Back in college I had a fairly severe addiction to Mexican food. When hangovers were more frequent and less crippling, responsibility nonexistent, and extra weight less likely to cling on for a lifetime, my BFF and I would spend our afternoons at La Parrilla in Athens drinking mugs of Miller Lite, snacking on a bowl of bean dip (hot cheese poured over refried beans), and browsing the latest People or Us Weekly. The servers knew our names, our orders, and our propensity to say yes to another round. They knew we wanted taco salads either with or without cheese depending on whether or not we were on Weight Watchers that day.
One day, during what you could call either the high or low point of our college career, we went to La Parilla twice. Lunch and Dinner. It was that day we realized we had an actual addiction.
I've had this post rattling around in my head for a while and been avoiding writing it because people are PASSIONATE about their Mexican food. Guaranteed someone's going to get mad about my choices, but they're mine and that's that. If you would like to voice your opinion in the comment section I encourage you to do so. ;)
I grade Mexican Restaurants on the things I enjoy: overall vibe, salsa, cheese dip, guac, margs, salsa, taco salads, tacos, and fajitas. Enjoy.
I find it hard to Instagram promptly and take in all the goodness. So here's a latergram of yesterday's late lunch / early dinner @supericaatl 🍹 Awesome service, food, interiors, drinks... didn't expect anything less but was still blown away. (Thanks to @paigeknudsen and @eastallings for keeping me in the know. 😉)
Superica - Ford Fry's Tex Mex masterpiece in Krog Street (coming soon to Roswell Road in the former Outback location). I cannot say enough good things about this place. Food is tasty, margs are on point, vibe is perfection, and they let your kids throw stuff on the floor without giving you dirty looks. #holla #thankyou #momneedsanothermarg (additional Superica love on TPL here)
Alma Cocina - Alma Cocina is A Fifth Group restaurant offering authentic Mexican in Downtown Atlanta. I love this place and wish I got to go more often. This is a great place to go if you have friends or family coming in town because it's such a cool experience.
Taxco - I'm sorry, but if you just want some good quick Mexican food while you get your car washed (my dad taught me that trick) this is the best place to go. My dad loves this place, and I'm not too proud to list it. You all know you love it too.
Jalisco - The main reason I listed this place is so nobody puts a price on my head. We grew up in (gasp!) Sandy Springs and were more El Azteca and Rio Bravo peeps. All my Buckhead-reared friends spent their childhoods in Jalisco and have the plaque to prove it! Now that we live a mile away and I've experienced it through Rachel Farmer's eyes, we can't stay away. They may or may not know Oliver by name, and I'm ok with that. Major props here to Char Mar and Ali who swear on everything holy that Jalisco has the best cheese dip on the planet. See the cheese dip section... it's all for you. Additionally, Meredith, you are responsible for like half the Jalisco instas, which is awesome.
Best Salsa (red)
Nuevo Laredo - The freshest of salsa ingredients and not too spicy. I love salsa, and this is the tops for me. I miss living 5 minutes away. :( -- If you want to get DEEP into Blayne and Jimmy trivia, Jimmy choked on a chimichanga here on our 3rd date and passed out on a bowl of guac. Major laughs at the rehearsal dinner over that one.
Best Salsa (green)
The truth is I don't drink a ton of margaritas. It's not because I don't love them; it's because they don't love me. Unlike most people, I've never had a truly terrible experience with tequila (knock on wood), it's just that if I have more than one it's like I've had 10 drinks (never a good side of Blayne). I can have one marg and be set for the night... so with that in mind it has to be a very good one. These are my faves:
Best Upscale Mexican
La Parrilla - I love this place. It's located on Howell Mill near the Wal-Mart. I think it'a a chain, and it's not related to the place where Lindley and I lived in at college (I don't think). If you just want to go have good solid Mexican food, it's a great choice. It's also a fantastic place to sit at the bar, and I once had a jello shot there... so you can't really beat that.
Best Salad - Non Taco
Taqueria Del Sol - Known for their tacos, and they should be. My favorite tacos in Atl, and I crave them all that time.
Hankook Taqueria - A tiny place off Collier Road, Hankook offers Korean/Mexican tacos that are fantastic.
Verde - Verde has great tacos. My favorite is the buffalo tofu with celery, but they are all delicious.
No Mas! Cantina - No Mas is a wonderful Mexican restaurant in Castleberry Hills. They have fantastic food, and it's a fun place to eat. I also bought all the outside pots for Laura and Ben's house at their pottery studio because I'm a nice big sister. #humblebrag #nothumblejustbrag. But for real, the pots are very good and very cheap and probably deserve a future blog post. Food is great too. #fajitasforlife
Rosa Mexicano - the cheese and corn they serve with the fajitas will slay your face. for real.
I feel Tacos and Tequilas is worth mentioning. I do not think the food or atmosphere is all that great, but if it's Friday night, you are at your wit's end, and all you want to do is go somewhere in public where it's acceptable to have a drink and let your kid yell and throw stuff on the floor without attracting attention, this is your place. How do I know? Everyone I know does it, including me. You're welcome. Don't tell them I sent you.