Elizabeth Large's Top 10 Tex-mex Restaurants

July 29, 2009|By ELIZABETH LARGE

When I did a Top 10 list of Mexican restaurants a while back, I promised to make up a list of Tex-Mex at a later date. Last week I finally got around to it, even though I knew the list would create an uproar. My biggest problem was that it was hard to come up with 10 good, bad or indifferent. I didn't want to include chains. My one regret is that I didn't include Taco Fiesta in Harbor East, which several readers recommended when they saw my list.

1

Austin Grill in Canton. An area chain that features 15 homemade salsas and sauces and mesquite-grilled fish.

2

Geckos in Canton. Technically they call themselves Southwestern, but if I'm too strict with my definition, I'm not going to come up with 10.

3

Holy Frijoles in Hampden. The food here has gotten mixed reviews since it expanded, but it's a neighborhood institution with lots of personality.

4

Loco Hombre in Roland Park. If someone at your table doesn't feel like having Tex-Mex, you can always get an Alonso's burger.

5

Mex in Power Plant Live. Still more bar than restaurant, the food here (classic burritos, enchiladas and tacos) has improved since it first opened.

6

Nacho Mama's in Canton. You have to love Elvis, Natty Boh and quesadillas, not necessarily in that order, to appreciate this well-liked spot.

7

Nino Taco in Owings Mills. A popular taco joint, where to go for your fix of fajitas, cheese, beans, tortillas and beef in this area.

8

Rio Grande Cafe in Bethesda. This is far afield for a Top 10, but so many people mentioned it as the only authentic Tex-Mex in the area, I thought I ought to include it.

9

Si Salsa in Pikesville. It doesn't call itself Tex-Mex, but Si Salsa is definitely American-Mexican, and take a look at the menu. There's as much Tex-Mex as anything on it.

10

Zen West in Govans. Family-friendly, clean, colorful and cheerful. Sometimes those qualities are just as important as fabulous food.

Readers talk back

Los Portales by BWI and its sister restaurant Plaza Garabaldi across from Marley Station Mall have excellent food. Not sure where they fall on the Mexican/Tex-Mex continuum though.

Posted by: Elliott

...We probably only have 10 Tex Mex places total, regardless of food quality. There's really a market out there for someone to tap into. If only we could get our own Lauriol Plaza up here. I'd settle for an Uncle Julio's Rio Grande though. At least they make their own flour tortillas.

Posted by: Bob UU

Well, even though they themselves do not like to be called a Tex-Mex place, I would have to say that Lista's in Pasadena should be on the list...

Posted by: Maggi

I was at Mex earlier this month. I'd heard very mixed things, but ended up going because friends from work were heading over, and had a surprisingly good burger there.

Posted by: Campbell M.

I hate to say this, but there are a couple of chain tex mex restaurants that are as good and if not better than this top 10 list. Chevy's and Baja Fresh come to mind.

Posted by: billy butterbean

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