Comments: Where's the Good Mexican in Baltimore?

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Ah, finally I can pipe up. The City Paper has rarely led us down the wrong path, but there are a couple clunkers here and there.

I agree that Los Amigos isn't as great as everyone says -- but the little takeaway place Los Amigos Dos, which was run, I believe, by the Los Amigos' owner's son, was AMAZING. That's over in Towson, and I think he's actually packing up for another venture soon so it might not be open. That kid's got a gift, seriously.

I like Blue Agave, but try Kiko's -- a strip mall masterpiece (8806 Belair Road, Nottingham, MD 21236). A bit off into the suburbs, but it was just named best Mexican by Baltimore Magazine a month or so ago, and is just wonderful.

Oh, and I'm vegetarian so that's probably why I feel the same way about Los Amigos. My carnivorous boyfriend loves them (but agrees about Los Amigos Dos, too, and loves Kiko's more). Kiko's has two delicious veg dishes - enchiladas potosinas and chile rellenos - and I know I've seen a few fish specials here and there too.

Kat, great suggestions - thanks. Maybe we'll give Blue Agave another try, but there's no way I would have tried Los Amigos Dos or Kiko's without your rec. Now, I will.

You're most welcome! I think you'll love Kiko's -- Los Amigos Dos isn't quite as veggie-friendly, but they've got a lovely big burrito and to-do-for fried plantains. According to knowledgeable-daughter-of-boyfriend, Marco is shutting it down at the end of the month, but says he'll be back somewhere new soon.

They're both sort of at different ends of the casual dining spectrum... Los Amigos Dos has a couple of tables and is more of a takeaway joint, and Kiko's is a charming sit-down oasis in the middle of a slightly grubby strip mall.

Oh, and one more -- Salsa Grill in Woodlawn. In an even shabbier strip mall, less polished than Kiko's and with a Spanish-Peruvian vibe. Great salsa, boring chips, great tamales and pupusas, lots of fish. If we didn't like Kiko's so much we'd go there all the time.

Are the Rick Bayless restaurants there any good? He seems to be so enthusiastic about Mexican cuisine.

Francine, the two I've been to - Topolobampo and the attached Frontera are outstanding.

The drinks are amazing, the food creative and perfectly done. He really does elevate Mexican food to the tops of fine dining. And you see him around the place all the time. I've been there a half dozen times and seen him on four of those visits.

Definitely make a reservation for Topolobampo if you visit Chicago (or live there) or if you can't get a reservation, head to Frontera next door and hover over a table in the back. It's you-grab-it, it's yours seating at Frontera and that's exactly how we got a place for our last big restaurant meal in Chicago before leaving. And it was great.

I'm not from Maryland, but having lived in Texas, and California and now in Oklahoma. I have found that if you stay off the restaurant rows that every city has and go to the small mom and pop owned mexican restaurants you will be pleasantly surprised. These are the ones that make their guacamole fresh, chop their own meat, and make their own tortillas, corn or flour. They are also very eager to accomodate. When I'm craving mexican, i stay away from the chain restaurants and fast food and head for the small privately owned restaurant.

We recently moved back to B'more, and we've been on the lookout for good Mexican (especially veggie and seafood-based) ever since. We've found a few somewhat decent places - like Holy Frijoles in Hampden - but it seems like most Mexican restaurants in town are very overpriced, and not all that impressive taste-wise.

We lived in a small town in Georgia before this, and were used to having an excellent and extremely cheap Mexican joint in town (we're talkin' shrimp fajitas for two and a pitcher of ritas for about $11 total), so we're kind of perplexed.

zip on down to annapolis some time. we've got a surprisingly large latino population. My favorite place is on the corner of ol solomons road and forest drive near the value city. There are only one or two menus in english, telemundo or univision is always on tv, and the food is excellent. This place isn't high end but you'll get flavorful hearty, authentic latin (more mexican) food. Its worth the trip and we always like the balwmer folks to come down.

