down here that even comes close...besides Fondita's spindled pastors, I never had anything else there.

                                                                                                                                            BTWII, the chips at Doñas are tortillas cut up and fried up in a big pot, so they are straight out of the grease as opposed to the bag. The salsas make those greasy little crunchy critters snap, crackle and pop!

                                                                                                                                            1. re: netmover
                                                                                                                                              m
                                                                                                                                              mrs1432 Jan 7, 2007 01:00 PM

                                                                                                                                              Thanks - we went there. It is pretty good although 'expensive' given the location/service. The food is as close as it gets though and I will go back as I just love Tacos al Pastor.

                                                                                                                                              Again, if you like chilaquiles try Chapultepec on Hallandale Blvd. and NW 2nd St (by Dixie Hwy) Take the green ones as they are spicier if you like picante.

                                                                                                                                            2. re: mrs1432
                                                                                                                                              netmover Nov 5, 2007 06:43 PM

                                                                                                                                              Dona Raquel's recently added the spindled Tacos al Pastor (pork and pineapple shwarma or gyro style)...and boy are they good! Better than ever in fact. Had I known, I may have forgone my usual combo of 1 taco each: carnitas; carne asada; & al pastor. Next time, I may have to skip all the variety! Her Sopes are fabulicious too...be sure to check out the famila's store featuring everything mexy.

                                                                                                                                              Will we ever get real mexy in miami?

                                                                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                              1. re: netmover
                                                                                                                                                Miami Danny Nov 6, 2007 09:17 AM

                                                                                                                                                Mi Rinconcito 1961 SW 8th St. As Mexican as you can get. Stop complaining and go eat :)

                                                                                                                                            3. m
                                                                                                                                              mrs1432 Dec 21, 2006 04:15 PM

                                                                                                                                              Well, I lived in Mexico City for 18 years and can't wait to try a couple of places. If you like chilaquiles verdes, you GOT to go to Chapultepec on Hallandale Beach Blvd. They have a lot of other stuff, but I stick to the chilaquiles although I have heard that the chiles rellenos and moles are excellent too. Expect a hole in the wall and mostly hispanic construction workers ;)

                                                                                                                                              2 Replies
                                                                                                                                              1. re: mrs1432
                                                                                                                                                netmover Dec 22, 2006 01:29 AM

                                                                                                                                                where abouts is this place? east of us1, west? north side, south side of Hallandale? Is it open for dinner of just lunch? They got an authentic name that's for sure! How are the tacos al carbon?

                                                                                                                                                1. re: netmover
                                                                                                                                                  m
                                                                                                                                                  mrs1432 Dec 22, 2006 04:10 PM

                                                                                                                                                  East of I-95, West of Dixie. The exact address is:

                                                                                                                                                  Chapultepec Mexican Bar
                                                                                                                                                  23 NW 2nd Ave
                                                                                                                                                  Hallandale Beach, FL 33009
                                                                                                                                                  9544560771

                                                                                                                                                  I have not had the tacos al carbon, only al Pastor, which are OK, little saucy, but good in taste. But again, the green chilaquiles are really good! They are open through 9PM but may not serve you if you get there later than 8.30PM if the place is empty - again, it is a very unpretentious place...

                                                                                                                                              2. Frodnesor Dec 8, 2006 05:09 PM

                                                                                                                                                Tripe and sweetbreads are two different parts. Tripe is the lining of the stomach, there are a few different kinds but usually what you'll find is honeycomb tripe (which has something like a honeycomb pattern on it). And I will admit, it can be a little funky if not prepared with a lot of patience.

                                                                                                                                                Sweetbreads are the thymus gland. There's actually two parts, one near the head and one near the stomach, but I think it's usually the top one that's used. It's actually very delicate and when made well gets a little crisp on the outside and is light and fluffy inside.
                                                                                                                                                And yes, there's almost always sweetbreads in some form on the menu at Timo - and they're great, although my favorite lately is one at Michy's.
                                                                                                                                                I don't remember seeing Menudo on the menu at Cheen Huaye but have only been once and may have missed it.
                                                                                                                                                Will keep an eye out for Mondongo.

