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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99 Euclid Ave., Mountain Brook (Crestline Village)
One of seven locations in five Southeastern states. Upscale casual, somewhat noisy setting. A bit more pricy than the average Mexican restaurant. Consistently rates highly on "best of" polls in local publications. A May 2009 City Scene review gave it four our of five stars, with reviewer Tom Gaskin praising the freshness of the ingredients, chile rellenos, and the extensive selection. "Nothing we tried was lacking." There is some outdoor dining. Popular with families. No reservations accepted.
1516 9th Avenue North, Bessemer
According to a Chowhound.com post, La Perla is "a must-stop place" for authentic tacos. "The al pastor was stellar, much more spicy than sweet. The tongue taco ($1.50) also rocked. Nice selection of fillings, including a sausage that sounds like an offal-lover's dream."
2111 Seventh Ave. South (Southside)
Claims to be the oldest Mexican restaurant in Bham, dating back to 1974. A 2007 City Scene review says "it has that feel of age like old, comfortable clothing." The menu is "pretty predictable and extensive." High marks for limeade, guacamole, fried tilapia taco, fajita quesadilla, enchiladas. Not so good were a frozen mango concoction and tamales, which were smothered in chili and cheese. ("They were not Mancha's," wrote Tom Gaskin.) Also LaCocina On the Go food cart service five days a week.
1614 Kent Dairy Road, Alabaster
Mexican and American food, including burritos, nachos, quesadillas, fajitas and cheeseburgers. Order from the menu board above the counter and grab a table. Named a "hidden gem of dining" by Birmingham News City Scene, March 2009, which said, "Don't leave without trying the grilled chicken supreme burrito ... comes filled with chunks, not shreds, of chicken and topped with avocado slices."
2531 Rocky Ridge Rd., Vestavia
A reader review says, "At Los Arcos each item is beautifully presented with discernable flavors and aromas. Among my favorites are their tamales - light with a fresh corn taste and richly seasoned pork."
1459 Montgomery Highway (Vestavia Hills)
In the no-frills location in a motor inn that once housed Sol Azteca. A June 2009 City Scene review noted that tacos benefit from fresh ingredients. A taco salad was a hit, as were Camarones al chipotle, fajitas, carnitas, enchiladas with mole, and chiles toreados (whole jalapenos rubbed with oil and roasted). Desserts -- fried vanilla ice cream, flan, banana chimichanga and tres leches were also praised. Margaritas are "not the best in town ... a strange, almost acid green color and have an odd, artificial taste." However, noted reviewer Susan Swagler, "There's something about Maria's that reminds us of our beloved Las Pinatas," and Maria makes a point of greeting customers personally. On our own visit, while the food was good and cheap, we didn't think it was worthy of the four-star rating from Susan Swagler. Read our impressions from the blog.
2921 Highland Ave. S. (Southside, near Rushton Park and Highland Park Golf Course)
A casual Latin American cafe featuring American dishes such as burgers, chicken, Philly steak and barbecue, and Latin dishes such as black bean and corn soup, shrimp quesadillas, paella, chorizo tacos, chipotle pork and mushroom burrito, spinach burrito, fried chicken soft tacos. Full service bar and wine list. Service is order-at-the-counter and the food is brought to your table. A local favorite for outdoor dining.
112 Green Springs Highway, Homewood
Mexican food and Peruvian specialities. We've never been there, but hear they have good food, generous servings, reasonable prices in pleasant, friendly surroundings. Latin cuisine features dishes such as bistec a lo pobre (steak with rice, plaintains, eggs and French fries), filete de pescado (fried fish filet with rice, beans and tossed salad), and pollo con chapinones (chicken with mushrooms on rice), along with Mexican favorites such as enchiladas, chile rellenos, and tamales (which City Scene reviewer Tom Gaskin compared favorably with Mancha's).
1857 Center Point Parkway
Market serving authentic tacos, generously filled, according to a January 2009 City Scene article. "Try the pastor, a little spicier and not as sweet as some cousins." A Chowhound.com post concurred, saying "The al pastor was the best I've tried around town -- too many are too sweet. They have the usual carnita, cabeze, tripa. But they also have higado (liver), which I don't see too many places."
201 Green Springs Highway, Homewood
Generously filled tacos and tortas with authentic fillings like cabiza, carnitas, al pastor. Ceviche tostadas, quail, rellenos, fish and shrimp dishes.