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Gambit’s 2017 winter restaurant guide: Mexican 

click to enlarge In Elmwood, Nacho Mama’s serves chips, salsa, guacamole, queso and margaritas.

Photos by Cheryl Gerber

In Elmwood, Nacho Mama’s serves chips, salsa, guacamole, queso and margaritas.

Arana Taqueria y Cantina
3242 Magazine St., (504) 894-1233; www.aranataqueria.com
An open-faced tamale features fried masa cake topped with chicken tinga, queso fresco, corn and pickled red onion. Grilled pork al pastor comes with sweet chili sauce, pineapple, onion and cilantro. Reservations accepted. 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 grilled chicken, steak, shrimp or portobello mushrooms with romaine lettuce, Parmesan, croutons and Caesar dressing in a chipotle or spinach tortilla. Reservations accepted. Lunch and dinner daily. Credit cards. $$

Casa Borrega
1719 Oretha Castle Haley Blvd., (504) 427-0654; www.casaborrega.com
Pozole del dia is a Mexican hominy soup with pork or chicken in spicy red broth served with onion, cilantro, avocado, radish, cabbage and warm tortillas. Chiles rellenos features two poblano peppers stuffed with melted Mexican cheese or picadillo, then battered, pan-fried and served with spicy tomato-serrano salsa. Reservations accepted for large parties. Lunch and 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. House-made flan is a caramel custard topped with whipped cream and slivered almonds. Reservations accepted. Lunch and dinner daily. 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 served with rice, refried beans, corn or flour tortillas and plantains or guacamole. Grilled chicken fajitas include 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. $$

Country Flame
620 Iberville St., (504) 522-1138; www.countryflamerestaurant.com
The menu features Mexican and Cuban dishes. The Cuban sandwich features marinated pork, ham, pickles, cheese and mustard on French bread. Chicken fajitas are served with guacamole, tortillas, rice and beans. Delivery available. Reservations accepted. Lunch and dinner daily. Credit cards. $

Del Fuego Taqueria
4518 Magazine St., (504) 309-5797; www.delfuegotaqueria.com
Fried fish and shrimp tacos fill flour tortillas and are dressed with chipotle mayonnaise and cabbage. Guacamole is available with toppings such as diced tomatoes, jalapenos, pomegranate seeds, Cotija cheese and more. No reservations. 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 mixed grill includes wet-aged skirt steak, chicken breast, chorizo, shrimp, a lamb lollipop, sauteed vegetables, chimichurri drum and guajillo-chimichurri sauce. El Macho Man combo comes with three kinds of enchiladas, a chicken tamale, a pulled pork quesadilla, sour cream, guacamole, beans, rice and orange-oregano salsa. No reservations. Hours vary by location. Credit cards. $$

El Paso
601 Veterans Memorial Blvd., Metairie, (504) 218-4590; 1110 Robert Blvd., Slidell, (985) 445-1450; 1900 Highway 51, LaPlace, (958) 618-3313; 3010 Holiday Drive, (504) 309-8833; www.elpasomex.com
The menu includes nachos, tacos, enchiladas, fajitas and more. Bistec a la Mexicana is a grilled steak served with onions, tomatoes, guacamole salad, rice, refried beans and flour tortillas. Fajitas al pastor includes marinated 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 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 Wed.-Sun. 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
Burrito fillings include a choice of chicken, steak, pork, shrimp or chorizo, plus rice, pinto beans, pico de gallo and Mexican crema. Baja tacos are soft corn tortillas filled with shrimp or fish, cabbage, pico de gallo and Baja sauce. No reservations. Lunch and dinner daily. Credit cards. $

Habaneros
69305 Highway 21, Suite 600, Covington, (985) 871-8760; www.habaneroscovington.com
Pollo Diablo features grilled chicken breast, chipotle peppers, bacon, grilled Oaxaca cheese, sauteed spinach, steamed broccoli and rice. The taco selection includes Apache (skirt steak, sauteed cactus, Oaxacan cheese, chili), Vaqueros (bacon-wrapped shrimp, fried potato, Mexican barbecue sauce), Playeros (shrimp, bacon, cream cheese-stuffed jalapeno, chipotle mayonnaise) and others. Reservations accepted. Lunch and dinner Mon.-Sat. Credit cards. $$

