Mexican in Palm Beach County
I am going to break off the SoFla best mexican thread and create this for PB county. This list is not in any particular order and are my most recent visits.
1) Zapata - this is a nice clean place on US-1 just below 6th. The menu has lots of items and even mexican subs (tortas). The lunch and the dinner menus are very reasonably priced. The lady who runs it (possibly the owner) is very nice and helpful. Tortillas are made in house along with everything else. Don't fear going here as she speaks English well and will accomodate you.
Horchata (rice and cinnamon) was really good and you should order one of their flavored aguas. Forget the sodas unless it is a jarritos. Salsa wasn't much to speak of but just ok. I ordered a taco pastor, a pork tamale, a verde chicken enchilada, and beans & rice. Pastor was good but I like mine better actually. I really haven't found a great taco pastor and that includes tacos al carbon and dona raquel.
The chicken verde enchilada was really good and the verde tomatillo sauce was just a bit too sour for my taste. The pork tamale was very good and the best I have had here in Fla. Rice and beans are as good as they get and they sprinkle cojita cheese on the beans and enchilada. Next time I will try her mole sauce and maybe a fish taco they just added. Horchata, taco, enchilada, and tamale with rice & beans was around $14.
If you are in the area of Lake Worth, you should drop in and try this place out. Zapata is the real deal!
Zapata Mexican Rotisserie
830 N Dixie Hwy
Lake Worth, FL 33460
2) Montezuma - maybe not as updated inside as Zapata but the food is really good. Again, friendly help who speaks very good english, so don't fear going here. Horchata is good here and the salsa is very good in comparison to Zapata. The menu has lots of items to order and they have some lunch specials. I ordered a taco al pastor and an enchilada plate. The taco al pastor was easily the best I have had in Florida. It comes with onions, cilantro, diced tomatoes, a side of guacamole and a hot green salsa all on the side. The guac will cool you down after you try the fairly hot green salsa.
I asked for a beef, chicken, and cheese enchilada. I also asked if I could have red, mole, and green salsa on these individually and they accommodated that. The chicken/mole was probably one of the best I have had here, the beef/red was cubed beef, and the cheese/green was also very good. This comes with rice and beans and they top it all off with crumble cheese crema fresca (sp?). There was a lot of takeout business while I was there.
Great pastor, great mole, great salsas, and friendly help. As is Zapata, this is the real deal in Mexican food. It's in an older small strip mall on US-1. Very reasonably priced and recommended. Horchata, taco pastor, and tres enchilada plate was $14.20 with tax.
Montezuma Mexican Restaurant
5607 S Dixie Hwy
West Palm Beach, FL 33405
3) Uncle Julios - completely on the other side of the spectrum is Uncle Julios in Mizner Park. Their lunch menu is reasonably priced under $11 and they even make their own tortillas. The roasted tomato salsa was some of the best locally with plenty of cilantro. Fresh chips still warm were brought to the table.
Sonora platter was $10 and consisted of choice of fillings for enchilada, a very large taco, and tamale. Rice and beans came with it. The dinner menu items were around $18 and not as expensive as I anticipated. It's a nice place taking up the entire corner there at Mizner. Friendly professional help too.
449 Plaza Real
Boca Raton, FL 33432
Check out Guacamole in Jupiter on Indiantown Rd. It is a hole in the wall but the food is excellent. There shredded beef taco's are one of the best I ever had. The guacamole is made fresh as our the chips and the place is inexpensive. I have been to the rest mentioned above but in my opinon this place is the best.
I will give it a try next time I am in the area. I have been to Rancho Chico and it is just an average americanized mexican resto and nothing really authentic there.
This place sounds like the real deal though. I see it is a small, 4 table kind of place and they also have al pastor, ceviche, and tortas. All of these plus everything else mentioned is usually a good sign of authentic.
9260 W. Indiantown Road (Sierra Square)
Jupiter, FL 33478
West of I-95
Guacamole's is an authentic mexican taqueria dive. It's small and has maybe 5 small plastic tables and chairs. Tacos are $1.75 and tamales are $1.50 and are the real deal. Al pastor and barbacoa tacos come with onion, cilantro, a wedge of lime, and radishes on the side. The pork tamale was as good as the perfect small tacos it came with. They have two homemade salsas and both are excellent, one green and a smoky red. With a jarritos, my bill was under $7.
The menu is pretty basic but they do have specials on the wall and even have tortas. They do have ceviche in the case along with take home tamales you can reheat. Add to that chorizo, cheesecake, and flan.
This place is where the latinos go and that is the first sign that they serve the real deal. I will be back.
I will add Tacos al Carbon in West Palm Beach for some really authentic tacos and other street food. Order at the takeout window and eat on the picnic tables or eat inside. This place does a great amount of business and is open very late or maybe even 24/7. I haven't been in in over a year though.
Tacos al Carbon
4420 Lake Worth Rd
Lake Worth, FL 33461
Or if you are near the south endof the county, I highly recommend Casa Maya. See my review here: http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/571613
301 S.E. 15th Terrace
Deerfield Beach, FL 33441
(954) 570 - 6101
I loved Uncle Julios salsa and they have a rita mix that has little or no sugar in it that I adore! I enjoyed the food (ceviche and a shrimp dish I think I had) as well, but it can be pricey, but that's Mizner Park for you.
I enjoyed Senor Burrito on 20th & Federal in Boca. To be fair I was only there twice, and the only thing I've had there are the fish tacos, which I Ioved. The salsa and guacamole were pretty good too.
Las Fajitas on Dixie, north of 20th Street in Boca is their sister restaurant. We had margaritas there and they were awesome. I also had the spinach and cheese enchiladas and they were great.
The menus for both are similar, if not the same. It's somewhat standard american mexican, but a cut above. Not a Dona Raquel though.
menu url: http://www.lasfajitas.com/menu.php
In Boynton I've been to Casa Linda 3 times on Congress, just south of Gateway. Really enjoyed the steak fajitas, steak quesadilla, and steak tacos. Salsa and guacamole are good too. The jalapeno poppers were good, but they remind me of institutional food that they buy and throw in the fryer (and I could be all wrong about that), but my friend insists on getting them every time *yawn*. The chef comes around and checks on you and everyone there is super friendly. Excellent service and ritas. Again, somewhat standard mexican american, but good. I am SOOO over la bamba, thank you very much.
I wonder if we should use La Bamba as a zero baseline for mexican american and work our way up the scale to the most authentic one can find. ;)