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Winter Restaurant Guide 2016: Mexican/ Southwestern 

click to enlarge Arana Taqueria y Cantina tops an open-faced tamale with chicken tinga, pickled onions, chili-corn cream and queso fresco.

Photo by Cheryl Gerber

Arana Taqueria y Cantina tops an open-faced tamale with chicken tinga, pickled onions, chili-corn cream and queso fresco.

Arana Taqueria y Cantina
3242 Magazine St., (504) 894-1233; www.facebook.com/arananola
The menu includes tostadas, nachos, quesadillas, tortas, burritos and tacos with a variety of creative fillings. An open-faced tamale is topped with chicken tinga, chili-corn cream, pickled red onion and queso fresco. No reservations. Lunch and dinner daily. Credit cards. $$

Carreta's Grill
137 Taos St., Slidell, (985) 847-0020; 1821 Hickory Ave., Harahan, (504) 305-4833; 2320 Veterans Memorial Blvd., Metairie, (504) 837-6696; 70380 Highway 21, Covington, (985) 871-6674; www.carretasgrillrestaurant.com
El Primeron is grilled marinated pork served with potatoes and refried beans. The Julio Caesar wrap features a choice of grilled chicken, steak, grilled shrimp or portobello mushroom with romaine lettuce, Parmesan, croutons and Caesar dressing in a chipotle or spinach tortilla. Reservations accepted. Lunch and dinner daily. Credit cards. $$

click to enlarge Mexican chicken soup is topped with avocado and tortilla chips at - Casa Borrega. - PHOTO BY CHERYL GERBER
  • Photo by Cheryl Gerber
  • Mexican chicken soup is topped with avocado and tortilla chips at Casa Borrega.

Casa Borrega
1719 Oretha Castle Haley Blvd., (504) 427-0654; www.casaborrega.com
Caldo tlalpeno
is a chicken and vegetable soup with garbanzo beans and chipotle, garnished with avocado and chopped cabbage and served with warm tortillas and lime. Bistek con chile pasilla is thinly sliced sirloin tip cooked with Mexican chili peppers and served with rice and pinto beans with bacon and chorizo. Reservations accepted for large parties. Breakfast and lunch Tue.-Fri., dinner Tue.-Sat., brunch Sat. Credit cards. $$

Casa Garcia
8814 Veterans Memorial Blvd., Metairie, (504) 464-0354; www.casa-garcia.com
The Mexican sampler includes mini flautas with guacamole, mini chimichangas with sour cream, a ground beef taco, a mini chalupa, a tamale with ancho chili sauce, rice and beans. Beef, chicken, pork or shrimp fajitas are served with caramelized onions, guacamole, cheese, sour cream, pico de gallo, charro beans and flour tortillas. Reservations accepted. Lunch and dinner Mon.-Fri. Credit cards. $

Casa Tequila
3229 Williams Blvd., Kenner, (504) 443-5423; www.facebook.com/casatequilakenner
Carne asada features a 10-ounce rib-eye topped with grilled onions and bell peppers and served with rice, refried beans, corn or flour tortillas and plantains or guacamole. Fajitas offer a choice of grilled chicken, steak, shrimp or vegetables with grilled onions, bell peppers, carrots, sour cream, guacamole, pico de gallo, shredded cheese, lettuce and corn or flour tortillas. Reservations accepted. Lunch and dinner daily, late-night Fri.-Sat. Credit cards. $$

Cucos Mexican Cafe
2766 Belle Chasse Highway, Gretna, (504) 393-7766; www.cucosmex.com
The menu includes Mexican staples as well as burgers and sandwiches. Burrito Gigante is filled with ground beef, shredded chicken, rice, black beans and cheese and topped with chili and salsa. El Presidente includes beef and cheese enchiladas, mini chimichangas, a beef taco, beans and rice. Reservations accepted for large parties. Lunch and dinner Tue.-Sun. Credit cards. $

Del Fuego Taqueria
4518 Magazine St., (504) 309-5797; www.delfuegotaqueria.com
Tostadas con pescada Ahumada are corn tostadas topped with refried black beans, chilled achiote-smoked Gulf fish, cabbage slaw and cilantro lime mayonnaise. Queso fuendedo con chorizo verde features sauteed spinach and green chorizo with melted queso Chihuahua and asadero cheeses served with soft corn tortillas and salsa fresca. Reservations accepted for large parties. Lunch and dinner Mon.-Sat. Credit cards. $$

El Gato Negro
81 French Market Place, (504) 525-9752; 300 Harrison Ave., (504) 488-0107; 800 S. Peters St., (504) 309-8864; www.elgatonegronola.com
The Michoacan mixed grill includes aged skirt steak, chicken breast, jumbo Gulf shrimp, sauteed vegetables and chimichurri. Three-cheese enchiladas are stuffed with quesos panela, fresco and Chihuahua, Mexican rice, pinto beans, sour cream and orange-oregano salsa. No reservations. Hours vary by location. Credit cards. $$

