Restaurant Listings: Mexican
Hint: To see restaurants in this section in a particular area of town, click on the category name indicating "Hoover," "Downtown," "South," etc., below each listing.
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3659 Lorna Road, Hoover (Lorna Brook Village)
Casual, inexpensive, child-friendly Mexican restaurant. Clean and attractive atmosphere, game room. Living in Hoover, this is our go-to place for crazy weeknights when we're too busy to cook. Typical Tex-Mex plus some more authentic Mexican dishes. A personal favorite is the tender and wonderfully seasoned half chicken, served with beans, rice, an awesome orange hot sauce on the side, and tortillas to roll everything up in. Mariachi band Sunday nights.
1017 20th Street South (Five Points/Southside)
Get your tacos -- about 30 varieties -- with everything from standard ol' ground beef to beef brisket, potatoes, grilled chicken, veggies with pepitas, grilled or fried fish or shrimp, guacomole, eggs, etc. Plus unusual concoctions like a steak taco with housemade steak sauce and blue cheese on request, or a chicken BLT taco with white BBQ sauce. They're served on a layer of flour tortilla and corn tortilla glued together with a black-bean paste. Lots of vegetarian and vegan options. Birmingham News review in March 2010 gave it four stars, saying the kitschy decor (John Wayne on velvet, '70s funk and soul playing in the background) doesn't take away from the fine-tasting food. Standouts included a fried fish taco, grilled shrimp taco, vegetable taco, and beef brisket with potatoes. Local food blogger Eatbham.com praised the flank steak taco with blue cheese and the chicken BLT taco. Also read this interview in Birmingham Weekly.
2901 Second Ave. South, in the Martin Biscuit building at Pepper Place downtown, 323-6980
6801 Cahaba Valley Road (Ala. 119, near U.S. Hwy. 280, Greystone area), 408-4110
No reservations. Full bar. Indoor and outside dining; can be noisy. Order at a register at the bar, and your food is brought to your table. Inside or outside dining. Tacos served in soft flour tortillas (corn upon request) include fish, pork carnitas, carne asada (steak) and vegetarian. Also sandwiches such as Cuban sandwich, Gaucho steak sandwich; and "big plates" including Churrasco steak, grilled salmon, cilantro chicken.
587 Brookwood Village, Homewood
Billed as "modern TexMex food with a difference," combines Tex-Mex favorites along with innovative original dishes and a selection of unique cocktails all served in a stylish setting. The restaurant can be enjoyed for lunch or dinner, indoors or out, year round, thanks to a large heated and air conditioned patio. A weekend brunch menu features huevos rancheros, breakfast burritos and tacos, jalapeno cheese grits and torta french toast.
101 Hueytown Plaza, Hueytown
To-go or casual eat-in at the counter. Darryl "D" Crocket's family has been making tamales for more than 40 years based on an authentic recipe from Mexico given to his aunt. Advertised as "husk-suckin' good," D's tamales have garnered praise on the Al.com food and wine board, with writers comparing them favorably to the old Mancha's on Southside, the local tamale standard: "... absolutely perfect, not to mention really cheap... These husk wrapped little beauties had a wonderfully moist consistancy ... this little shop is a real jewel."
1540 Montclair Rd.
A Bhamdining reader writes (October 2007), "While it is decorated with the typical sombreros and serapes, it is bright and airy and impeccably clean, with one of the friendliest staffs you will ever meet. They serve all the familiar dishes that Americans have grown accustomed to as well as some more authentic Mexican dishes -- classic beef and chicken dishes as well as pork and, I think best of all, a number of shrimp dishes. They even serve the authentic Mexican shrimp cocktail, made with orange soda as one of the ingredients and served at room temperature. Very different from the American version! The place is always packed, but service is always prompt, friendly and correct. The prices are extremely modest considering the quality and quantity of food served. And talk about killer guacamole - ai-yi-yi!" They were, however, shut down briefly by the Health Department in summer 2007 for reported cases of food poisoning.
5974 Chalkville Mountain Rd., Trussville
Fun, casual, basic Mexican restaurant, according to a 2002 review in City Scene. The interior is decorated to look like a Mexican courtyard, complete with street lamps. Bustling atmosphere. Menu with typical Mexican-American favorites, such as tacos, enchiladas, quesadillas, burritos, etc, but with a lighter touch in many offerings, rather than drowned in cheese.
433 Valley Ave.
A post on Chowhound.com calls these some of the best real tacos in town, with authentic fillings such as carnitas (twice-cooked pork), cabeza (beef head meat/cheeks), tripe and lengua (tongue). They have a little bar for dressing your tacos, with diced onion, minced cilantro and several different kinds of salsa. City Scene (January 2009) says, "Arguably the best taco in town, served in house-made tortillas. Dress them at a bar that includes onions, cilantro, jalapenos, radishes and six kinds of salsas. Carnitas, sold weekends, are spectacular. Pork belly lovers shouldn't miss the cueritos."
4500 Valleydale Road (Hoover/Indian Springs area, at intersection with Caldwell Mill)
Overall, the atmosphere and food at Hacienda are a step above the average Birmingham Tex-Mex restaurant. The food tastes fresher and is nicely seasoned, without being greasy. The margaritas are delicious, and a "create-your-own-combo" option makes ordering easier.
2085 Colonial Drive, Suite 101, Hoover (Plaza Fiesta, Lorna Road)
Beautiful restaurant decorated by a top Mexican interior designer, with both traditional Tex-Mex favorites and more traditional Hispanic fare. Don't miss the tamales.
Click here for Bhamdining.com review