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Good Tex-Mex in Boston?

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  • ksf2c Jun 5, 2007 07:33 PM

I just moved here from Texas and was wondering if there are any good Tex-Mex restaurants in the area? I want warm chips, spicy fresh salsa, tasty guacamole.

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  1. If you search the boards, you'll find hundreds of discussions on Mexican food but in a nutshell, you won't find anything like in Texas. Maybe try El Pelon in the Fenway.

    1. I grew up in the Southwest, and although I disagree with those who complain that Boston-area Mexican food is universally terrible, I do find that when it comes specifically to Tex-Mex (which is arguably just regional American food), our city is pretty lacking.

      I hate to recommend chains, but if you're specifically looking for excellent chips, salsa, and guacamole, the best I've found in the city are at the On the Border up in Woburn. Yes, the overwhelming majority of the menu is mediocre or worse, but their chips, salsa, guacamole, and small flour tortillas are all made fresh on-site. Their fajitas and frozen margaritas are also better than most of the other places around town. Beyond that, steer clear; it shocks me just how bad the rest of the menu is, particularly considering how much I enjoy this small subset of items.

      There are some really terrific "real" Mexican places around town for which you may get a taste over time. Do a search of the board to get some more info on:

      El Pelon - Baja-style Mexican, their fish tacos are legitimately better than many I've had in the Southwest
      Tacos Lupita - Mexican and Salvadoran, very good tacos, huaraches, mulitas
      Tu y Yo - Veracruz-style, cochinita pibil, seafood dishes, complex sauces

      1. I'm sure I get pummeled for this, but when I want "Tex-Mex" --not authentic Mexican fare, but truly Tex-Mex, I really enjoy the Border Cafe. It's loud, doesn't take reservations, and filled with college students..but everything is fresh and made to order, and the truth is, it's a fun time, with good basic food that won't empty your wallet. Disclaimer: I haven't been in a while, so I don't profess to know how it is now. And I can't remember how their guac is...I do, however, remember the great chips & salsa and the frosty margaritas :)

        20 Replies
        1. re: twentyoystahs

          Aw, twentyoystahs, you don't deserve to get pummeled...you're a reliable 'hound and we all have our guilty pleasures!
          :)
          For instance, given other people's reactions, I know I'm cruising for the proverbial bruising to say I really enjoy La Verdad's thick, hot, cotija-sprinkled chips and chile-less, citrusy guac.

          1. re: tatamagouche

            Aw shucks, thanks.
            I STILL haven't been to La Verdad, and really want to get there. Though I have to say I don't have great expectations for the guac....based on other hounds posts...but..we'll see.

            1. re: twentyoystahs

              Maybe I should just start saying I really like LV's avocado dip...

              1. re: twentyoystahs

                The guac there has a good taste and texture, but as tatmagouche said, it's utterly heat-free.

            2. re: twentyoystahs

              I'm sure that BarmyFotheringayPhipps (who hails from TX/CO/NM originally) will chime in on this thread soon, but I have to add that when he gets the craving for a Tex-Mex combo platter Border Cafe is his local favorite as well. In fact, we have plans for dinner there next week, before seeing Billy Connolly.

              1. re: twentyoystahs

                I've never had a terrible meal at the Border Cafe (and the margaritas are very good), so I'm with you on this--definitely a good place to hang with friends.

                I'd definitely go elsewhere for authentic Mexican, though (Taqueria La Mexicana, El Sarape, Tacos Lupita, etc.).

                1. re: hiddenboston

                  Well, yes, but the question is about *Tex-Mex*, not authentic Mexican. Two distinct things.

                2. re: twentyoystahs

                  Blushing... I'm with twentyoystahs. I also still head to the Border when I have a "Tex Mex" hankering. It's a little greasy for sure - cheap cheese. Chips, salsa, margaritas are all enjoyable though. With the right set of expectations you can still have some fun here. Guac is NOT good there, not super fresh. limey, or lumpy the way I like.