Izzo's Illegal Burrito
Citywide; www.izzos.com
The build-your-own menu allows diners to choose meat (steak, ground beef, chicken, pork, shrimp), vegetables, cheeses, salsa, sour cream and other toppings for tacos, burritos, quesadillas and salads. Burrito bowls are build-your-own dishes served on a bed of rice. 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 Mexican restaurant serves barbacoa flautas featuring beef cheeks wrapped in house-made fried corn tortillas and served with guacamole, cream, queso fresco, pickled onions and hot sauce. Crispy pig ear chilaquiles come with salsa macha, a sunny side up egg and queso fresco. Reservations accepted. Lunch and dinner daily, brunch Sat.-Sun. 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.juansflying- burrito.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. Red chili and chicken quesadillas include adobo sauce, spinach and goat cheese. No reservations. Lunch and dinner daily. Credit cards. $

La Casita
634 Julia St., (504) 218-8043; 8400 Oak St., (504) 826-9913; 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. $

Los Jefes Tortilleria & Grill
3224 Edenborn Ave., Metairie, (504) 516-2861; www.losjefesgrill.com
Fish tacos are topped with cabbage, pico de gallo, cilantro, queso fresco and creamy chipotle sauce. Combination fajitas include chicken, steak, shrimp, grilled onions, bell peppers, rice, refried beans, lettuce, pico de gallo, guacamole, sour cream and tortillas. Reservations accepted. Lunch and dinner daily. Credit cards. $$

Nacho Mama's Mexican Grill
Elmwood Shopping Center, 1000 S. Clearview Parkway, Suite 1016, Harahan, (504)  736-1188; www.nachomamasmexicangrill.com
Buffalo chicken nachos feature deep fried chicken tossed in house made Buffalo sauce with blue cheese, red onion and celery. The super steak burrito is packed with steak, black beans and cheese, rolled in a tortilla and topped with crema and house-made guacamole. Reservations accepted. Lunch and dinner daily. Credit cards. $$

Rosa Mezcal
1814 Magazine St., (504) 304-7063; www.facebook.com/rosamezcalnola
Playeros tacos are filled with grilled shrimp, cream cheese-stuffed jalapenos, bacon and chipotle mayonnaise. Apache tacos are filled with sirloin, cactus and Oaxaca cheese. Both are served with two sides. Delivery available. Reservations accepted. Lunch and dinner Mon.-Sat., late-night Fri.-Sat. Credit cards. $$

Superior Grill
3636 St. Charles Ave., (504) 899-4200; www.neworleans.superiorgrill.com
The menu includes tacos, enchiladas, quesadillas, burritos, burgers, salads and more. Carnitas tacos feature pulled pork in corn tortillas with avocado, red onion, tomatillo sauce, rice and beans. Fajita platters feature a choice of grilled shrimp, steak or chicken with tortillas, peppers and onions. Reservations accepted. Lunch and dinner daily, brunch Sat.-Sun. 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 menu includes tacos, burritos, flautas, quesadillas, salads, a Mexican pizza and more. Fried shrimp and cheese flautas are served with guacamole and sour cream. A shrimp quesadilla is filled with mozzarella and cheddar cheeses and 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
Crawfish boil queso features crawfish, corn and vegetables mixed with queso and Cotija cheeses. Seared ahi tuna comes with grilled pineapple-habanero relish. 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 | Fondue | French | Indian/Pakistani | Irish
Italian | Japanese/Sushi | Juice Bar | Korean | Latin American
Louisiana Contemporary | Mediterranean/Middle Eastern | Mexican
Music & Food | Neighborhood | Pan-Asian | Pizza | Sandwiches & Po-boys
Seafood | Steakhouse | Tapas/Spanish | Thai | Vietnamese

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