Food & Drink

Everywhere in the 305 to celebrate not-Mexican independence

Published On 04/28/2013 Published On 04/28/2013
Margarita in Miami

Bad Cinco de Mayo: sitting alone in the corner with a sombrero on your head. Good Cinco de Mayo: knowing what places have the best guac, margaritas, tequila, and waitresses, making your sombrero seem cool. Which is why we put together this list of the best places to eat and party this Sunday. Best Margaritas El Rancho Grande 314 72nd St; Miami Beach; 305.864.7404 The Rancho Grande Margarita has been the cause of more “sick” days at work than the NCAA Tournament and cholera combined, and even though the beloved Lincoln Road location is no more, the spot on 72nd Street is still serving up the same delicious, enormous margs, in flavors like mango, strawberry, and classic lime. Click for more margarita madness Craziest Taco Filling Gator Grill 192 36650 SW 192nd Ave; Homestead; 786.243.0620 Until those dudes from Swamp People completely sell out and start a nationwide chain restaurant, your best option for the most "Florida" taco around is Gator Grill in Homestead, where they deep fry alligator and serve it on a tortilla with cilantro cream and shredded slaw. Get those gator-filled goodies, right here Hottest Hot Sauce Tijuana Flats Ft. Lauderdale (three locations) Yeah, you could try one of the milder sauces at Tijuana Flats' 15-sauce hot sauce bar, like “Don’t Be a Chicken Shit”, or “Smack My Ass and Call Me Sally”. Or you could be a man and go for the “Endorphin Rush” or “Death Wish". Luckily, you can even get Death Wish to go. For more on the face-melting sauces, click here Best Guacamole Rosa Mexicano 1111 Lincoln Road; Miami Beach; 305.695.1005 Rosa Mexicano isn’t the cheapest Mexican spot in town, but that’s because you don’t just get guacamole when you order it -- you get a whole damn show. The table-side guac is mashed in a traditional molcajete and comes with jalapenos that can make it pleasantly mild or borderline regrettable. Either way, it's so good you may forget about the rest of the menu. Click here for more fancy Mexican bites Best Outdoor Space Pancho Taco at Wood Tavern 2531 NW 2nd Avenue; Wynwood; 305.748.228 Can you name another taco joint where you can enjoy your meal in a lucha libre ring? And, even if you can, those tacos likely aren’t served out of a gutted 1964 Mercury Commuter station wagon. And even if, somehow, miraculously, you found a place like that, it still wouldn’t be the beer-garden-y backyard of Wood Tavern in Wynwood, where you can enjoy your tacos among the latest in indie-band sticker art. If you like that sweet taco-dispensing Mercury, click here Best Nachos Salsa Fiesta 2929 Biscayne Blvd; 305.400.8390 Who else ought to have the best nachos in Miami than a spot that takes black beans, pico de gallo, guacamole, sour cream, melted queso blanco, and your choice of meat, then puts it all over TOSTONES? They'll do it with tortilla chips too, but the folks who brought tacos to Caracas love mixing flavors, and their nachos do it better than anyone in the city. Click here for some tasty tostones action Hottest Waitresses Tijuana Taxi Company 4400 S University Dr; Davie; 954.472.5008 Tijuana Taxi Company is conveniently located next to Nova Southeastern University, which not only means students can enjoy $1.89 domestic drafts all day, but also that they have a large pool of cute college girls to recruit for their all-female waitstaff, which is usually decked out in short shorts and t-shirts that aren't terribly loose. Get more deets on the babe-staurant here Best Tequila Selection El Vato Tequila and Taco Bar 1010 South Miami Ave; Brickell; 305.523.6449 To take advantage of the 32-shot happy hour average of finance types, El Vato located themselves and their 120 different shootable tequilas smack in the center of Miami’s financial district. Plus, after sloshing back a few beers on the side, you can give them back in the coolest urinal in the city. Trust us. Learn more about this handsome tequila den, right here

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1. El Rancho Grande 314 72nd St, Miami Beach, FL 33141 (North Miami Beach)

If living in the Miami area in general isn't enough of an excuse to call in sick for work, we present the Rancho Grande Margarita, which'll be sure to knock you out just enough to stay home. Again. Some lessons are harder to learn than others. Although the old Lincoln Road location is no more, the Miami Beach one is going strong, serving up delicious 'ritas, chips & guac, and more.

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2. Gator Grill 192 36650 SW 192nd Ave, Homestead, FL 33034 (Homestead Redlands)

New York in the '70s wasn't the NY we know today, so it's hard to blame Sal DeVito for getting out of Dodge (Brooklyn in this case) and heading to Florida, where he caught his first gator -- a normal tourist activity, right? -- and never looked back. Some decades on, Sal opened Gator Grill 192 in Homestead conveniently near the Everglades Alligator Reserve. Now he's serving up his favorite reptile meat in a variety of ways, including in tacos, on sandwiches, or on kabobs.

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3. Tijuana Flats 1489 SE 17th St, Fort Lauderdale, FL 33316 (Fort Lauderdale)

With nearly 100 locations across five states, Tijuana Flats must be doing something right. They serve up Mexican favorites, from fish tacos and burritos to chips & salsa and enchiladas. They've also got a 15-sauce hot sauce bar. Man up and test your limits.

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4. Rosa Mexicano 1111 Lincoln Rd, Miami Beach, FL 33139 (South Beach)

Miami's original outpost of the fancy Mexi-chain whips up gourmet guac tableside, along with some mean margaritas.

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5. Pancho Taco 2531 NW 2nd Ave, Miami, FL 33127 (Wynwood)

Out back at Wood Tavern, there's a little placed called Pancho Taco, where a bona fide genius had the idea to serve cheap street-style Mexican food ($2 tacos and cheese quesadillas) and tons of booze, all in an outdoor space meant to resemble a lucha libre wrestling ring. Although there's no wrestling actually allowed, don't be surprised to get in a fight or two for the last of the homemade tortilla tacos stuffed with marinated chicken.

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6. Salsa Fiesta 2929 Biscayne Blvd, Miami, FL 33137 (Wynwood)

After spending 15 years introducing Caracas residents to the food of Mexico, this Venezuelan couple moved to Florida and opened Salsa Fiesta. With a menu that pulls from across Latin America, SF's got a whole range of tacos, burritos, tamales, tortas, and much more.

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7. Tijuana Taxi Company 4400 S University Dr, Davie, FL 33328 (Fort Lauderdale)

Mexican classics, like enchiladas, huge burritos, and fish tacos, all served by a pretty wait staff.

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8. El Vato Tequila & Taco Bar 1010 South Miami Ave, Miami, FL 33130 (Brickell)

El Vato has an edgy feel in a warehouse-like space that features walls covered in graffiti from local artists, sinks made of spare tires, light bulbs in the shape of skulls, and a bright red 1964 Buick Riviera that is now a four-person booth. In this environment, the Vato folks are serving up fish tacos, flautas stuffed with chipotle aioli and about 60 varieties of tequila.

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