                  1. re: kittychow

                    Border Cafe wouldn't last a minute in Texas -- and the whole faux-Cajun side of the menu should be ignored entirely, if not actively insulted -- but sadly, it's the best of a very bad lot when it comes to Tex-Mex in town. You'll find it deeply disappointing, but it's the best you're gonna manage. Although Finlero is right that if you're in the northern burbs, On the Border will also do in a pinch.

                    I despair of ever finding a New Mexican-style restaurant here at all, even an ersatz one along the lines of Border Cafe.

                    1. re: BarmyFotheringayPhipps

                      Hahaha...I'm afraid that we Texans support a dizzying number of mediocre tex-mex restaurants with bland, greasy food catering entirely to gringo tastes. Not sure why, when there's so much good stuff to be had!

                      Well, maybe it's cause most people are more interested in the patio, the margaritas, and the predictability of not being freaked out by cabeza or something like that on the menu.

                      1. re: BarmyFotheringayPhipps

                        Your romanticised notions of Texans' eating habits are charming, but the fact is there are worse places than the Border in Texas! I know, I've been to a few. And they were not dumps on the verge of closing down--they were very popular places.

                        And, from the "Cajun" side, I believe the French Quarter chicken is good, esp if you remember to squeeze a little lemon on top. It may be pre-fabbed, part-microwaved food engineering, but it works... especially for ~$9!!

                        1. re: Alcachofa

                          What I'm saying is that there are better mediocre Tex-Mex places in (my native state of) Texas than there are in Boston. For example, I'd love someplace like the Casa Ole chain here: that would beat the pants off of Border Cafe.

                          1. re: BarmyFotheringayPhipps

                            I'm so confused BFP -- I always thought you were from NM with all your Albequerque green chile rellenos chatter. You're from TX?

                            And to keep this chow-related, where do you go for the best approximation of Tex Mex around here? I know pickings are slim but I bet you've sussed out the best of the bunch.

                            1. re: yumyum

                              I moved to Boston from Albuquerque after 11 years in New Mexico, but I was born and (mostly) raised in Texas.

                              There really is no acceptable approximation of Tex-Mex that I've seen around here so far. There are plenty of good-to-great Mexican places (believe the hype about Cafe Angela, and I'm very fond of both the Brookline and Waltham outposts of Tacqueria Mexico), but Tex-Mex is a different beast, and I haven't found it here.

                              1. re: BarmyFotheringayPhipps

                                Phew! Thought I'd been hallucinating thinking you a NMexican all this time (you know how you come to "know" certain posters?) So you'd consider yourself Texan and NMexican equally? (If such a distinction exists.)

                                Totally agree about Cafe Angela -- went there again for lunch last week and really enjoyed the fresh and simple guacamole (again) and the chicken in nopales pibil, taken in guilty little bites from my DC's plate. I ordered the tacos arabes and a steak tostada smeared with great refritos just like I grew up on. They were doing great business at lunchtime in a downpour so I have hope they'll do well. I'll certainly do my part to keep them in business.

                                1. re: yumyum

                                  Yes, if the OP is still checking in on this thread, the guacamole, chips and salsas there are all outstanding. It's a straight Mexican place, so they're not gonna get an old-fashioned combo plate there or anything, but it's the best Mexican I have yet had in Boston.

                                  (15 of my 38 years were spent living within 20 miles of the TX/NM line, on one side or the other, so yes, I claim dual citizenship.)

                                  1. re: BarmyFotheringayPhipps

                                    I'm going to just shut up soon but I have to say if you like the old combo plate (ex: two tacos, an enchillada, a relleno with rice and beans), then Taqueria La Mexicana in Union Square will fit the bill. You might have read they are expanding soon ... I'm cautiously optimistic.

