Cinco de Mayo. The very special holiday where Mexicans celebrate their most important civic holiday and Americans pretend they're Mexican for an acceptable excuse to drink tequila on a weeknight.
So in honor of this very awesome non-American holiday, I've decided to put together an abbreviated TOP-Ten (okay, we'll call it a TOP-five for accuracy) list of the Burgh's best Mexican restaurants, at least in my opinion. I admit I'd like to review more Mexican Restaurants so I open this post up to any and all spicy suggestions.
I'd like to start by saying I've chosen my TOP-five with a pang of sadness. My very favorite Mexican Restaurant is no longer open to the public. Poor Las Velas. I miss you so much and wish you'd come back. Will you please come back?
El Sombrero (Cranberry Twp): I've only been here once and it was a long time ago, but I remember it being so authentic and delicious....and SPICY! And that's what I love. Menus written in Spanish may confuse the crap out of me, but at least I feel confident about the food I'm about to receive. Check their website for "All You Can Eat Taco Nights!" They're offering a chance to win a free dinner on Cinco de Mayo so check it out! Also... the fried ice cream. Just do it.
Emiliano's (South Side): I've only been to the South Side location, but they've also got restaurants in the North Hills and now Gibsonia. Something for everyone! They have an excellent vegetarian menu and really great interior decor! They all open at 11 a.m. tomorrow morning so get their early for the big fiesta (and Margarita specials)!
Picante Grille (Dormont): Every Tuesday is $1 Margarita Day. Yes, you heard me. $1 Margaritas. Known and loved for their amazing quesadillas, these guys also throw a mean party. Tomorrow you can get a $7 combo dinner platter and $2 Dos Equis.
Mad Mex (All over PGH, Columbus and PSU, too!): Is it weird that my ABSOLUTELY FAVORITE thing on their menu (aside from the Big Azz Margarita) is their Mahi Mahi Salad? Their wings and giant burritos are great too but that Salad....mmmm. Tomorrow they're serving breakfast starting at 9 a.m.and they've got specials going all day. The Shadyside location is where I'll be (squeezed in with everyone else in the region) starting at 6 p.m. Come meet me!
Los Chiludos (Canonsburg): If you haven't, please, PLEASE try it. Make the trek. It's worth it. It was the one and only time in my entire life that I had ZERO leftovers when leaving a homespun Mexican restaurant. I ate it all and wanted more. PID and his coworkers go crazy for Los Chiludos and he begged me to make it number one on this list, but didn't have to beg too hard. I know a good burrito when I see one. They've recently moved to Southpointe Blvd, so make sure you check out their new location!
So tip your glass and your sombrero to these TOP-five Mexican restaurants in the area. Enjoy your tequila, but make sure you enjoy your food while you're at it!
Feliz Cinco de Mayo!