                                                                                                                                                1. netmover Dec 7, 2006 10:30 PM

                                                                                                                                                  I noticed Timo had them on their menu-I beleive they called them ??? Anyway there's a fancy name, Sweetbreads or some such cover name. They actually didn't look bad served that way.

                                                                                                                                                  All I remember is that griddle full of nasty smelling intestinal tubes down in Mejico the thought of which makes me cringe to this day!

                                                                                                                                                  You'd probably love the Mondongo Stew I mentioned earlier. Prima Arepa or Mama Vieja both probably have them here on the beach, as would any Colombian joint. Ajiaco Colombiano is an amazing hen stew, (served with crema, capers and avocado on the side) and should not be missed by those less adventuresome diners whilst dining at Colombian restaurants.

                                                                                                                                                  Does Cheen Hueye offer Menudo?

                                                                                                                                                  1. Frodnesor Dec 7, 2006 04:59 PM

                                                                                                                                                    Do not fear tripe! Tripe can be your friend. When made well it is a great vehicle for soups and saucy, stewy type dishes. Just needs to be blanched with care to get the funk out of it first. They occasionally have a great stewed tripe at Timo that I order every time when it's on the menu (which is not often, probably because I'm the only person ordering it!)

                                                                                                                                                    1. netmover Dec 6, 2006 07:13 PM

                                                                                                                                                      I'll pass on the intestine soup! (:-) aka Menudo...why do they do it???

                                                                                                                                                      2 Replies
                                                                                                                                                      1. re: netmover
                                                                                                                                                        Bob Mervine Dec 7, 2006 02:03 AM

                                                                                                                                                        Personal experience. Great for the hangover. Almost better than (legal prescription) drugs.

                                                                                                                                                        Bob

                                                                                                                                                        1. re: Bob Mervine
                                                                                                                                                          netmover Dec 7, 2006 02:00 PM

                                                                                                                                                          Have at it Bubba...I'll stick with my aspirin (before going to bed) thank you very much! It's bad enough eating the pig/cow, let alone the organs it uses to digest...who knows what's passed thru those intestines??? YUCK, just the thought gives me the willies! And the smell of griddled tripe has haunted me for 20+ years, ever since I was an exchange student deep down in Mejico...If you dig it, I'd highly recommend Mondongo (Colombian Stomach Stew)at Delicias out your way on the OBT. They have many other more civilized dishes including a great bakery as well. Be sure to try their Pan de Bono with a cup of Colombian coffee should you find yourself in that hood early one morning. MMM MMM good!

                                                                                                                                                      2. j
                                                                                                                                                        janebold Dec 6, 2006 07:07 PM

                                                                                                                                                        El Rancho in DeLand is good, especially the tacos al pastor. The best local spot for tacos only, that's all that's served except for the specials (I think Fridays are bierra (sp?), Saturdays pozole and Sunday is munedo), is a little taco wagon that sets up on the corner of 15A, aka the truck route, aka Spring Garden. They are only open those three days. There is sometimes one table and a couple of chairs in the parking lot, otherwise you eat in your car or take it out. It's very basic, but very tasty.

                                                                                                                                                        1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                        1. re: janebold
                                                                                                                                                          Covert Ops Dec 21, 2006 07:28 PM

                                                                                                                                                          You'd think with the ferneries there'd be more authentic places in West Volusia. . .I'm going to shake down my Pierson friends and see if they can give up a place. . .