                                    Used to be my hands-down favorite for hole-in-the wall Mexican food before I tried Angelas. Now, I'm not so sure ... although I still prefer TlaM's chips, especially when laden with carnitas in their nachos. Plus, it's a 10 minute drive for me whereas Angela's is 20. Hmmmm.....

                                    1. re: yumyum

                                      Okay, I'm checking out Cafe Angela and Taqueria La Mexicana!

                                      1. re: ksf2c

                                        I'm fan of Taqueria la Mexicana too, though have yet to have the nachos with carnitas. One of these days..... And I love Angela's Cafe (though it's Mexican, not Tex-Mex).

                                        Here's the address:

                                        -----
                                        Angela's Cafe
                                        131 Lexington St, Boston, MA 02128

                    2. re: twentyoystahs

                      I'm originally from Texas and can say with some authority that Border Cafe is about as close as you are going to get around here. I personally LIKE Border Cafe because it's exactly what you want in a Tex-Mex place: busy, loud, free chips, very large margaritas, huge portions, cheap, tacky decor. The food quality is not going to impress a recently-transplanted Texan but it's most likely what the OP was looking for.

                      Welcome to Boston, pardner.

                    3. The Border Cafe is ok if you have a particular thing on the menu you like. The fajitas for instance, are probably my favorite thing because they're always brought out hot on a sizzling platter and you can roll your own, avoiding the potential pitfalls of gloppy melted cheese, etc, but I've gotten burned when trying to branch out. The Jim Bowie "filet mignon" I tried there was just chewy and gross. Also, the margaritas can be a little weak sometimes, so I stick to beer. In any case, they do have the warm chips and the food is way better than what you'd get at the Cactus Club.

                      2 Replies
                      1. re: wontonton

                        Since you are all talking about the Border Cafe--has anyone tried the new one in Burlington, on Middlesex Turnpike (formerly the very last Victoria's Station)? There's more parking there than in Harvard Sq.

                        1. re: cgj

                          I've tried it. Not sure it's all that new since it seems like quite a while ago when I went. I'd say it's on par with the Cambridge location. Not outstanding but probably the only thing around there... Although if I were in Burlington I'd probably drive 20 minutes to Nashua and hit up La Caretta.

                      2. Has anyone tried the Edgewater Cafe in Salem, MA?
                        I have not been but was told it had decent sort of Tex-Mex.

                        1 Reply
                        1. re: Infomaniac

                          i used to live in salem and tried edgewater twice. horrible.

                        2. Rudy's in Somerville does it for this former Texan. Tasty margaritas (lots of different kinds of tequilas), good chips, and it's not even a chain. Combo platters in the $8-12 range, and some "American" food as well.

                          Ixtapa (small chain) has good warm chips, but I don't like their entrees as much. For more authentic food, I like Forest Cafe on MassAve in Cambridge.

                          Still, whenever I'm back home, my mantra is "as many Tex-Mex meals as possible."

                          3 Replies
                          1. re: Bluebell

                            You intrigue me with talk of this Rudy's. Tell us more.

                            Plus your screen name has me craving ice cream.

                            1. re: BarmyFotheringayPhipps

                              I used to be a proponent of Rudy's as well. And the only reason I don't consider myself one currently is that I haven't been in about 4 years. Would love to hear how it is these days

                              1. re: icculus

                                I was at Rudy's just on Sunday night, and left happy as usual. Had a Tecate and the veg combo plate, and all was good. No, Boston doesn't have decent Tex-Mex or Mex-Mex on every corner like home, but Rudy's is fine. They also have fish tacos w/ fried fish inside. Not quite as great as El Pelon, but tasty.

                                BFP--my trips home always include a dish of Bluebell Homemade Vanilla!

                          2. I moved away from the Boston area years ago, but while I lived in Somerville we used to go to a place right in Union Square...can't remember the name. Is it still there? My DH, who is Texan, said it was the closest thing to home.