El Paso
1110 Robert Blvd., Slidell, (985) 445-1450; 3010 Holiday Drive, (504) 309-8833; www.elpasomex.com
Bistec a la Mexicana
features grilled steak, onions, tomatoes, guacamole salad, rice, refried beans and flour tortillas. Fajitas al pastor include marinated strips of pork and pineapple in adobo sauce, pico de gallo, guacamole salad, sour cream, refried beans, rice and flour tortillas. Reservations accepted for large parties. Lunch and dinner daily. Credit cards. $$

El Pavo Real
4401 S. Broad St., (504) 266-2022; www.elpavorealnola.com
Chipotle-rubbed hanger steak fills a taco dressed with tomatillo-avocado salsa, cilantro and jalapenos and is served with queso fresco. Roasted chicken is topped with Oaxacan mole poblano and served with tangy slaw and tortillas. No reservations. Breakfast and lunch Tue.-Sun., early dinner Thu.-Sat. Credit cards. $

Felipe's Taqueria
176 Town Center Parkway, Slidell, (985) 288-1210; 301 N. Peters St., (504) 288-8226; 411 N. Carrollton Ave., (504) 288-8226; 6215 S. Miro St., (504) 288-8226; www.felipestaqueria.com
The grilled chicken super burrito is filled with guacamole, pico de gallo, grilled corn and pickled jalapenos. Al pastor tacos are grilled corn tortillas filled with guajillo-marinated pork, cilantro, red onions and guacamolillo sauce. No reservations. Lunch and dinner daily. Credit cards. $

Habaneros
69305 Highway 21, Suite 600, Covington, (985) 781-8760; www.habaneroscovington.com
La Roka
features sirloin, grilled chicken, sausage, jumbo shrimp, Oaxaca cheese, nopales, cambray onions, rice, beans and blue corn tortillas. Playeros tacos are filled with shrimp, bacon, cream cheese-stuffed jalapenos, red cabbage and spicy mayonnaise. No reservations. Lunch and dinner Mon.-Sat. Credit cards. $$

Izzo's Illegal Burrito
Citywide; www.izzos.com
Izzo's offers a build-your-own approach to tacos, burritos, salads, quesadillas and more. Diners choose meats (steak, ground beef, chicken, pork, shrimp), vegetables, cheeses, salsa, sour cream and more. Burrito bowls are build-your-own dishes served on a bed of rice with no tortilla. No reservations. Lunch and dinner daily. Credit cards. $

Johnny Sanchez
930 Poydras St., (504) 304-6615; www.johnnysanchezrestaurant.com
Chefs John Besh and Aaron Sanchez's taqueria offers gourmet takes on Mexican staples. Plaquemines Parish citrus salad is topped with blue cheese, pomegranate, fennel and radishes. Wood-grilled hanger steak is served with pumpkin mole, patatas bravas and epazote-miso butter. Reservations recommended. Lunch and dinner daily. Credit cards. $$

Juan's Flying Burrito
515 Baronne St., (504) 529-5825; 2018 Magazine St., (504) 569-0000; 4724 S. Carrollton Ave., (504) 486-9950; www.juansflyingburrito.com
The signature Flying Burrito combines skirt steak, Gulf shrimp, Creole chicken, sour cream, guacamole, yellow rice, black beans, salsa la fonda and Juan's hot sauce in a Hola Nola flour, whole wheat, spinach or cayenne tortilla. Blackened redfish tacos are dressed with creamy cilantro slaw and salsa fresca in flour tortillas. No reservations. Lunch and dinner daily. Credit cards. $

La Casita
634 Julia St., (504) 218-8043; www.eatlacasita.com
El Fuego
tacos feature braised brisket, Monterey Jack cheese, salsa verde and pico de gallo in corn tortillas. Pork and sweet potato quesadillas are filled with carnitas, spicy sweet potatoes, pico de gallo and manchego. No reservations. Lunch and dinner daily. Credit cards. $

Lucy's Retired Surfers Bar & Restaurant
701 Tchoupitoulas St., (504) 523-8995; www.lucysnola.com
Shrimp and grits features jumbo shrimp marinated with honey, jalapenos and chilies and served over poblano pepper Jack cheese grits. Taco Stand tacos include a choice of any two tacos (pao pao shrimp, tuna tataki, chimichurri steak, chicken, beef, steak), refried beans or black beans and Mexican rice. No reservations. Lunch and dinner daily, brunch Sat.-Sun., late-night Fri.-Sat. Credit cards. $

