As happy visions of tequila shots chased with margaritas amidst green seas of guac flutter flirtingly about your peripheral, have you considered where this burrito-binge will take place? As Cinco de Mayo approaches (tomorrow), Mexican restaurants across the country are booking up. Luckily for everyone there is no shortage of spots to fulfill your festive fancies.
We've whittled down the inexhaustible inventory across the country to find the top 5 spots for your mescal-immersed merry-making. Cheers!
5. Babita Mexicuisine, San Gabriel, CA
For 'Haute' Mexican cuisine, this spot soars. You might panic as you search futilely for your classic queso blanco smothered carne asado tacos, but dishes like the chile-rubbed lamb shank baked in beer, or the achiote pork baked in banana leaves will soon soothe your confusion.
4. Los Dos Molinos, Phoenix, AZ/NYC
If you can't stand the heat, don't go to Los. The menu serves almost exclusively incendiary dishes. The bright side is that if you can stand the heat, the dishes here will set your soul ablaze too. If the New Mexico Enchilada Dinner, red or green chili in a thick homemade tortilla covered with chili and cheese topped with a fried egg isn't chili enough for you, why not try the Red or Green Chili Plate, with your choice of red or green chili, Victoria's chicken chili, and a homemade tortilla. Chili.
3. Barrio Chino, NYC
This tiny room, accessed through a nondescript door in New York's lower east side seats 20 or so, barely room to toss a taco. But don't be fooled by it's outward appearance. Serving some of the best Mexican fare in America across a floor space the size of a studio apartment means the line of people waiting for a table is inevitably lengthy. And it's worth it. The spicy habanero margarita will put hairs on your chest, and I won't even mention the Chile En Nogada, a grilled poblano chile stuffed with shredded pork, pears, apples, almonds, and raisins covered in a creamy walnut sauce, served with green rice. Sorry, too late.
2. Fonda San Miguel, Austin, TX
With authentic interior decor that instantly transports you south of the boarder, this restaurant not only looks the part. Classic cuisine like killer calamares, insane ceviche, and chile con queso that tastes like heaven keep customers comfy in cheese-induced comas. The brunch is truly the highlight though. A Mexican buffet with salads and sides, and huge clay pots of steaming meats stewed in sauces so sapid the sight alone could make San Juan weep.
1. Dos Caminos, NYC/Vegas
Our numero uno, and by far and away the best thing to happen to Mexican food in America since, well, Mexico, Dos Caminos sits like a paragon amongst restaurants everywhere. The service is flawless, the food is fantastic, the atmosphere intoxicating, and the frozen prickly pear margaritas? Don't get us started. With four restaurants in NYC including the newly opened and may we say perfectly placed Meatpacking location, and one in our favorite Las Vegas casino, The Palazzo, Dos Caminos can do no wrong. We would challenge anyone to offer a superior guacamole. Not possible. Dishes like the Cazuela de Queso Fundido, a three-cheese fondue served with chorizo, fingerling potatos, and warm flour tortillas, and the Pollo a la Plancha, spiced roasted chicken over saffron fideos, have us salivating instantly. See you tomorrow.