Memphis & Nashville Authentic Mexican?
Boston Hound and native Nashvillian here, living far from home but I visit Nashville and Memphis for business and family. Sometimes I get a jones for really good and authentic Mexican fare, not easy to find amongst the Tex-Mex joints but fun when I do (like Tu y Yo at Powderhouse Square in Somerville, check it out if you come up to Beantown). Is there anything similar in Nashville or Memphis? Please, no Tex-Mex or tacquerias...a sit-down place with varied or regional (i.e. Oaxaca, Yucutan) Mexican food is what I'm looking for.
There has to be something good around the Nolensville Rd area, the new barrio of Nashville. What about around there, and where would I go in Memphis (where I will be in a week)? Thanks in advance!
The best in Memphis is not a sit down place. It is called Los Tortugas Deli Mexicana, and it is on Germantown Rd. just north of Wolf River Blvd. You order at the counter, but the food is fantastic, though a little expensive. The owner shops for everything at the market that morning. If you want a sit down place, go to La Guadalapana (or something like that) on Summer. It's where the Mexicans eat.
I am not sure if Memphis has what you are looking for or not.
As Tennreb mentioned, Deli Mexicana is one of the best in town, but it claims to be a Mexico City-style taqueria and sandwich shop. The other Mexican places in town that seem to be more "authentic" include Taqueria La Guadalupana, La Espiga, and El Palmar, all on Summer Avenue (Espiga and Palmar are both at Summer and Graham). There are a number of other taquerias on Jackson Avenue. However, all of these are more "home style" places - great, cheap, fresh food, but I don't believe that you are going to find a lot of Oaxacan cuisine in Memphis. There are not a lot of places that serve moles, etc. I love Deli Mexicana, Guadalupana, and Espiga, though.
La Hacienda on Nolensville Rd is Nashville's most reliable authentically Mexican place, but there are others. Las Chivas, about a mile further out Nolensville, has been good in the past, though I haven't eaten there in about 5 years. Las Americas, way further out Nolensville, offered pupusas and a few other Salvadoran/Nicaraguan delicacies and was really good the last time I ate there (Winter of '04).
I ate at a place on Charlotte near K&S World Market whose name escapes me. Some dishes were really really authentically regional and Mayan, some even frighteningly so. The quality was uneven, as everyone notes. I ordered a stewed pork in a cornmeal-thickened green sauce and it was perfectly awful -- the server told me I should have ordered the red sauce. But other items we had were wonderful.
In Memphis you might try La Playita Mexicana. It's a sit down place unlike the tacquerias/counter places mentioned already (which are also very good). The menu does have a wide array of Tex Mex standards - they do want to stay in business - but there are also a lot of seafood specialties. The garlic stuffed whole red snapper is AMAZING (though quite garishly presented). It's right off I-40 at the Sycamore View exit, on Macon Road. Should be easy to map.