                            8 Replies
                            1. re: Budino

                              Edgewater in Salem is no better than what you can make at home (or worse) in a microwave or deep fryer. The food is mediocre at best. Unfortunately, Mexican is not Boston's strong suit. Have enjoyed Forest Cafe in Cambridge but its been a long time gone since I have been there. Sol Azteca has its moments of authenticity. Someday someone open a real mexican place and will make a mint. Until then I make my own.

                              1. re: ipsofatso

                                Although again, we're specifically talking about Tex-Mex, not Mexican: they are not the same thing, and neither Forest Cafe nor Sol Azteca are shooting for Tex-Mex.

                                1. re: BarmyFotheringayPhipps

                                  I tend to think of Tex-Mex has just mexican, but everything is covered in gobs of melted cheese and sour cream.

                                  1. re: tamerlanenj

                                    No, not quite. For one thing, that assumes that there's just one "Mexican food," which couldn't be further from the truth. Tex-Mex is far more beef-based than most styles of Mexican cooking -- even chicken is a relatively recent addition to Tex-Mex fare -- and the heavy use of flour tortillas as well as (even sometimes in place of) corn tortillas is more Tex-Mex, as are the uses of cheddar, colby or jack in place of the crumbly white fresh cheeses of Mexico and sour cream instead of the more creme fraiche-like crema. Also, the flavor palate is considerably simplified: you're not going to get mole in a proper Tex-Mex spot. Red sauce, tomato-based chunky salsas, chili con carne (which is almost entirely a Texas invention, likely from the border towns) and chile con queso (ditto) prevail. And if you get a taco, it's gonna be in a crispy fried shell. Also, fajitas are pretty much entirely Tex-Mex, and recent enough an invention that I recall when they first started hitting restaurants about 20-25 years ago.

                                    It's just as the name suggests: Tex-Mex is basically the food of northern Mexico adapted to Texas ingredients and tastes.

                              2. re: Budino

                                That's Rudy's. And yes, it is good, though I completely forgot about it when thinking abt Tex-Mex spots. I still say Border Cafe is the best of the lot. And I agree with wontonton, when I go there (which is rarely) I ALWAYS get the chicken fajita. I love that I can roll it myself, though I wish their fajitas came with peppers too --it's just grilled onions and strips of chicken on a sizzling cast iron platter. Still, it's good. And now I find myself totally craving one of those fajitas!

                                1. re: twentyoystahs

                                  I thought Rudy's was in Teele Square, not Union.

                                  1. re: Allstonian

                                    It wasn't called Rudy's. Something like "Tacqueria La Mexicana" or something similar. Again, it's been a very long time, so perhaps it's gone. It was towards the end of the "strip" that was in Union Square.

                                    1. re: Budino

                                      It isn't gone, and it is still really good. But it isn't tex-mex. I did three years in Dallas, so I am not an expert, but at least I am familiar with the home grown variety.

                              3. Sol Azteca on the Brookline/Boston border near St. Mary's is mexican, not Tex-Mex per se, but they have REALLY REALLY good chips, salsa, and guacamole, and their enchiladas mole poblano are terrific, and they have this nuclear orange habanero sauce.

                                Honestly, I'm not EXACTLY sure what separates Mexican from Tex-Mex, but I'd imagine the enchiladas mole poblano, rice, beans, habanero sauce, and chips, salsa and guacamole from Sol Azteca would fit you about right.

                                12 Replies
                                1. re: tamerlanenj

                                  I really like Sol Azteca's mole, too. And their chicken livers. And you're right about that habenero salsa.

                                  BTW, if you make a point of ordering it (because they don't automatically serve it with the food), you can get incendiary salsa at El Pelon, too. Don't know what they call it; I always just ask them for an order of "the crazy-nasty-hot salsa."

                                  1. re: Bostonbob3

                                    "Although again, we're specifically talking about Tex-Mex, not Mexican: they are not the same thing, and neither Forest Cafe nor Sol Azteca are shooting for Tex-Mex."

