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Mar 17, 2014 06:03 PM

TONALI in Durham, NC

I just wanted to let any chowhounders on the prowl in or around Durham know that Tonali is wonderful.

I ate there last Friday night. We had a truly magnificent green pozole, wonderful carnitas, and great grouper tacos. Everything was delicious.

This felt to me like authentic Mexican cooking. No Tex-Mex, no over-spiced or over-sauced slop.

If I have one complaint, it's that the margaritas were weak.There's something funny about the tequila they used. The micheladas, however, were insanely delicious.

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  1. I don't go as much as I should, it's always good and I live nearby.

    1. Tonali doesn't get a lot of love here in these forums, but I agree that its a hidden gem that is criminally overlooked. The food is always delicious and the waitstaff is very sweet. They definitely make an effort to use local and organic produce (when possible) from the farmer's market.

      I don't get there for dinner very regularly, but I go there for Saturday brunch pretty often. The press pot organic coffee they serve is very good and very strong! I live about 3 minutes from Tonali, so this post is yet another reminder to me that I really should go there more often for dinner.

      1 Reply
      1. re: ToothTooth

        You remind me that another reason I liked them so much is that they pay attention to their food sources, and the quality of the ingredients seemed very high.

        The people and the restaurant have a real caring and authentic vibe.

        I hope your community will support them enough to keep them in business. If not, they'd be welcome in my neighborhood.

      2. It's a special restaurant. I take international visitors there to show off a family operation using local produce and impeccable cooking and warm service. As a "regular" I do my best to support them. Go.

        1. It's funny how I always forget about this place even though it was one of my favorites while living in the Triangle. It's really hard to find locally-sourced, authentic Mexican cooking anywhere at the level that Tonali has been consistently doing for years.

          1 Reply
          1. re: mikeh

            Tonali and Dos Perros are head-and-shoulders above the rest.

          2. Thanks for the heads-up, we ate there for the first time tonight, neat place. Great plating / presentation. Super non-traditional rendition of al pastor tacos, liked those even more than the grouper tacos. Flavorful different salads with my kids' dishes. Have not seen pickled vegetables used so effectively like this in Mexican cuisine. Nice to be able to have a good meal with $10 entrees but want to go back and try some of the more involved dishes we saw go by.