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PUERTO VALLARTA 4214 Charlestown Rd., New Albany IN, 945-3588, 125 Quartermaster Ct., Jeffersonville IN, 288-2022, 7814 Beulah Church Rd., 239-4646. $$ L D p QDOBA MEXICAN GRILL (17 locations). This chain operation extends from Louisville to Frankfort and Lexington. Fast-foodish in style, Qdoba edges out its competitors on variety and interesting salsas, plus sizable portions at a price you can afford. $ L D f RAMIRO’S CANTINA 2350 Frankfort Ave., 895-3333. Ramiro Gandara’s Mexican restaurant in the heart of Crescent Hill’s restaurant row has his mom, Tina Ruton Escajeda, in control in the kitchen. Together they deliver some unique menu items, such as enchiladas verdes, lobster quesadilla, guacamole burger, and shrimp fajitas. And don’t forget Tina’s specialty: scratch-made tamales. Vegetarian choices too, and a full bar. $ L D hpf ROSTICERIA LUNA 5213 Preston Hwy., 962-8898. Tiny and cluttered and very friendly, this little spot on Preston looks like another tacqueria but the specialty, Mexican-style roasted chicken, takes it to another level, juicy and succulent and roasted golden brown. Chicken simply doesn’t get any better than this. $ L D hp

SIN FRONTERAS 827 Eastern Blvd., Clarksville IN, 2920901. $$ L D p SOL AZTECAS 2427 Bardstown Rd., 459-7776. Founded by Saul Garcia down on Main St.’s museum row, his restaurant has an extensive menu that satisfies those who want standard fare like tacos, fajitas and burritos, and also offers more sophisticated fare like salmon and shrimp, steak and several Mexican chicken preparations. $ L D hpf TACO TICO 5925 Terry Rd., 449-9888. Founded in Wichita in 1962, the same year Taco Bell was born in Southern California, the Taco Tico chain had been gone locally for more than a decade. Its happy return has been drawing remarkable crowds. $ L D TACQUERIA LA MEXICANA 6201 Preston Hwy., 9694449. The tacos are fine at this tiny storefront. This is seriously ethnic stuff, but Anglos are thoroughly welcome, the staff is bilingual, and they will happily provide a menu with all the English translations written in. $ L D TAQUERIA RAMIREZ 4806 Bardstown Rd., 491-9300. You cam find the expected here — tacos, burritos, enchiladas, fajitas, quesadillas — but with sincerity and fewer accommodations to American tastes. Unassuming decor, but satisfying Mexican food. $ L D p

SANTA FE GRILL 3000 S. Third St., 634-3722. This tiny eatery in a century-old South End storefront near Churchill Downs never fails to satisfy with genuine Mexican tacos and other simple fare at prices that will leave you plenty of change for an exacta bet at the races. $ L D

TIENDA LA CHAPINLANDIA 1209 McCawley Rd., 384-7075. If those tiny hole-in-the-wall places are the best for real Mexican food, this little South End place will satisfy Okolona’s need for tacos and burritos. $ L D p

SEÑOR IGUANA’S 1415 Broadway St., Clarksville IN, 280-8555, 3105 S. Second St., 368-0876, 9424 Shelbyville Rd., 425-4581, 9909 Taylorsville Rd., 409-9565, 4000 Dutchmans Ln., 742-1900, 5637 Outer Loop , 708-2165. This expanding local chain is going upscale, with re-designed crisp modern decor, well-prepared Mexican food, and plenty of it, in a casual, comfortable modern atmosphere. $ L D hpfe

VILLE TAQUERIA 3922 Westport Rd., 721-2886. Owner Fabian Garcia builds tacos upon scratch-made tortillas, tortas, and burritos — the way he tasted them when he visited Mexico as a kid. The bar serves margaritas, “bourbonritas” and micheladas (the beer, tomato juice and hot sauce concoction commonly found in better Mexican restaurants). $ L D hp

h = Late Night p = Full Bar f = Outdoor Dining e = Live Music

WILD RITA’S 445 E. Market St., 584-7482. Downtown needed this new concept from the owners of Wild Eggs: Modern Mexican food and a hundred choices of tequila at the bar. Owners J.D. Rothberg and Shane Hall, along with Chef Tony Efstratiadis have put together an entertaining and tasty menu, with things like tangy-spicy ceviches, mussels con chorizo, tamarind-glazed cod, a bunch of different tacos and an upscale tamale. $$ L D hpe YELLOW CACTUS 3620 Paoli Pk., Floyds Knobs IN, 903-0313. A yellow neon cactus draws diners to this Indiana restaurant that offers standard Mexican cantina fare, as well as steak and chicken in both American and Mexican styles, and a few seafood dishes. $ L D hp

ME GUSTA LATIN KITCHEN & BAR 129 W. Main St., 583-5505. The owners of this Whiskey Row space have introduced a pan-Latin menu featuring quesadillas, tacos and fajitas, plus a Cuban sandwich and steak tampiqueno at lunch. For dinner, you’ll find the Argentinian mixed grill parrillada and marinated lamb shank with Peruvian spices.$$ L D hpf YUMMY POLLO 4222 Bishop Ln., 618-1400. You can get Peruvian-style charcoal roasted chicken here by the piece, half or whole bird. American-style side dishes include fried or mashed potatoes, rice, steamed vegetables, slaw and pasta salad. $ L

2 DIPS AND A SHAKE 321 W. Main St., 566-3258. Got an ice cream craving? Specifically a Comfy Cow craving but you don’t have the time to rush from downtown to the ’burbs to sate it? Then visit this spot across the street from Actors Theater to get your fix. $ f

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Spring 2016 (vol 51)  

Feb - Mar - April 2016

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