Si Senor - Some fajitas leave you feeling like you're eating meat and veggies covered in oil, and with little flavor to accompany that sizzle. Si Senor's version (with meat or without) has a sweet onion flavor that's more than cumin sprinkled overtop. Vegetarians will love the tender chunks of zucchini, julienne onions, peppers, tomatoes and mushrooms, which even on the short jaunt home were still steaming. The dish comes with all of the needed accoutrements: refried beans, yellow rice and lettuce, sour cream and guacamole. A big bag of warm chips and salsa is sent home with you, so the only thing missing is the margarita. Info To Go » Combination dishes are numbered up to 68 with options from classic burrito and flauta dinners to chicken chipotle with poblano peppers, bacon and cheese sauce. Don't understand what a dish is? Hit up Si Senor's website for a takeout menu and a Mexican food glossary that explains everything from guacamole and margaritas to sincronizada — grilled cheese made with tortillas.
No matter where you grab a burrito, there's the standard drill of at-the-counter choices: meat, rice, beans, veggies and salsas. But Ohio City Burrito kicks things up a notch with savory pork and seasoned refried beans perfected by co-owners, siblings and Italians Jeff and Michelle Pizzuli. Info To Go » Much like Chipotle, choices include traditional burritos, burrito bowls and tacos. "Some of our regulars are actually Chipotle employees," Jeff says.
Cozumel offers the classic Mexican burrito, deep-fried to gluttonous perfection. It gets an extra helping of south-of-the-border love thanks to a mildly spicy, homemade enchilada sauce, which mixes with the melted Monterey Jack cheese to make each bite simultaneously gooey and zesty. Info to Go » The menu features dozens of classic specials and combination plates plus crab enchiladas and chicken and pork tamales that go through a rigorous four-hour process before they're even cooked. "Everything I serve, I cook here," says chef and managerRamon Leons. "Everything is prepared daily." If you're hosting a fiesta, Cozumel offers party trays for 15 to 20 people.
We love Luchita's for its salsas and sauces, and the local chain's first jump to cafeteria-style service, Luchita's X-Press, doesn't forget what makes it great. This wet burrito is smothered in a light pico de gallo and mole, which takes 2 1/2 days to prepare and is made with four peppers, 65 spices and Abuelita chocolate. Info To Go » With a build-your-own approach, the short menu is more an assembly-line list of choices: Burrito, taco or quesadilla? Chicken, steak or vegetarian? ChefRey Galindo opened here in June because with University Hospitals across the street, he figured it'd appeal to health-conscious customers. "Ninety percent of [our food] is organic. That's the way I eat, so I want to stick to what I eat," he says.
Pick Up »11311 Euclid Ave., ClevelandOhio, 216-229-2023, luchita.com
Fish Taco ... $3.95
It takes a blend of 10 spices, including cocoa and molasses, to create the caramelized coat on each red snapper filet inside El Tango Tacqueria's fish taco. But a cream sauce, made with chipotle, lime, mayonnaise and garlic, makes it shine. It's so good, customers buy it by the pint. Info To Go » With recipes from the Oaxacan region near Mexico City, this isn't traditional Tex-Mex. There's huevos rancheros ($8.95) in cascabel sauce and tequila lime sweet potatoes ($3.95). "This is the food they actually serve in Mexico," says ownerAntonio Carafelli. "These dishes aren't Westernized."
Pick Up »14224 Madison Ave., LakewoodOhio, 216-226-9999