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Mexican/Southwestern

CARRETA'S GRILL 1340 Lindberg Drive, Slidell, (985) 847-0020; 2320 Veterans Memorial Blvd., Metairie, 837-6696; 70380 Hwy. 21, Covington, (985) 871-6674 There's a wide array of Mexican favorites at Carreta. Fajita platters arrive sizzling. Other signature dishes include the pollo loco, or grilled chicken topped with spinach and asadero cheese and served with sauteed onions. No reservations. Hours vary by location. Credit cards. $$

CASA GARCIA 800 N. Causeway Blvd., Mandeville, (985) 951-8226; 8814 Veterans Memorial Blvd., Metairie, 464-0354 Many Mexican favorites like tacos, burritos and quesadillas are available at Casa Garcia. Seafood dishes include shrimp a la diabla served with spicy ancho chile sauce. The costillas de Monterrey are ribs with chipotle sauce. No reservations. Lunch Mon.-Sat., dinner daily. Credit cards. $$

CHEVY'S FRESH MEX 1201 Manhattan Blvd., Harvey, 368-2100; 3330 Veterans Memorial Blvd., Metairie, 887-7788; www.chevys.com Chevy's offers California-Mexican fare and hand-shaken margaritas. The carnitas feature tender, marinated pork slow-roasted with oranges, lemons, garlic and fuego seasoning. Sizzling fajitas, tacos and enchiladas are popular dishes. No reservations. Lunch Mon.-Fri., dinner daily, late-night Fri.-Sat. Credit cards. $$

CUCOS 2766 Belle Chasse Hwy., Terrytown, 393-7766; 5048 Veterans Memorial Blvd., Metairie, 454-5005; www.cucosmex.com Cucos sizzles with traditional Mexican fare like tacos, burritos, fajitas, enchiladas and taco salads. The El Presidente combines beef and cheese enchiladas with a burrito, a taco, and rice and beans with ranchero sauce. No reservations. Lunch and dinner daily. Credit cards. $

EL GATO NEGRO 81 French Market Place, 525-9752; www.elgatonegronola.com Whet your appetite with a pineapple-cilantro margarita or any of the Mexican beers or premium tequilas. Guacamole is mixed tableside with avocados, pico de gallo, jalapenos, lime juice and sea salt. Chicken enchiladas feature chicken breast, Chihuahua cheese, sauteed onion and come with corn tortillas, sour cream, orange salsa and rice and beans. No reservations. Breakfast Sat.-Sun., lunch and dinner daily. Credit cards. $$

FELIPE'S TAQUERIA 301 N. Peters St., 267-4406; 6215 S. Miro St., 309-2776; www.felipesneworleans.com Choose from marinated pulled pork, steak, grilled vegetables, grilled chicken, spicy chicken (pollo tingo) or chorizo to fill tacos, burritos, chimichangas and more. A salsa bar offers different varieties of salsa with varying levels of heat. No reservations. Lunch, dinner and late-night daily. Credit cards. $

FIESTA LATINA RESTAURANT 133 N. Carrollton Ave., 484-0590; 1924 Airline Drive, Kenner, 468-2384; www.fiestalatinarestaurant.com This family-owned Mexican eatery offers tacos, enchiladas, burritos, and tamales. The huevos rancheros feature two eggs and two tostadas covered with ranchero sauce. The carne asada is grilled and served with refried beans, salad, rice and sweet fried plantains. Reservations accepted. Breakfast, lunch and dinner daily. Credit cards. $

GEORGE'S MEXICAN RESTAURANT 1461 N. Causeway Blvd., Mandeville, (985) 626-4342; www.georgesmexicanrestaurant.com In addition to traditional Mexican favorites, George's serves specials like the tequila tuna topped with crawfish, onions and peppers. Huevos rancheros and chorizo omelets are served for Sunday brunch. Reservations accepted for large parties. Lunch and dinner daily, brunch Sun. Credit cards. $$