Avoid La Fiesta at all costs. We paid $35 for four cheese quesadillas. Why? Nothing on the kid’s menu appealed to our kids so we asked the waiter if they could make some cheese quesadillas for the kids. He said nothing of the fact that they charge the full, regular price (nearly $9.00) no matter what toppings it has on it. The $9 quesadilla gets you beef or chicken. Ours had only cheese and nothing else—not even beans or rice on the side. One (1!) tortilla, some cheese folded over. That's it. For nearly $9 a piece. You would think the waiter would have the sense to mention that we were paying out the nose for these CHEESE quesadillas when we ordered two more for our hungry kids. We tried to reason with the manager who not only was not sympathetic to our situation, but actually smirked and laughed at us. We were as polite and diplomatic about it as possible but he would not consider how ridiculous it was to pay nearly $9 for a cheese quesadilla (again: ONE tortilla and some cheese). The manager finally took half off of one of the quesadillas. Hardly adequate. Consider a couple other Mexican restaurants: One charges $4.25 for a cheese quesadilla, rice and beans, dessert and drink. Another charges 95 cents (yes, CENTS) for a cheese quesadilla. And if it weren't for the ridiculously overpriced cheese quesadilla, I would still only give La Fiesta a moderate rating. The rest of the food was fair but not great. And it seems strange to pay $10.25 for a platter with two cheese enchiladas, a taco (with rice and beans) but only a dollar or so less than that for one CHEESE QUESADILLA. Even had the manager lowered the price to $5.00 each we would have been (relatively) happy but we still would have paid $20 for four (4!) tortillas with cheese on them. The bottom line: ¡Avoid La Fiesta!

Venture down to Canton and try a couple places. Austin Grill is a DC chain, but their high test margaritas are awesome. Tart, potent, delicious! Their gaucamole is good too, but that's it. Their food is average.

Then head over to Canton Square and hit Nacho Mama's. Can be a bit of a wait at times, but food is great and reasonably priced.

I live in France and have a horrible time finding Mexican food that is good. And, to add insult to injury, a margarita can cost about $10 and it's not even large.
My son, when a teen-ager, worked at Taco Bell (I have to admit I do like their enchiritos) and called it Taco Hell. I always smile when I see one back in the States.

Go to ARCOS on Broadway in Upper Fells Points burgeoning latino neighborhood....I think you'll like it.

Go to ARCOS on Broadway in Upper Fells Points burgeoning latino neighborhood....I think you'll like it.

You may want to check out Taqueria Atotonilco on the western part of the 695 loop near Security Square Mall. They have really good mexican food and fun atmosphere. The details are here:

Taqueria Atotonilco - Authentic Mexican Food‎
1724 Woodlawn Dr
Baltimore, MD 21207
(410) 944-2494
http://www.taqueria-atotonilco.com


We've always like Pachanga Concina in Ellicott City on Rt. 40. La Palapa in Historic Ellicott City is not bad either. Tequila Mockingbird in Ocean City has the best Margaritas and good food.

I am pretty disappointed by the discussions on here. Everyone is entitled to their opinions, but let me make some points. First, many of you focus on the margaritas. In Mexico, margaritas are not even always served places and they certainly don't have the dozens of varieties posters here seem to seek. Second, fajitas and quesadillas are note even mexican food. Third, the initial post refers to Jaleo as latin food. It isn't. Spanish food is continental, as is Italian and French. The culinary heritage between Spain and Mexico is virtually nil due to the completely different agricultural products encountered 500 years ago! The American perception of burritos is not Mexican either. Burritos in Mexico are one of many foods they eat, not one of the mains like many people here have come to believe. I guess that is the influence of the 'mission-style burrito' and places like Chipotle. Lastly, i have lived in Chicago and places like Frontera are truly outstanding. However, the vast majority of the places there are no better than what we have in Fells Point here (the mix of Salvadoran/Mexican) or in other areas around the city. Blue Agave does have the potential to be that upper end upscale Mexican place for the city. Their Margaritas are not made from a mix or bottled lime juice. I know a bartender there. However, their food can be under salted at times. Loco Hombre used to have potential but that experiment seems to have blown up a couple of years ago. The best thing to do is walk along Broadway and pick a place in upper Fells Point. You will get real Mexican and/or Salvadoran. If authenticity is what you seek, you will be happy with a plate of rice, beans, and a pounded out steak. Just grab a hot tortilla in one hand, dig in, and wash it down with a Negra Modelo. That is good stuff.

El Salto in Towson is pretty good. It's more americanized mexican but still tasty.

The meat dishes at Los Amigos are good. But, the last time I ate there I got a bit sick to my stomach. Probably a fluke, but it has left a bad taste in my mouth for them. Pun intended.

Taqueria El Sabor Latino Del is worth checking out. I have my own standards for Mexican, and my preferences definitely lean in the direction of the taco cart. Taqueria El Sabor Latino Del has that no frills, good food appeal. I doubt you can get a margarita there, but you can definitely get authentic tacos filled with beef tongue, tripe, or grilled cactus. You won't find that at an upscale Tex-Mex joint. Address: 2901 Eastern Avenue. Price: $2/taco.

I rated them on Google Maps after we tried the place. The link to the reviews page is: http://maps.google.com/maps/place?cid=14215587352424391899&q=taqueria+baltimore&gl=us&hl=en&dtab=2&vps=2&jsv=321b&sll=39.288879,-76.597535&sspn=0.034973,0.053874&ie=UTF8.

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