Step-Up Mexican from a Resto Vet

Everyone loves a "new era", from politicians promising to fix things, to you purchasing a Hawks 59/50 to bring good luck...actually, maybe you'd better buy two hats. Check out a guy who wants to be known for ushering in a new era of Mexican food, at Tacos & Tequilas Mexican Grill.

A spacious low-cost eatery/drinkery, T & T's owned by a 14-year vet of the La Parrilla chain, who's updating the restaurante experience with pretty-damn-elevated eats and imported decor like oil paintings of Mexican musicians, water-cooler-like lamps displaying tequila bottles, and a covered patio with a metal-frog mariachi band sculpture and wall-mounted, back-lit steel plates with carvings of lizards, because "When you go to Cancun, you see them everywhere", especially if there're no dividers between the urinals. For starters, try dips like Mexi-Mango, or "Very Tasty" (queso, grilled shrimp, steak, chicken, pico & tortillas), then grab quesadillas Tejana (Tex-Mex); ground beef/shredded chicken/pork enchiladas; or tacos like the T&T (steak, chicken, shrimp & brisket) or De Pescado: garlic-butter-sauteed tilapia w/ your choice of rice or Charro beans -- which confusingly, are 100% natural. There're also house specialties like Chihuahua cheese-/brisket-stuffed poblanos, deep-fried pork tips, and salmon w/ mango-tequila sauce, while more meat includes the 8oz Mexican cheeseburger (w/ avocado, jalapenos, bacon & cheddar) and the grilled-shrimp-topped Zacatecano ribeye, whose name's derived from a type of grass found in Zacatecas, Mexico, also home to the world's highest per capita population of Lego maniacos.

Sauce up with 50+ tequilas, 15 mainly south-o'-the-border bottles, and six drafts, some of which you can get $6 pitchers of on Wednesdays. Other specials include $3.25 'rita pints on Tuesdays, and there'll be live music 6-9pm on weekends, including a female soloist the owner says performs "California-style" -- too bad this era's Hawks can't say the same.