IZZO'S ILLEGAL BURRITO 4316 Veterans Memorial Blvd., Metairie, 889-5505; www.izzos.com Izzo's offers burritos, quesadillas, nachos and tacos made to order. Diners pile on their choices of meat (chicken, steak, pork carnitas, ground beef, shrimp), vegetable toppings (roasted corn, pickled and fresh jalapenos, olives, etc.) and 10 sauces ranging from mild to spicy. Izzo's offers a tortilla soup with a choice of meat, cheese and tortilla strips. No reservations. Lunch and dinner daily. Credit cards. $

JUAN'S FLYING BURRITO 2018 Magazine St., 569-0000; 4724 S. Carrollton Ave., 486-9950; www.juansflyingburrito.com These cantinas combine California-Mexican favorites and a punk rock feel. Look for shredded pork tacos with coleslaw, and Mardi Gras Indian tacos topped with squash and roasted corn. The signature burrito is loaded with grilled steak, Gulf shrimp, chicken, cheese, black beans, yellow rice, salsa, guacamole and sour cream in a grilled tortilla. No reservations. Lunch and dinner daily. Credit cards. $

LA CARRETA 107 Carrolwood Drive, LaPlace, (985) 651-9991; 108 NW Railroad Ave., Hammond, (985) 419-9990; 1200 W. Causeway Approach, Mandeville, (985) 624-2990; www.carretarestaurant.com Big burritos, flautas, quesadillas, carne asada, chiles rellenos, tamales and other Mexican dishes are favorites at this chain. Ceviche al oregano is lime-marinated mahi mahi with avocado served on a crisp tostada. Reservations accepted. Lunch and dinner daily. Credit cards. $$

NACHO MAMA'S MEXICAN GRILL 1000 S. Clearview Pkwy., Harahan, 736-1188; 3242 Magazine St., 899-0031; 6325 Elysian Fields Ave., 286-1805; www.nachomamasmexicangrill.com Nacho Mama's serves Tex-Mex favorites and specialty margaritas. Mamachitas feature a spicy blend of roasted jalapeno, serrano and habanero peppers fried and served with habanero sour cream. Popular items include mahi mahi tacos with mango salsa and tilapia tacos topped with pickled slaw. Reservations accepted. Lunch and dinner daily. Credit cards. $$

SANTA FE 3201 Esplanade Ave., 948-0077 The seafood available at Santa Fe includes Atlantic salmon, grilled mahi mahi and lobster. The ceviche features fish, calamari and jumbo shrimp with lemon and lime juices and Mexican spices. Traditional menu items include tamales and enchiladas. Reservations accepted. Lunch and dinner daily, brunch Sun. Credit cards. $$

SUPERIOR BAR & GRILL 3636 St. Charles Ave., 899-4200; www.superiorgrill.com Superior Grill offers Mexican favorites and a wide selection of margaritas. Order a fajita plate with either mesquite grilled chicken, beef or shrimp. Choose from grilled chicken, beef, brisket, shrimp or crawfish for quesadillas served with guacamole, sour cream, jalapenos and pico de gallo. Delivery available. Reservations accepted for large parties. Lunch and dinner daily, brunch Sat.-Sun. Credit cards. $$

TAQUERIA CHILANGOS 2723 Roosevelt Blvd., Kenner, 469-5599 Enjoy authentic Mexican favorites at Taqueria Chilangos. Menu mainstays include chiles rellenos, burritos, tacos and brisket, and there are daily specials. Reservations accepted. Breakfast, lunch and dinner daily. Credit cards. $$

TAQUERIA GUERRERO MEXICO 208 N. Carrollton Ave., 484-6959 The menu at this very casual cantina features traditional Mexican dishes including chiles rellenos, homemade tamales, burritos and tacos. Cool down your taste buds with flan for dessert. No reservations. Lunch and dinner Tue.-Sun. Credit cards. $

TOMASITO'S 755 Tchoupitoulas St., 527-0942; www.tomasitos.com Tomasito's serves Mexican favorites in a refined cantina setting in the Warehouse District. Chiles rellenos feature two poblano peppers stuffed with ground beef, raisins and almonds and is topped with spicy cream cheese sauce. Ceviche is prepared with sushi grade fish in citrus marinade with cilantro, onions and chiles. Reservations accepted. Dinner daily. Credit cards. $$

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Speaking of Gambit's Restaurant Guide 2011, New Orleans Restaurants

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