                                                                                                                                                        2. netmover Dec 4, 2006 10:03 PM

                                                                                                                                                          You might be asking for too much...I am sorry to say, well maybe not, I'll give you my top 3:

                                                                                                                                                          1. Doña Raquels-for food and clean, the fun part is another thing. Go to Pompano Park Races which is nearby for fun.

                                                                                                                                                          2. Jaguar: Trifecta!!! Good, clean & fun. Get a ceviche sampler then hone in on the ones you like. My favorite is "nuevo" style. The blue corn chicken tacos are awsome as is all their mexy cuisine. They have Wine tastings on Thursdays I beleive.

                                                                                                                                                          3. Cheen Hueye: clean & good, again the fun part-you're on your own. This is Yucatan cuisine which is the furthest from Cali, so it may not meet your expectations?

                                                                                                                                                          Señor Frogs for fun...

                                                                                                                                                          1. i
                                                                                                                                                            Idineout Dec 3, 2006 11:37 PM

                                                                                                                                                            I have lived in California where I know is the best Mexican food in the states. Please someone reccommend a mexican restaurant in south florida...I saw the dixie hwy ideas and I may try, but I do not want a taco stand or a fake Moquilla in Boca calling themselves Upscale mexican...just a fun, clean, really good food. I think I am asking too much in south florida

                                                                                                                                                            4 Replies
                                                                                                                                                            1. re: Idineout
                                                                                                                                                              m
                                                                                                                                                              munchabunch Dec 5, 2006 11:56 PM

                                                                                                                                                              Hi Idineout, I also lived in CA. Since my arrival here I have only tried 2 Mexican eateries and I would only recommend one of them. For a great upscale menu try Canyon in Ft. Lauderdale. Extremely creative fish selection and succulent sauces. I'm salavating just thinking about my dish!! I have a hard time finding good Mexican since I also lived in Texas which was home of the mom and pop owned eateries where they made everything from scratch.

                                                                                                                                                              1. re: munchabunch
                                                                                                                                                                a
                                                                                                                                                                amyvc Dec 6, 2006 02:58 AM

                                                                                                                                                                I mentioned this on your other post as well. I'm interested in your take on Baja Cafe in Boca on Dixie Highway. I think it's very good and it's what I think of as "California Mexican." Not having been to California ever, not sure what I mean by that....Anyway, I grew up with amazing Mexican food once or twice a week at our favorite place here that's been closed for many years. I still dream about the food there. I've been searching for a subsitution ever since, and Baja's the best I can do (sucks because I am 40 min south of Boca). I am very interested (if a bit intimidated) by Dona Raquel's, probably because of my gringa espanol. Also, try Eduardo de San Angel in Ft Lauderdale for gourmet Mexican. It's really amazing if not totally traditional.

                                                                                                                                                                1. re: amyvc
                                                                                                                                                                  netmover Dec 6, 2006 12:33 PM

                                                                                                                                                                  My buddy feels the same way as you about Doña Raquels. Saturday at 1pm was like getting off the bus in Michoacan, all eyes were on us upon entering. We sauntered directly to the back bar, which forces one to stare at a wall, as opposed to staring at everyone stare back at you! Fortunately, the owner was there and saluted us nicely. They always seem to send the girl who speaks English over, which is encouraging for those like you and my buddy. Although he still refuses to go without me.

                                                                                                                                                                  Personally, as a chowhound, I get off on this vibe. I know I'm in for the real deal when I walk into D.R.'s. I imagine this is how they feel the other 364 days of the year!

                                                                                                                                                                  Anyway, for real Mexy in SOFLA is there any other choice???

                                                                                                                                                                  If so, please help an "hermano" out!

                                                                                                                                                              2. re: Idineout
                                                                                                                                                                netmover Dec 6, 2006 06:45 PM

                                                                                                                                                                Try Cancun Grill in Miami Lakes...just off the Palmetto on 151st St.

                                                                                                                                                              3. netmover Dec 3, 2006 02:06 AM

                                                                                                                                                                I enjoyed Dona Raquel's again today! Warning: the Tamarac Store serves a tamed down version-gringo style mexy. Dixie does it right. Today's salsas alone were worth the visit! Lime Green sauce and a deep reddish brown puree-ish salsza with a whole lotta heat!

