Food & Drink

Everywhere in the Hub to celebrate not-Mexican independence

Published On 04/28/2013 Published On 04/28/2013
Where to Cinco in Boston

Because drinking watered-down margaritas is practically a slap in the face to the brave Mexican soldiers who valiantly fought for your right to co-opt a day they don't even really celebrate, don't do that, and instead just hit our favorite places to ring in Cinco de Mayo:

Best Margaritas Lone Star 479 Cambridge St; Allston; 617.782.8226 While it boasts a solid eight-deep bench of margaritas and tequila 'tails ripe with faves like the gimlet-style Mexico City and 20oz Mug-A-Rita, it's the spicy mezcal & reposado El Diablo, with jalapeno-and-habanero agave syrup and a chili-lime salted rim, that pushes this Allston taco joint over the top. Click here for more gourmet tacos and tequila
Craziest Taco Filling Poe's Kitchen at the Rattlesnake 384 Boylston Street; Back Bay; 617.859.8555 Despite your first thought, no, rattlesnake tacos are sadly not on the menu. Chef Brian Poe does, however, snag top honors for infusing ground antelope with duck fat before dressing it up with a fried corn tortilla, smoked Fresno chiles, jalapeno-bacon ranch, salsa fresca, and Chihuahua cheese. Click here to find out more about Poe's
Hottest Hot Sauce La Casa De Pedro 343 Arsenal Street; Watertown; 617.923.8025 Assuming you can't get enough of it in your Camarones al Ajillo, this boisterous, palm-tree-laden Venezuelan joint off the beaten path in Watertown actually sells bottles of their super spicy, sinus-clearing, homemade jalapeno and habenero sauce, all for your home dining pleasure. Get more info on this Venezuelan hotspot here
Best Guacamole Ole Mexican Grill 11 Springfield Street; Cambridge; 617.492.4495 Hand-made tableside before it was even cool to make guacamole at the table, the award-winning avocado mash at this authentic Mexican eatery in Inman Square blends tomato, cilantro, and jalapenos, and is served chunky in a stone molcajete. Click here for more info on this classic Mexi-joint
Best Outdoor Space Temazcal Tequila Cantina 250 Northern Ave; Seaport/South Boston; 617.439.3502 Because sipping margaritas on a sunny afternoon is always more enjoyable while flipping Rolaids to seagulls, the deck at this Seaport tequileria offers scenic waterfront views of Boston's inner harbor. If your idea of a "scenic view", however, is staring lovingly at Fenway's Green Monster, then you can't go wrong taking down tequila flights from the patio of Lansdowne Street's La Verdad. Click here for more info on the waterfront eatery
Best Nachos Sunset Grill & Tap 130 Brighton Ave; Allston; 617.254.1331 Known primarily for its ridiculous assemblage of 380 brews, this popular Tex-Mex-leaning Allston beer bar also plates some of the Hub's most acclaimed nachos: the monstrous South of the Border Giant Fiesta, piled high with BBQ pulled pork, jalapenos, a choice of chilis, and both Jack & cheddar cheese. If you like beer and tacos, you'll want to click here
Best Salsa El Pelon Taqueria 2197 Commonwealth Ave, at Lake; Brighton; 617.799.9090 Noteworthy for having suffered through two separate fires (the second of which destroyed their Peterborough St location), this popular taco joint rose from the ashes and fittingly slings the Hub's best mild... just kidding... fire-roasted salsa. Get more info on the tasty taqueria, here
Best Tequila Selection Lolita Cocina & Tequila Bar 271 Dartmouth St; Back Bay; 617.369.5609 The influx of high-end tequila joints in recent years has left the Hub with no shortage of bars pouring hundreds upon hundreds of Mexican firewaters, from Faneuil Hall's Mija Cantina & Tequila Bar, Ft Point's Papagayo, and Davis Square's Painted Burro, to the Seaport's Temazcal, to Back Bay's Tico. Our fave, though, is Dartmouth Street's dimly lit gothic temple to tequila, Lolita, which boasts over 200 varieties -- including rare/expensive bottles like the limited edition Jose Cuervo 250 Aniversario and 1800 Coleccion. Sound good? Click here for more on this tequila temple...

