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May 27, 2014 08:24 PM

Anybody down for Mexican????

Ok, so I've been in Atlanta for a little over 5years now. I'm originally from Dallas, which I guess would explain my weird, non-nationality related, wanting, craving and obsession for Mexican food. I could seriously eat it in some kind of way everyday! Only thing is, its hard to find (please prove me wrong) out here. Like that legit spot thats so good starting with the salsa. I hit the Atlanta restaurant scene religiously, so I've ventured to many places to find ideal Mex. Buford Highway, local far Bone Garden Cantina is my favorite.

Opinions and Suggests for any other spots?!.... Gracias mi amigos!

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  1. nuevo laredo is excellent!!We live in sandy springs and go toi Los Rancheros every week.My test for Mexican is carnitas--they have the best Ive ever had--- also the chorizo with eggs is great--the owners brother is a butcher so his meat is always excellent

    1. I don't know what you consider "good Mexican". I grew up across the border from Tijuana and I've traveled in Mexico, so I have a different idea from most gringos. Judging only by the Bone Garden Cantina website, that;s not my idea of authentic Mexican, which is what I look for. That's what I call gringo-mex. It may be very good gringo-mex, but it's not authentic, if that's what you want.

      I've enjoyed El Rey del Taco, Tacos Veloz, and Taqueria Los Rayos, all on Buford Hwy.

      9 Replies
      1. re: andabien

        Being a fellow former San Diegan, I would say we have similar tastes. Those are great places for what to me is "Mexican food." I would add Las Tortas Locas to the list, too, if interested in a good torta. And El Senor Taco for a fish taco just like you'd get in Ensenada. But I can completely appreciate the OP's vision of Mexican food, being from Texas. I would second bobstripower's recommendation of Nuevo Laredo for top-notch Tex-Mex food.

        Tacos and tortas say "Mexican food" to me, but to be fair I would add someplace like Rosa Mexicano to a list of "good" Mexican restaurants in Atlanta. Some of their dishes wouldn't be out of place in a fancy restaurant in Mexico City.

        I like Bone Garden. I wouldn't call it "inauthentic" or "gringo-Mex" so much as a place that tries to prepare a broad array of authentic Mexican foods in a way that appeals to fans of Tex-Mex and people who know their Mexican food alike. Oh, sure, they also offer some Tex-Mex classics like "queso dip," but who doesn't like that stuff? I dunno--maybe that's what you meant by "gringo-Mex."

        1. re: LorenzoGA

          I'll need to try out "El Señor Taco". Sound good.

          1. re: andabien

            What about Pure Taqueria in Roswell? It's sooooo good!


            1. re: chloebell

              I've been to the one in Inman Park. No disrespect, but It's gringo-mex, IMO.

              1. re: andabien

                Do you differentiate between tex-mex and gringo-mex or is it all the same to you?

                1. re: carolinadawg

                  I don't have a clear idea of what tex-mex is, but I vaguely think it is different from gringo-mex. For me, gringo-mex is loaded with the main ingredient (let's say carnitas), plus lettuce, tomatoes, shredded cheese and sour cream. All those things americanos would expect from "Mexican food". In my experience, authentic Mexican tacos have a small amount of the main ingredient, maybe small amount of chopped onions/tomatoes, and some cilantro. Probably have to have some lime, also. Tex-mex might have lots of chili powder.

                  1. re: andabien

                    If that's your definition of "gringo-mex," then I have to disagree even more than I already did that Bone Garden is gringo-mex. It's not a Buford Highway taco restaurant, but it's not what you describe, either.

                    1. re: andabien

                      Here's a brief history of Tex-Mex with an original 1940's menu. As for carnitas, I'm pretty much the only "gringo" at the Houston carnicerias where I buy authentic Mexican carnitas. The wife is Hispanic by the way. I guess you could call her Tex-Mex, born in Texas, parents from Mexico.


              2. re: andabien

                As for El Senor Taco, the owner said he had a restaurant in the LA area and is originally from Ensenada if I recall correctly. I'm itching to find out if he can make a proper SoCal-style carne asada burrito, but I seem to always drift back to the fish tacos when I'm there.