                                                                                                                                                                Tacos:
                                                                                                                                                                al Pastor-pork/pineapple...2 thumbs up!
                                                                                                                                                                Pollo-chicken niiice!
                                                                                                                                                                Carnitas-chopped pork-ala mexy
                                                                                                                                                                Carne Asadsa-Si!

                                                                                                                                                                all served up with cilantro and cebolla nada mas...so if you have an aversion to onions be sure to tell them upon ordering your tacos al carbon ala carte.

                                                                                                                                                                those stews look serious...and the flat football sized sammys with cutlets et al...I have yet to try but I still dream with them nonetheless!

                                                                                                                                                                Anybody out there ventured deep into their menu??? Please fill us in. The Mole I tried was good-though only available in dark meat at that time?

                                                                                                                                                                1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                                1. re: netmover
                                                                                                                                                                  hatless Dec 6, 2006 04:38 PM

                                                                                                                                                                  Dark meat's more tender and flavorful. Maybe they use the white meat for dishes where it can be sliced, pounded, chopped, marinated, stewed, etc. so it's not so much like eating suede. We Americans have our poultry all backward. :)

                                                                                                                                                                  And their tortas -- those sandwiches -- are terrific.

                                                                                                                                                                2. t
                                                                                                                                                                  Tandoori Girl Oct 26, 2006 06:26 PM

                                                                                                                                                                  Rest assured, a hot dog is better fare than my Spanish.

                                                                                                                                                                  I was really impressed with Agave, a medium-sized Mexican restaurant on St. Pete Beach. They have the Mexican tacos (al pastor, lingue, barbacoa, carnitas, etc.) but if you can find a good chile relleno nowadays, that's the goods. Theirs are just like the ones I had growing up in New Mexico (which are nonexistent in southern NM where they are deep-frying the buggers), pablano chiles stuffed with cheese, dropped onto egg batter, covered over with more batter, flipped to perfection and smothered on the plate with a red chile sauce. And their beans are terrific, no hint of lard (even though it's surely there), smooth as can be. The quacamole is as good as anything I've had in the southwest.

                                                                                                                                                                  Forgive my spanish.

                                                                                                                                                                  1. t
                                                                                                                                                                    Tandoori Girl Oct 26, 2006 06:15 PM

                                                                                                                                                                    Rest assured, a hot dog is better fare than my Spanish.

                                                                                                                                                                    I was really impressed with Agave, a medium-sized Mexican restaurant on St. Pete Beach. They have the Mexican tacos (al pastor, lingue, barbacoa, carnitas, etc.) but if you can find a good chile relleno nowadays, that's the goods. Theirs are just like the ones I had growing up in New Mexico (which are nonexistent in southern NM where they are deep-frying the buggers), pablano chiles stuffed with cheese, dropped onto egg batter, covered over with more batter, flipped to perfection and smothered on the plate with a red chile sauce. And their beans are terrific, no hint of lard (even though it's surely there), smooth as can be. The quacamole is as good as anything I've had in the southwest.

                                                                                                                                                                    Forgive my spanish.

                                                                                                                                                                    1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: Tandoori Girl
                                                                                                                                                                      Covert Ops Oct 26, 2006 07:09 PM

                                                                                                                                                                      I think you'd like the ones at La Fiesta in Port Orange (though prob way out of your way). They're usually offered in a combo with something else, btu they're HUGE. And they dont' appear to be crazy deep fried. Trying to remember, it's been a while -- I don't think they used chili sauce, perhaps more cheese on top? Def yummy, though.

                                                                                                                                                                    2. t
                                                                                                                                                                      Tandoori Girl Oct 26, 2006 02:14 AM

                                                                                                                                                                      tacos, tacos. no mas. yo quiero une chile relleno, por favor. mi favorito (huh?) du dia est Agave en St. Pete Beach. los frijoles es commma peanut butter.