                                    Oh Puleeze! Mexican vs. Tex Mex is a distinction without a difference. Tex Mex is simply Americanized or Texas-fied versions of Mexican food. You find many similarities in comparing the menus of i.e, Border Cafe vs. Forest Cafe. Exactly what would specifically "disqualify" Sol Azteca or Forest Cafe? Seems like everyone serves red & green salsas, chips, burritos, enchiladas, etc. and some go high-end with "cuisine" but it often looks JUST LIKE the "Tex Mex" food I eat in Texas or Cali. Forest Cafe and Sol Azteca certainly belong in this conversation based in what the thread starter asked for - good chips, guacamole, spicy fresh salsa. The fact that the rest of their menus are not the same pap everyone else slings out makes them much more interesting. Everyone who likes Tex Mex or Mexican WHATEVER should try these joints at least once!

                                    1. re: ipsofatso

                                      Ipso, this is one time when I'm simply gonna have to play the "It's a Texan thing, you wouldn't understand" card. Speaking as a Texan, my reading of the OP's post is that they're looking for a specific type of comfort food from home. I'm in no way denigrating either Sol Azteca or Forest Cafe, simply stating that if I'm correct in assuming what the OP is yearning for, both places are going to be close but no cigar. This is not to say that Tex-Mex is in any way "better" than the food in proper Mexican-style restaurants, simply that it's different enough that Sol Azteca and Forest Cafe aren't quite the same thing.

                                      Think of it this way: If I had my mouth set for Vietnamese food, I'd be bummed if I could only find Cambodian restaurants.

                                      1. re: BarmyFotheringayPhipps

                                        Fajitas and Ritas does a good job with Fajitas and is extremely economical.

                                        1. re: phatchris

                                          I'll give you the economical, but you will leave smelling like the fryolator was under your table.

                                          Sorry, I am really not a fan of fajita's and rita's. If it wasn't so conveniently located next to the Loew's I would never have to go there!

                                        2. re: BarmyFotheringayPhipps

                                          I'll go ya halfway; I was born I Dallas so I got cred too. St Paul's Hospital. The FC and SA have good chips, guac and salsa, pretty close to "home" style.

                                          from wiki:

                                          "Tex-Mex" first entered the language as a nickname for the Texas-Mexican Railway, which was chartered in 1875. [1]

                                          In the train schedules published in newspapers of the 1800s, the names of railroads were abbreviated. The Missouri Pacific was called the Mo. Pac., and the Texas-Mexican was abbreviated Tex. Mex. In the 1920s, the hyphenated form was used in American newspapers in reference to the railroad and to describe people of Mexican descent who were born in Texas.[4]

                                          In the mission era, Spanish and Mexican Indian foods were combined in Texas as in other parts of Northern Frontier of New Spain. [2]

                                          This cuisine that would come to be called Tex-Mex actually originated with the Texans of Hispanic descent or Tejanos as a hybrid of Spanish and Mexican Indian foods when Texas was part of New Spain and later Mexico.

                                          From the South Texas region between San Antonio to Brownsville, this cuisine has had little variation and from earliest times has always been influenced by the cooking in the neighboring northern states of Mexico. The ranching culture of South Texas and Northern Mexico straddles both sides of the border. A taste for cabrito (kid goat), barbacoa (barbecued cow heads), carne seca (dried beef), and other products of cattle culture are common on both sides of the Rio Grande. In the twentieth century, Tex-Mex took on such Americanized elements as yellow cheese as goods from the United States became cheap and readily available.

                                          Diana Kennedy, an influential food authority, first delineated the differences between Mexican cuisine and Americanized Mexican food in her 1972 book The Cuisines of Mexico. The first use in print of "Tex-Mex" in reference to food occurred in the Mexico City News in 1973.