          2. I enjoyed all of the feedback...slash suggests...all of them. I purposely put Bone Garden, because I felt this a completely non Mexican spot (actually from the creators of the Vortex) so that I could get really critical feedback. Weird, yes, but it proved to be very affective!
            "Gringo-Mex" typically anything that's not Mexican owned and ran would be what I consider "Gringo-Mex" or inauthentic. Which lead to my issue of finding close to authentic here in the first place. El Rey and El Senor are both good. Rosa Mexicano in my opinion, is just ok. I much rather prefer the "mom & pop" places. Great margaritas though!
            I'm really big on a good Mexican spots having awesome salsa and tacos. Can't make those then its a no go for me.
            Tex-mex is a completely different type of cuisine then Mexican food. Tex Mex derives from cowboy cooking, combined with a Mexican influence.

            10 Replies
            1. re: theeatlist

              This article seems pretty relevant for discussion:

              also ... with little to love in this area: chicago supermarket is my favorite on BuHi and i enjoy taqueria la oaxaquena on Mt Zion near the airport

              1. re: foodiebuddha

                I've been to Chicago Supermarket once, and enjoyed it. We went at 7:00pm and they were closing down for the evening.

                Another place I enjoy is Taqueria Michoacan, also on Buford Hwy, but closer in.

                1. re: foodiebuddha

                  Ooh, La Oaxaquena! I totally forgot about that place. Now I am craving a tlayuda.

                  1. re: foodiebuddha

                    Thanks for that read. I've actually never been to the Chicago Market! It is one of the places that I have been meaning to venture, yet have neglected to go.

                  2. re: theeatlist

                    Are you saying you actually do not consider Bone Garden to be your favorite, as you said in your original post? You were just baiting us? I don't appreciate being the subject of someone's reverse psychology trick.

                    I recall reading that Anthony Bourdain said he was not above using such trickery. As I recall reading, he recommended this trick for finding a good restaurant in a certain city: Instead of just asking for a recommendation on a discussion board, you write "I just had the best ___ food at ___ restaurant" and then sit back and wait for the ensuing argument among passionate local foodies. It's despicable, but probably effective. For the record, I would not do it here.

                    Anyway, it sounds like you have as good a handle on the Atl Mexican food options as anyone here.

                      1. re: LorenzoGA

                        No,I love Bone Garden! The atmosphere, food, service, drinks. easy vibe etc. Being in the hospitality industry, I naturally look for all of these things, unconsciously at times, to make a great experience for me. Have I had better Mexican in Atlanta at a less glamorous spot? Yes. But I just personally thing Bone Garden is a great time with great food. That still didn't/ doesn't stop me from wanting other people perspectives for new places for me to try or revisit.
                        This was not a malicious "bait" by any means...I genuinely wanted to know others opinions, which I appreciated and plan to try. It was not meant to offend or to make you feel as if you were just a player in my game. Although I adore Bourdain, this was not a mimic of him.
                        However, I was curious to see what kind of feed back I would get if I gave a "non authentic" spot for my favorite as my favorite... Who would object to that and why, what the better suggests would be instead, I was even willing to except the bashing for wanting real Mexican, but naming a non authentic as my top choice. I wanted this to be a really basic topic that lead to a really open forum. Which it was! For me it was awesome...hearing others opinions and facts about why you guys liked the spots you like.

                        If I did not wish to get the feed back and I simply wanted to watch you guys banter...I wouldn't bother to respond, or acknowledge and appreciate the suggests as I did. Because I decided to word something in a different way to get the same response as the "PC" way" doesn't make the content or subject malicious or jerkish

                        1. re: theeatlist

                          Okay, forgiven :-) This weekend, the "best Mexican" will be at my house. Gonna grill me some carne asada.

                          1. re: LorenzoGA

                            Awesome! I appreciate it... and that sounds nice! I actually made a great chimichurri the other day for my steak in celebration of this topic.

                      2. re: theeatlist

                        Awesome. Rick Bayless = Gringo Mex.

                        I always think of refritos as the classic Tex Mex menu item. That said, I was in TX before the Memorial Day holiday and had them in a breakfast taco (with eggs, potato, and chorizo) one morning. Also had some really good grilled corn with chimichurri butter.

                      3. I just came back from La Oaxaqueña. The food was authentic and very good. Lot's of Mexicans eating there.

                        Amusingly, the menu had Tacos Americanos, which were any regular taco, but with shredded cheese, sour cream, lettuce and tomatoes added.

                        It's an easy drive on a Sunday evening. I recommend it.

                        1 Reply
                        1. re: andabien

                          I love the idea of them serving Tacos Americanos!