                                                                                                                                                                      1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: Tandoori Girl
                                                                                                                                                                        netmover Oct 26, 2006 06:00 PM

                                                                                                                                                                        Espero que Agave en St Pete's Beach es mejor que tu espanol!

                                                                                                                                                                      2. floridan Oct 6, 2006 02:53 AM

                                                                                                                                                                        My son and I made it to Doña Raquels in Pompano Beach this evening for our initial visit. It won't be our last.

                                                                                                                                                                        I had a tamale verde, a taco al pastor and a taco chorizo -- all very good.

                                                                                                                                                                        I was interested to see that they are open for breakfast (8:00 AM) and have several egg dishes on the menu.

                                                                                                                                                                        It's hardly a place to go for a big night out, and you wouldn't call it a fun place, but very tasty dishes.

                                                                                                                                                                        1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: floridan
                                                                                                                                                                          netmover Oct 9, 2006 01:02 AM

                                                                                                                                                                          you got that right!!! Great grub though...if you like it authentic. I hear La Fondita (aka Sal's Hot Dogs on W dixie) has got the tacos al pastor shwrama style working most days and you can sit outside - big bonous now that the weather is breaking...dona's can be kulture shock and bright lights. Truth is I usually dine there during the day, not that I would think twice about it or have ever hesitated to go when I find myself near at night...it's definately not a night out on the town. Chow down yes...was the chorizo gamey? I have never ordered it, or several others...they got some monster size sandwiches I want to try. It's on this football size (skinnier) aztec bread, then they throw on the chicken cutlets, among other things. Sorry, I got to go eat! Lincoln Rd here I come...

                                                                                                                                                                        2. netmover Oct 3, 2006 06:51 PM

                                                                                                                                                                          Ernesto's Taco Shop in Cutler Bay (deep down in Dade) is worthy of mention. It is NO Dona Raquel's, but it is in Dade...way down in Dade that is! South 200th and US1 to be exact. Most of those Mexy joints further down in Homestead are not what they once were...'It keeps me searchin'

                                                                                                                                                                          1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: netmover
                                                                                                                                                                            l
                                                                                                                                                                            lynus Nov 6, 2007 07:10 AM

                                                                                                                                                                            If you are from South Dade you have to take a trip to the local Flea Market on weekends in the old packing house on US1 (Green Building) on right about 280th. They have about 20 different little sheds set up selling a kinds of mexican food. We ate lunch there I had the best tacos al pastor and corn on cob w/mexican cheese on top that was great. Check it out for fun. The prices are incrediable.

                                                                                                                                                                          2. netmover Aug 21, 2006 02:14 PM

                                                                                                                                                                            Double your pleasure at Dona Raquels...they just doubled in size!!! That says a lot about a place when they double in size due to success. Pompano Beach on Dixie and +/- 8th St. Look for the flags surrounding the Pompano Meat Market, also owned by this familia mexicana.

                                                                                                                                                                            1. m
                                                                                                                                                                              mountdorahound Aug 18, 2006 08:05 PM

                                                                                                                                                                              El Rancho in Deland Fla. is my favorite. Family owned an operated. They have the best enchalada sauce!

                                                                                                                                                                              El potro is also good. a chain owned by a mexican family. Deep fried talapia! The whole fish including the head!

                                                                                                                                                                              1. netmover Aug 18, 2006 05:41 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                Rancho Grande???

                                                                                                                                                                                I'll keep driving the 35 miles to Dona Raquels in Pompano, thank you very much!

                                                                                                                                                                                1. n
                                                                                                                                                                                  netmover Apr 7, 2006 10:20 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                  IS THAT ALL THE MEXY THERE IS IN THE GREAT STATE OF FLA? POR FAVOR GIMME MORE!