                                          Award-winning Texas food writer Robb Walsh updated Kennedy and put her comments regarding Tex-Mex cooking into historical and sociopolitical perspective in The Tex-Mex Cookbook: A History in Recipes and Photos (New York: Broadway Books, 2004).

                                          The ingredients used are common in Mexican cuisine, although ingredients unknown in Mexico are often added. Tex-Mex cuisine is characterized by its heavy use of meat (particularly beef), beans, and spices in addition to Mexican-style tortillas (maize or flour), fried or baked (most traditional Mexican cuisine is not so heavily starch-based as Tex-Mex). Texas-style chili con carne, crispy chalupas, chili con queso, chili gravy, and fajitas are all Tex-Mex inventions.[citation needed] Serving tortilla chips and a hot sauce or salsa as an appetizer is also an original Tex-Mex combination.[citation needed] Moreover, Tex-Mex has imported flavors from other spicy cuisines, such as the use of cumin (common in Indian food), but used in only a few authentic Mexican recipes.

                                          1. re: ipsofatso

                                            If it makes you feel better, we have this debate on the Texas boards, too. I'm currently an Austin-based chowhound and a native Texan who lived for 10+ years in the Boston area (and absolutely hated the Border Cafe, but enjoyed the taquería in Somerville’s Union Square, which I believe was fairly new at that time).

                                            I agree with the definition of Tex-Mex as northern Mexican food that's been "adapted to Texas ingredients and tastes," but whose tastes? Whose comfort food? Or, more specifically, which Texans?

                                            Tejanos (or Texans of Mexican ancestry) are Texans, too, and they don't necessarily want chile con carne or chile con queso on everything they eat. However, they eat a lot of beef dishes (carne guisada, brisket tacos, beef-cheek barbacoa, beef picadillo) and mesquite-grilled items (tacos al carbon, fajitas, cabrito). They use Monterrey jack or cheddar cheese on their chalupas, and sour cream on their enchiladas verdes. While their comfort food may not be what some people think of as “Tex-Mex,” that doesn’t make it “Mexican.” After all, it’s also northern-Mexican food that has been adapted to Texan tastes and ingredients. It’s just that the Texans in question are Tejanos.

                                            When this question comes up on my local boards, I usually ask what kinds of dishes the OP is looking for, since Tex-Mex means different things to different people. There’s even more than one style of Tex-Mex: West-Texas style, San-Antonio style, South-Texas style. Some people might add a cheese-and-chile-covered style. What I seek out personally is San-Antonio-Tejano-style Tex-Mex. To my mind, the place in Somerville is South-Texas-Tejano-style Tex-Mex. In fact, I thought the guy who ran it was from Eagle Pass or Brownsville (Texas).

                                            I hope you don’t mind another perspective on this always interesting issue.

                                            Best,
                                            MPH

                                            1. re: MPH

                                              Great post MPH, and thanks for weighing in here -- the "who is a Texan?" perspective is always useful to be reminded of. The Taquieria in Union Square is my favorite Mexican by mexicans, and I haven't eaten at Rudy's since I graduated from Tufts. I think like so many things, you crave the food you grew up on. In Salt Lake City there was great Mexican food -- think smothered chile verde burritos with runny refried beans. Lots of migrant workers in Idaho meant lots of Mexican food there too. But I'm sure it's not like what other people grew up on, and it's a far cry from the food I've eaten in Mexico which is various in its own right.

                                              To keep this local chow oriented ... who's seen beef-cheek barbacoa around here? I think the Waltham place does it?

                                              1. re: yumyum

                                                The place on Willow has beef cheek tacos, etc.

                                                1. re: Aromatherapy

                                                  Can you remind me what the name of the place on Willow is? I'm confused and peckish.

                                                  1. re: yumyum

                                                    That's Taqueria El Amigo - they call it cabeza. Taqueria Mexico off Main St. in Waltham calls it barbacoa - I don't know if there's a difference in their two preparations, or for that matter if they represent two distinct dishes in Mexican cooking, or just different names for the same thing.

