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Best Mexican in Tallahassee

pillars_of_color Jun 7, 2007 11:59 AM

I have to put my vote in for La Hacienda II on Bannerman Road on the far northeast side of town (directly south of Killearn Lakes). I grew up in the midwest, lived in the west for 10 years, and travel frequently to Texas/California. I have to say that this restaurant comes the closest to the food I have enjoyed in restaurants in those areas over the years.

If you go, though, don't order the standards (burrito? yawn.). Try their chile rellenos with shrimp, and maybe a side order of taqueria style tacos carne asada (grilled steak) or tacos carnita (slow-cooked pork). They will also serve you tacos de lingua (tacos with beef tongue) if you ask, for those of you who are daring. Their outdoor deck is also the greatest in the summer time.

They are pricier than the others in town, but to me they are the most authentic.

What are your thoughts?

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    crewsweeper RE: pillars_of_color Jun 8, 2007 11:46 AM

    That's my neck of the woods, pillars. Love the expanded deck. But not too thrilled about the new "scenery". Try their antojitos, sort of a tapas sampler of several dishes.

    We frequent San Miguel on Monroe and find it consistently good. They have a carne asada dish that's almost like a machaca. Strolling mariachis or buskers who can play Vincente Fernandez or norteno tunes if asked. My wife knows the owners. Nice family. Very friendly. Wish they'd bring in more of their own family cooking to the restaurant, but they say it would sell to most of their customers. Usually try to avoid the other places around town. But Los Amigos is close to work and we sometimes amble over for lunch. Much better than Molinas.

    1 Reply
    1. re: crewsweeper
      steakman55 RE: crewsweeper Jun 8, 2007 01:32 PM

      pillars and crewsweeper, we are trying to put together a Tallahassee chowhounds dinner...please contact me at steakman55@earthlink.net
      if inerested

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      masala maci RE: pillars_of_color Jun 9, 2007 12:44 PM

      I concur that La Hacienda is probably the best Mexican food and the meat and tortillas taste pretty fresh as compared to other places where all the food is overcheesed and processed, but I prefer the salsa verde, location, and service of San Miguel.

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        gypsy75 RE: pillars_of_color Jun 11, 2007 12:04 PM

        I've been wanting to try La Hacienda, but it's so out of the way for us. We usually stick to La Fiesta, which is consistently tasty if not exceptional.

        1. carinole RE: pillars_of_color Jun 14, 2007 07:42 AM

          El Chico has closed!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Maybe something good will go in there. I never understood how so many mexican restaurants can be on the same road.

          1 Reply
          1. re: carinole
            andrem RE: carinole Jun 16, 2007 09:49 AM

            La Fiesta is outstanding!! I probably eat there weekly for the best salsa in town. I cannot seem to order anything but the Mole Cheese Enchilladas. They are supposed to be chicken but they make them without the chicken and extra cheese for me. My wife on the other hand, cannot order anything but the Verde Cheese Enchilladas. Both are outstanding. I used to always get the Vegetable Quesidillas which are wonderful too. What a great place.

          2. m
            mjolene RE: pillars_of_color Jun 17, 2007 06:26 PM

            My choice would be either San Miguel or La Fiesta. They are both basically the same restaurant, it really depends on what part of town I am in or want to go to. Service is not so great at either place, but for the price I'm not going to complain too much. I think I prefer the cheese dip at San Miguel just because it usually comes to the table hotter than at La Fiesta.

            3 Replies
            1. re: mjolene
              mizrachi RE: mjolene Jun 18, 2007 07:04 AM

              Went to La Hacienda II last night. The food was the best Mexican I've had in this town.

              1. re: mizrachi
                pillars_of_color RE: mizrachi Jun 19, 2007 12:43 PM

                Speaking of west coast Mexican, tried the fish tacos at Moe's today. Don't laugh. They were surprisingly good, white (grilled) fish with (optional) corn tortillas, topped with a spicy slaw, pico de gallo, etc. I added their (good) green tomatilla salsa. It wasn't San Diego, but it wasn't half bad to soothe my craving.

                1. re: pillars_of_color
                  benedpo RE: pillars_of_color Jun 19, 2007 12:55 PM

                  Welcome to Moe's!! Always great and affordable. My friends and I love Old Mexico on the Parkway, and we're pretty picky.

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              EddieSpagetti RE: pillars_of_color Jul 25, 2007 06:53 AM

              I would suggest Morellia's in Village Square. The food is outstanding and the staff is great. Its also a good place to take your family.

              2 Replies
              1. re: EddieSpagetti
                mountdorahound RE: EddieSpagetti Jul 25, 2007 07:34 AM

                I have also heard good things about the place in monticello. Does anyone know the name?

                1. re: mountdorahound
                  crewsweeper RE: mountdorahound Jul 25, 2007 10:35 AM

                  Yellow pages say "Rio Grande" on Cherry Street.

                  Having never been to Monticello, I wouldn't know how the food rates. I do rate Morella's average, typical tex-mex, nothing outstanding. Tamales can be a little dry. No atomosphere. Los Andes down the road on Cap Circle NE is better than Morella's. but I wouldn't rate it near the best. La Hacienda II and San Miguel are right up there of the one's I've tried.

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                andrem RE: pillars_of_color Jul 26, 2007 06:16 PM

                The place in Monticello is ok, not bad but not as good as La Fiesta! We also like San Miguel. This past Sunday we had a fairly good meal at El Jalisco on North Monroe. I am a Dos Equis drinker and you can get a big pitcher of Dos Equis for a good price at El Jalisco. The only other place in town who has the big Dos Equis drafts is Old Mexico-it's ok food but the service always seems to be horrible.

                1 Reply
                1. re: andrem
                  crewsweeper RE: andrem Jul 27, 2007 12:15 PM


                  If you mean La Fiesta in Daytona Beach...I'm with you. We can argue about the beer another in another forum.

                2. d
                  deepcee RE: pillars_of_color Aug 12, 2007 09:37 PM

                  Wow, looks like I'm in the majority here, not used to that! :-) I also favor La Hacienda and San Miguel (don't make it to San Miguel as much as I'd like) with La Fiesta coming in a close third. Never heard of Los Andes before, maybe you mean Los Amigo's? Not my favorite, the salsa works but two out of three meals I've had there have been dissappointing otherwise. Again, just my 2p.

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                    andrem RE: pillars_of_color Aug 14, 2007 05:59 PM

                    deepcee, I have to agree with you on Los Amigos. I've given them three chances and have been very disapointed two times and not all that thrilled this past time. I had another great meal at La Fiesta today though. I hear that El Jalisco will be moving into the old Southern Fixins/Capri next to the La Quinta on the parkway.

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: andrem
                      carinole RE: andrem Aug 15, 2007 11:24 AM

                      A second El Jalisco or are the moving the one that they already have in town.

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                      andrem RE: pillars_of_color Aug 15, 2007 03:47 PM

                      This will be in addition to the store on North Monroe. There are a lot of Mexican restaurants in this town. I was suprised to hear of them putting this one in-especially so close to La Fiesta and Old Mexico.

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