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1. Lone Star Taco Bar 479 Cambridge St, Allston, MA 02134 (Allston Brighton)

Lone Star is the result of a collaboration between two dudes from Texas and Southern California, so you can feel pretty confident that they know their way around Mexican food. With a menu influenced by taquerias and markets in Austin, Dallas, and Mazatlan, Lone Star serves up a huge range of tacos, from carnitas and barbacoa to refried beans and huevos rancheros. They also do a killer breakfast menu (breakfast tacos! huevos rancheros!) and have an absolute ton of tequilas ready to pour.

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2. Poe's Kitchen at the Rattlesnake 384 Boylston St, Boston, MA 02116 (Back Bay)

For a while, Rattlesnake got by on being the only spot on Boylston with a rooftop deck, but eventually doing the bare minimum wasn't enough. To remedy the situation, the RS folks brought in chef Brian Poe to ensure that customers nevermore (see what we did there?) walked away complaining of the rooftops's lack of carne asada tacos. That, plus quesadillas, nachos, BLTs, a whole range of tequilas, cocktails, beers & wines, is exactly what they're now offering up. On a roof. On Boylston. It's the perfect combination at last.

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3. La Casa De Pedro 343 Arsenal St, Watertown, MA 02472 (Watertown)

Tapas at this Venezuelan joint include the yucas fritas, which come dressed with cilantro and garlic oil, while entrees run the gamut from meat, to meat, to more meat. With some fish in there, too, for good measure.

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4. Olé 11 Springfield St, Cambridge, MA 02139 (Inman Square)

Although not much about Cambridge screams Mexican food, you'll be pleasantly surprised by the authentic eats coming out of this Inman Square joint's kitchen. They're serving up modern takes on traditional dishes, offering baja style fish tacos, tamales stuffed with mushrooms and cheese, and a chorizo-stuffed pork chop, among others. Without a doubt, the highlight is their tableside-made guac, which they've been doing since way before that became a super popular trend. So give them credit for that before giving them your credit card, too.

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5. Temazcal Tequila Cantina 250 Northern Ave, Boston, MA 02210 (Financial Dist Waterfront)

Venture on down to Liberty Wharf for a taste of Mexico with a side of ridiculous waterfront views. The kitchen’s got a James Beard-award-winning chef, who spent some time South of the border and brought back a pages-long roster of inspired dishes to the Seaport.

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6. Sunset Grill & Tap 130 Brighton Ave, Allston, MA 02134 (Allston Brighton)

Although this Allston spot is known primarily for its HUGE beer selection (nearly 400) -- which makes sense, because this joint is right near BU and is in the frat/party central area of the campus -- it's also got a massive food menu to boast about. It features everything you could possibly think of, including nachos, BBQ ribs, fish tacos, 1/2 lb. burgers, fajitas, and a bunch more. If you aren't coming here hungry, there must be something wrong.

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7. El Pelon Taqueria 2197 Commonwealth Ave, Brighton, MA 02467 (Chestnut Hill)

Having already dealt with two fires (NOTE: do NOT piss off Wheeler from Captain Planet), the stubbornly resilient folks behind El Pelon are once again slinging Mexican deliciousness in new BC-area digs including choice faves like fried plantains with fire-roasted salsa, braised pork tortas w/ spicy mayo and lime onions, and grilled steak Caramelos tacos topped w/ salsa fresca and melted jack.

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8. Lolita Cocina & Tequila Bar 271 Dartmouth St, Boston, MA 02116 (Back Bay)

Lolita is Back Bay’s vampy, dimly lit tequila temple with over 50 different types along with Mexican-inspired cuisine. Pair tequila flights, one of the many margaritas (think a Spicy Cucumber made with blanco tequila, serrano chilies, and muddled cucumber), a plain old cerveza, or, if you’re feeling fancy, a $100 tequila with one of many authentic Mexican dishes like, thick yucca fries, crispy beef and pork empanadas, and flavorful Carne Asada with skirt steak, roasted red peppers, and charred jalapeños. On the less traditional side, the menu features Pork Meatballs al Pastor with pineapple chile sauce and sweet, crunchy Chopped Jicama Salad with manchego cheese and chile-lime ranch dressing. The kitchen stays open late Thursday through Saturday, and Monday is all you can eat tacos.



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