                                                                                                                                                                                  1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: netmover
                                                                                                                                                                                    a
                                                                                                                                                                                    andy Apr 22, 2006 08:48 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                    Yucatan Mexican Grill on Federal Hyw near Hillsboro Blvd is also GREAT! and NOT expensive.

                                                                                                                                                                                    Had a burro stuff with EXCELLENT shrimp in a gar;lic sauce---we will definitely be back...

                                                                                                                                                                                    Also has outdoor dining in front ( of course it overlooks Federal Hwy , so no view , but nice all the same.!

                                                                                                                                                                                  2. e
                                                                                                                                                                                    elaineb Apr 3, 2006 11:23 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                    La Fiesta in Port Orange FL just south of Daytona on Nova Rd. is my favorite. Everyone one of the people work there is either mexican or at least hispanic. Lots of the customers are also hispanic/latino which to me means the food is good! :) Try www.elainebarnicle.com for more local links in the Daytona area. I have not tried alot of Mexican restaurants in the Daytona area because I found this one, but there may be more good ones!

                                                                                                                                                                                    Link: http://www.elainebarnicle.com/

                                                                                                                                                                                    4 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: elaineb
                                                                                                                                                                                      Covert Ops Oct 4, 2006 03:57 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                      I love La Fiesta for their warm, attentive service and fantastic house margaritas. (Very juicy.) The level of authenticity I'm not too sure on, but I had a fantastic quesadilla wtih shrimp and various fish in it that was divine.

                                                                                                                                                                                      I also liked Cancun Lagoon, but only for their specials -- I had another seafood dish, this time an enchilada, with melted pepper jack on top and some sort of Newburg sauce. Awesome.

                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: Covert Ops
                                                                                                                                                                                        Covert Ops Oct 9, 2006 02:38 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                        Another reason to love La Fiesta -- I looked at their takeout menu the other day and it also had the address for Garibaldi's in Apopka. Is that the one you're always raving about, Bob? If so, next time you're in Port Orange (hey, it could happen, you could ride your Harley over here! :-P) you should stop there.

                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: Covert Ops
                                                                                                                                                                                          Bob Mervine Oct 24, 2006 03:48 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                          Actually, my home Garibaldi's is on 436 and Colonial, east of downtown.

                                                                                                                                                                                          I have eaten in the one in Apopka and, while good, it doesn't have the charm of the original.

                                                                                                                                                                                          I am sketching out a 2-3 day coastal getaway/feeding frenzy for next month and I have added La Fiesta to my list.

                                                                                                                                                                                          Bob

                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: Bob Mervine
                                                                                                                                                                                            Covert Ops Oct 24, 2006 02:14 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                            Yum, sounds awesome. If you need any other info, chow-related or not, email me at denise dot covert atsign gmail dot com.

                                                                                                                                                                                    2. d
                                                                                                                                                                                      D. Apr 3, 2006 03:20 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                      Thanks for the tips, I'll definitely check them out as a (long-time ago) transplanted Los Angeleno.

                                                                                                                                                                                      I haven't been to Homestead in a while, so your comments are of concern. I also used to go to Taquerias La Mexicana on SW 8th St. in Miami years ago but they started to slip and I lost interest.

                                                                                                                                                                                      Nowadays, I head over to Los Magueyes in the Miami Lakes area. It's tiny, family run, nothing but expat Mexicans eating in the place, and excellent tacos carnitas (and pastor). Give it a shot, it's closer than Pompano!

                                                                                                                                                                                      1. j
                                                                                                                                                                                        Julia Mar 28, 2006 07:48 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                        La Nopalera on Hendricks. It's a dive and the decor sends most people away, but the food is always good. I'm a huge fan of the tacos al pastor.