Mizado Cocina
5080 Pontchartrain Blvd., (504) 885- 5555; www.mizadococina.comTamale de pato features slow-roasted Peking duck wrapped in cornmeal dough, baked in corn husks and served with salsa borracha, pineapple-jalapeno glaze, crema, Cotija cheese and cilantro. Latin tuna tataki features sliced raw Gulf tuna, citrus, ponzu sauce and salsa. Reservations accepted. Lunch and dinner Mon.-Sat., brunch Sun. Credit cards. $$

Nacho Mama's Mexican Grill
Elmwood Shopping Center, 1000 S. Clearview Parkway, Suite 1016, Harahan, (504) 736-1188; www.nachomamasmexicangrill.com
California club nachos feature melted cheddar Jack cheese, bacon, grilled chicken, lettuce, pico de gallo and chipotle ranch dressing. The Green Monster burrito bundles zucchini, squash, spinach, corn, pico de gallo, black beans and salsa verde in a spinach tortilla and is served with Chihuahua roasted red pepper and ancho pepper aioli. Reservations accepted. Lunch and dinner daily. Credit cards. $$

Rosa Mezcal
1814 Magazine St., (504) 304-7063;www.rosamezcalnola.com
Enchiladas potosinas
includes three cheese enchiladas, sirloin, chili guajillo sauce, sour cream, lettuce, sauteed potatoes and carrots and grilled onions. Mezcaleros tacos are filled with red snapper, mezcal glaze, jalapenos, tomatoes, grilled onions, avocado, red cabbage and lettuce. No reservations. Lunch and dinner Mon.-Sat. Credit cards. $$

Santa Fe Restaurant
3201 Esplanade Ave., (504) 948-0077; www.santafenola.com
Chopped tuna tartare is mixed with mango, nuts and scallions and served with guacamole and focaccia. Court-bouillon features pan-seared red snapper, thick tomato-based sauce with rosemary and garlic, jasmine rice and black beans. Reservations recommended. Lunch Tue.-Sat., dinner Tue.-Sun., brunch Sun. Credit cards. $$

Superior Grill
3636 St. Charles Ave., (504) 899-4200; www.neworleans.superiorgrill.com
The menu includes nachos, quesadillas, enchiladas, tacos, combination platters, salads and more. Mesquite-grilled quail is served with macaroni and cheese and a garden salad. Dos Equis-braised short ribs are served on an open-faced tamale with rice and beans and topped with braised carrots, potatoes and celery. Reservations accepted. Lunch and dinner daily, brunch Sat.-Sun. Credit cards. $$

Taco Del Mar
514 City Park Ave., (504) 272-0557; 1515 Poydras St., (504) 309-8311; www.tacodelmar.com
Mondo burritos feature chicken, fish, pork, guacamole, ground beef, shredded beef or steak, plus pico de gallo, cheese, tomatoes, lettuce, beans and sour cream in tomato, spinach or flour tortillas. Nachos are topped with a choice of ground beef, chicken, carnitas, steak or white fish, beans (refried, black or pinto), queso, guacamole, pico de gallo and sour cream. No reservations. Breakfast Mon.-Fri., lunch and dinner daily. Credit cards. $

Taqueria Corona
1827 Hickory Ave., Harahan, (504) 738-6722; 3535 Severn Ave., Metairie, (504) 885-5088; 5932 Magazine St., (504) 897-3974; www.taqueriacorona.com
The casual cantina serves tacos, burritos, flautas and more. Sliced avocado salad includes lettuce and tomatoes in tangy dressing. The shrimp quesadilla is filled with mozzarella and cheddar cheeses and is served with guacamole and salsa. No reservations. Lunch and dinner daily. Credit cards. $

The Velvet Cactus
6300 Argonne Blvd., (504) 301-2083; www.thevelvetcactus.com
Chicken Pablo features mesquite-smoked chicken with roasted portobello mushrooms, grilled onions, pico de gallo and jalapeno cream sauce. Taco plates come with two sides and include fillings such as pork pibil — a combination of smoked pulled pork, char-grilled onions, peppers and cilantro — and are topped with chipotle aioli. No reservations. Lunch Fri.-Sun., dinner daily, brunch Sat.-Sun. Credit cards. $$




African | American | Bar & Grill | Barbecue | Brewpub
Burgers | Cafe | Cajun | Caribbean/Cuban | Chinese
Coffee & Dessert | Contemporary | Creole | Deli | Diner
Filipino | Fondue | French | Greek | Indian/Pakistani | Irish
Italian | Japanese/Sushi | Juice Bar | Korean | Latin American
Louisiana Contemporary | Mediterranean/Middle Eastern | Mexican/Southwestern
Music and Food | Neighborhood | Pan-Asian | Pizza | Sandwiches & Po-boys
Seafood | Soul Food | Steakhouse | Tapas/Spanish | Thai | Vietnamese


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