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Mexican for a 50th

hungry100 May 3, 2010 07:14 AM

Looking for a fun Mexican restaurant for a 50th birthday. The group of 10 will include two children. Looking for someplace we haven't been, a tequila menu would be great. Been to El Vez, no tequila at Lolita, Disitrio sounds too precious. Wondering about El Ray, Dos Sequendos, Taco Riendo. Couldn't get a reservation at Xochitil. Tequilas may be too tame. Looking for fun/funky at the end of May. Ideas? Thanks

  1. b
    Buckethead May 3, 2010 07:55 AM

    My pick would be Distrito but if it's too expensive for this occasion, El Rey would be nice. It's a lot like Distrito, actually. Not quite as good, in my opinion, but pretty good, and also not as pricey. The only problem is that they don't take reservations. Maybe they do for large parties, though? It's worth calling them. The chef used to run the kitchen at Xochitl, he just left in February.

    I wouldn't recommend Cantina Dos Segundos.

    1. w
      Whinerdiner May 3, 2010 08:02 AM

      Well, it's definitely fun with strolling Mariachi. Their food runners come to the table with shoulder length asbestos mitts carrying ten dishes at at a time. The best Mexican this side of Mexico is La Tolteca on Route 202 in the Fairfax Shopping Center in Delaware. It's a bit of a drive but worth every minute. They have a full tequila menu and the prices for dinner are great! Try the shrimp nachos. They make something so basic so delicious. Yes, it's in a strip mall, but wow.

      1 Reply
      1. re: Whinerdiner
        hungry100 May 3, 2010 08:55 AM

        I'll definitely look into La Tolteca. Which restaurant has the Mariachi -- that would be fun for the kids.

        La Tolteca
        306 Fox Hunt Dr, Bear, DE 19701

      2. h
        Hungryin theBurbs May 3, 2010 09:01 AM

        Not quite sure what you mean by "too precious," because I don't think of Distrito that way at all. It would be my pick--it's a great atmosphere for a group, with lots of visual interest for the kids. I've had several group meals there and everyone has had a great time and loved the food.

        6 Replies
        1. re: Hungryin theBurbs
          hungry100 May 3, 2010 09:27 AM

          Ok, Disitrio is back in the mix.

          1. re: Hungryin theBurbs
            hungry100 May 3, 2010 09:49 AM

            I've read mixed reviews of Distrito ... kinda pricey for little bites of food? It does look like fun, though

            1. re: hungry100
              Hungryin theBurbs May 3, 2010 10:18 AM

              I guess it depends on your expectations. If you are expecting a typical U.S.-style Mexican restaurant, then it may come across as pricey for small bites. If you see it as a nice occasion place, with beautifully crafted delicious Mexican flavors, then I think it is quite reasonable. I was there last a couple weeks ago, and our group ordered the chef's tasting because it was too confusing to order individual dishes for a large group. We got the $35 per person version. It was a ton of food, with several dishes in each "course." Each individual dish is a relatively small amount of food, but it adds up to plenty. The salads, guacamole, nachos and tacos were all fantastic. The main entree was a grilled fish, which was also very good, though I was getting full by then. Dessert is fantastic. Drinks obviously drive the price up (I usually stick to one margarita), but, at least to me, it's a great special occasion place.

              1. re: hungry100
                Buckethead May 3, 2010 10:26 AM

                If that's what's stopping you from going to Distrito, then you should go to Distrito. I didn't have any problems with the portion size for the price and the quality of the dishes.

                1. re: Buckethead
                  hungry100 May 3, 2010 10:52 AM

                  I like the idea of the tasting menu. $35 per person is quite reasonable. Thanks for the push.

                  1. re: hungry100
                    AgentRed May 3, 2010 11:15 AM

                    Yea Distrito can rack up (don't go there if your friends are on the swim team) but the $35 per person option is great. As long as you're not a picky eater it's a lot of high quality food at a reasonable price.

                    And in terms of drinks Distrito has a large tequila selection with seven or eight tequila tasting flights (many of which are $16 for three nice sipping tequilas).

            2. w
              Whinerdiner May 4, 2010 07:48 AM

              You know, you could try La Tolteca for lunch this weekend and see if it works for you. There is a great dog park with a lake and horseback riding nearby called Carousel Park. We used to throw the kid, the dog, and plenty of towels, in the car (dogs are allowed to swim in the lake) and head out on Sunday afternoons. A quick lunch at Tolteca on the way home was always a treat.

              La Tolteca
              245 S Dupont Hwy, Dover, DE 19901

              5 Replies
              1. re: Whinerdiner
                bonappetite May 5, 2010 04:06 PM

                Distrito tasting menu, hands down.

                1. re: bonappetite
                  bluehensfan May 5, 2010 06:07 PM

                  I'd pass on La Tolteca. The last time I went it was only slightly better than eating at a Don Pablos.

                  1. re: bluehensfan
                    Whinerdiner May 6, 2010 06:00 AM

                    Wow. I guess I'll be going back this weekend to see what happened. Are we talking about the same one? There are a few. This one is in the Fairfax Shopping Center in Delaware. We have been to some of the others, like the one in West Chester, and they're not as good.

                    1. re: Whinerdiner
                      RC51Mike May 6, 2010 07:14 AM

                      I've eaten at the Fairfax Tolteca dozens upon dozens of times, because it's within walking distance. It really is just Americanized Mexican and not in the same league as the many higher end and more authentic places. It's ok for what it is but not worth driving to IMO.

                      1. re: RC51Mike
                        Whinerdiner May 6, 2010 10:30 AM

                        You're right, it's not high end, but I thought it fit the bill for a fun, kid friendly place that wasn't "too precious".

                        We just got back from Cozumel, and the best dish we had during our entire vacation was pork tacos from a street vendor washed down with ice cold local beer. Good Mexican doesn't have to be high end. Anyway, good luck with the search!

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