                                      2. re: Bostonbob3

                                        Ditto the Sol Azteca's carnitas.

                                    2. If you can do take out there is a place that sells spicy yummy salsa, guacamole and chips (plus tamales, burritos, etc) on Cambridge street near Mass. General Hospital in Boston. Called Mexican Villa Cafe or something like that- it is in a gas station across from Finagle a Bagel.

                                      5 Replies
                                      1. re: emilief

                                        I've heard about this place. Do you get a discount with a full tank?

                                        1. re: wontonton

                                          Well, you'll definitely get gas. :))

                                          Just kidding. I actually really like this place, and get take-out there at least once a week. Actually has some of the best mole around. And the woman who runs it is the absolute best.

                                          BTW, the chips and salsa are top notch, and the tacos are pretty damn good, too.

                                        2. re: emilief

                                          Thanks everyone, I'll be sure to visit all of these places soon and see how they satisfy my hankering for Tex-Mex.

                                          I've tried Tacos el Charro in JP and was disappointed. I had higher hopes for Jose's near Porter Square, and again, not quite what what I wanted.

                                          1. re: ksf2c

                                            Ummm Anna's Taqueria? Coolidge Corner and Porter Square are my two favorite locations. Davis and MIT just don't cut it...

                                            I always grab the superb beer burrito for 4.20 and a side of guac

                                            1. re: alex4412

                                              I wouldn't call Anna's Tex-Mex, which is that the OP was seeking. And Anna's chips and salsa are weak.

                                        3. Maybe the OP would like Jose's Mexican on Sherman St.in Cambridge. http://www.josesmex.com/joseswebpages...
                                          Their chips, salsa (you can request the heat level) and guacamole are right up there. I love their margaritas; they've got a good selection.
                                          As for their other food, I couldn't compare to Borders (haven't been in many years.) or El Pelon (never been) but I do like it as much as El Serape (better selection perhaps). Also Jose's has a great Tres Leches cake and parking.
                                          Sorry ks, just saw that you did try it.

                                          1. Salsa's in Southie isn't horrible. But La Paloma in Quincy is. Horrible that is. Steer clear.

                                            1. I grew up in Dallas, and Tex-Mex was definitely an inextricable part of my food life. As many above have noted, the Border Cafe is the closest thing Boston has to the taste and atmosphere of the kind of Tex-Mex place you'd routinely go past two others (i.e., you'd expend slightly more than the minimum amount of effort, but not by much) to eat at in Dallas. It's not sophisticated, but stick to the same stuff you'd order in Texas and you'll be totally fine.

                                              I'd guess our "Mexican" eating, when I was growing up, was about 48% Tex-Mex and 48% more family-ish Mexican-Mexican restaurants with somewhat more authentic fare: less cheddar, no fajitas, fewer college kids apostrophizing " 'ritas". The closest I've come to that experience here, lately, was Ixtapa, in Lexington right off Route 2. Only went once, so I can't give a detailed report, but I'm looking forward to going again.

                                              And just for calibration, I also like Tu y Yo, Tacos Lupita, Taqueria La Mexicana, Villa Mexico, Los Paisanos and Boca Grande. Not so fond of Forest Cafe, Rudy's, Anna's or El Pelon. Want to try El Triunfo next...

                                              1. Acapulcos in Sudbury and other locations. Hands down the best Tex Mex in this area.

                                                3 Replies
                                                1. re: PAUL

                                                  I've eaten at their Newton location and thought it was awful. Hands down.

                                                  1. re: Blumie

                                                    Me too. Co-workers and I would eat there every now and then and I found it very weak. They offered no variety of meats aside from the usual ground beef and chicken plus they seemed to think more cheese = more authentic.

                                                  2. re: PAUL

                                                    Best in Sudbury:

                                                    -----
                                                    Sierra's
                                                    470 North Rd, Sudbury, MA 01776