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Mexican restaurant I can take in-laws in Philly?

Hi there,

I've been to a lot of the taquerias, as well as more upscale places like Lolita, Tequilas, and Xochitl. I'm looking for recommendations for other Mexican places that I can take my in-laws to next weekend (not Taqueria style please). Requirements are that it's not too noisy and that there are good vegetarian options available (that's why Lolita is out this time. They weren't huge fans of Tequila's either). Any great recs? Thanks in advance!

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    1. re: Bigley9

      I really like Distrito's food, but given that we're going on a Saturday night, i wonder if it'll be too loud?

      1. re: Lotus7

        Distrito is lively and bustling, but we found that, in spite of this, it was quite easy to hear ourselves at the table. We were there on a Friday night, which should be similar to Saturday.

        I haven't been in a while, and haven't heard anything, but we enjoyed Las Bugambilias--good food, pleasant atmosphere.

        I'm surprised that you omitted Lolita on vegetarian grounds, since I think of it as the most veg-friendly of all the Mexican restaurants. They will substitute for meat in almost every dish.

        1. re: Hungryin theBurbs

          I second this, actually- Lolita's quite vegetarian friendly, although you do have to like cheese. Quite a bit. But I could have eaten three or four of the grilled portabello caps....mmm. It is really loud though, especially as the night goes on.

    2. I haven't been yet, but I've heard good things about Paxia. I ate there when it was Molcajete Mixto, and the room wasn't too noisy.

      3 Replies
      1. re: lawgirl3278

        Las Cazuelas, on Girard Avenue, near Northern Liberties. Has a real neighborhood feel to it. http://www.lascazuelas.net/Index.html The web site has a menu. Mariachis on Friday & Saturday night. My daughter's Mexican father-in-law loved it.

        1. re: PattiCakes

          I second Las Cazuelas! It is small and cozy inside, and they offer several vegetarian options for dinner.

      2. Las Bugambilias has some good vegetarian options. There's a place on Washington Ave that is good also. Plaza Garibaldi is pretty decent also. I haven't been to Pura Vida in awhile, but last time I was there it was good.

        4 Replies
        1. re: jl0328

          thanks everyone for the suggestions. i wish lolita had more veggie entrees, but they don't. i've been a dozen times and they only offer the enchiladas either with tofu or mushroom. i personally enjoy their non-veggie entrees but will have to go some place else w/ the in-laws. thanks again for the recs

          1. re: Lotus7

            From their website, there are four entree items that can be substituted with tofu, not just the enchiladas.

            1. re: invinotheresverde

              that's interesting because everytime i've gone there w/ my vegetarian mom or friends, they always tell me that only the enchiladas can be prepared vegetarian. perhaps they have changed that policy. thanks for the update.

              1. re: Lotus7

                Might be a newer change.

                I was there a couple months back, with my also-vegetarian husband and we both had different entrees. We absolutely loved our meals!

                If you go, I hope it's delightful.

        2. There is also Zocalo in West Philly, that I believe has a new chef. Thank you.

          1 Reply
          1. re: Bride of the Juggler

            Plaza Girabaldi on Washington ave has a nice big menu, I think a fair amount of veg. Not really pretty but consistantly good food. Taquitos de Puebla has a vegetarian section only on their english menu, the spanish one omits it. The flor de calabaza (fried zucchini flower) is fantastic.
            I thought distrito was insanely overrated. But the corn ice cream was great.

          2. I have been going to Pura Vida in Northern Liberties. The food is great and they have a good selection of vegetarian options.

            1. I'll probably get panned for this, but .. we really enjoy the food at El Vez. It's a Steven Starr place, but despite that I don't find the prices to be offensive at all. What I do find offensive is if you go on a very busy weekend, People "known" to the somewhat immature staff seem to get seated much quicker than the rest. So.. if you can take them on a week night, the place will rock. Make sure that you get the handmade Guacamole, it's really good. We have enjoyed many different things from the menu and not one dud so far! Also.. the Wife loves the fruity drinks!

              1 Reply
              1. re: RichieT

                I would never pan you for going to a place that you like. Do I think that El Vez has good Mexican food, no, but they do have good food. And it's a lot of fun. I'd go back, particularly if someone were paying for it. Sitting in one of those cushy banquettes, slurping up some drinks & watching them make guacolmole -- fun! Please don't ever get to the point where you are afraid to post something because someone might diss you for it -- your opinion is a valid as anyone else's. If they don't like it, guac on them!

              2. and don't forget, there's a "chilis" somewhere near the convention center!