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Mar 26, 2006 03:47 PM


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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) ? ? ?

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  1. 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


    6 Replies
    1. re: Bob Mervine

      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

        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

          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

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


            1. re: frienetic

              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

                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.


          2. 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. 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. 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 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!


                4 Replies
                1. re: elaineb

                  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

                    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

                      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.


                      1. re: Bob Mervine

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


                  1 Reply
                  1. re: netmover

                    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.!