                                                                                                                                                                                        1. b
                                                                                                                                                                                          Bob Mervine Mar 26, 2006 04:18 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                          1. Taquitos Jalisco in Winter Garden and Metro West
                                                                                                                                                                                          2. Garibaldi Square in East Orlando and Apopka
                                                                                                                                                                                          3. (tie) Beto's in Altamonte and S. Orange Blossom Trail and Azteca in Kissimmee

                                                                                                                                                                                          Taquitos Jalisco is far and away the best in town. Great everything.
                                                                                                                                                                                          Garibaldi's is a notch below, but standouts include their guacamole, queso fundido and the menudo (weekends only)
                                                                                                                                                                                          Beto's is open 24/7/365. Huge portions, cheap, cheap. Great carrot and jalapeno relish, fish tacos, torta's with carne asada or carnitas.
                                                                                                                                                                                          Azteca is back to family style, classic decor, similar menu

                                                                                                                                                                                          Bob

                                                                                                                                                                                          6 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: Bob Mervine
                                                                                                                                                                                            n
                                                                                                                                                                                            netmover Mar 27, 2006 05:22 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                            Excellent thanks for that! O-Town is so tuff for the average tourist to find good food. I really appreciate your takes, they sound great. Next time I go, I'll search them out.

                                                                                                                                                                                            A small Miami chain named Cafe Tu Tu Tango is on I-Drive and if you have not been, you owe it to yourself to try. Not Mexican, more like round-the-world Tapas with live artists. They do a nice job.

                                                                                                                                                                                            Post your top (3) Mexican restaurants in FLA now!

                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: Bob Mervine
                                                                                                                                                                                              b
                                                                                                                                                                                              Bergerman Mar 27, 2006 07:15 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                              Taconazzo on East Hillsborough near Nebraska Avenue, best tacos in town (and better than the taco I had at a little place in Cozumel last week, but that's a different thread!)Mi Mexico on Armenia a few blocks north of Tampa Bay Blvd., a more extensive menu than Taconazzo but just as authentic (some English spoken here, but not as much as Taconazzo). Al Gusto on Kennedy @ Boulevard; more upscale, but excellent soup, burritos, etc.

                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: Bob Mervine
                                                                                                                                                                                                f
                                                                                                                                                                                                frienetic Mar 28, 2006 08:12 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                1. Beto's - I know it's not the best, but it is the best reminder of my favorite fast food Mexican in Tucson. In Tucson you can find one of these types every mile. It reminds me of my grand college days.

                                                                                                                                                                                                2. and 3. Garibaldi and Maria Bonita. Both very good as long as you get the special dishes and not the derivative tacos and burrito fare. Though the carne asada tacos at Maria Bonita are the closest I've had to the real thing I've had in the northern areas of Mexico. Just meat and a little onion and cilantro on a corn tortilla. Tasty and refreshing.

                                                                                                                                                                                                I've been meaning to get out to Taquitos Jalisco for some time now. Going to have to make a trip of it or make an excuse to get out to the original Winter Garden location, or is the Metro West location comparable?

                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: frienetic
                                                                                                                                                                                                  b
                                                                                                                                                                                                  Bob Mervine Mar 29, 2006 06:31 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                  They are comparable. Metro West is newer, a bit more spacious, but food is the same.

                                                                                                                                                                                                  Bob

                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: frienetic
                                                                                                                                                                                                    bkhuna Oct 24, 2006 03:43 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                    I have to agree with the Altamonte Beto's. It's just like the taqueria back in So. Cal. The Chicken Burrito is to die for. We drive there from the coast fairly often just to get our fill. Nothing like it in East (F)La.

                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: bkhuna
                                                                                                                                                                                                      Bob Mervine Oct 24, 2006 03:46 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                      I have so many favorites.

                                                                                                                                                                                                      But their carnitas, especially the tosta carnitas sandwich, are to die for.

                                                                                                                                                                                                      Not to mention the carrot and jalapeno salad from the condiment bar.

                                                                                                                                                                                                      Bob

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