Top 10 Tex-Mex Restaurants
I'm probably not the best person to be making up this list. I've certainly eaten a lot of Tex-Mex over the years, but I'm not the one who usually reviews Tex-Mex restaurants.
More than ever I've had to rely on others more knowledgeable than I am, which means that those of you who don't read Dining@large regularly should check out my Official Disclaimer. And even with the help of others, I've barely managed to come up with 10 -- good, bad or indifferent.
Note: If you want a list of restaurants serving Mexican or other Latin American cuisines, look elsewhere.
However, I did promise you this Top 10 list when I did Top 10 Mexican Restaurants, so I'm going to bravely wade right in: ...
* Austin Grill in Canton. An area chain that features 15 homemade salsas and sauces and mesquite-grilled fish.
* Geckos in Canton. Technically they call themselves Southwestern, but if I'm too strict with my definition, I'm not going to come up with 10.
* Holy Frijoles in Hampden. The food here has gotten mixed reviews since it expanded, but it's a neighborhood institution with lots of personality.
* Loco Hombre in Roland Park. If someone at your table doesn't feel like having Tex-Mex, you can always get an Alonso's burger.
* Mex in Power Plant Live. Still more bar than restaurant, the food here (classic burritos, enchiladas and tacos) has improved since it first opened.
* Nacho Mama's in Canton. You have to love Elvis, Natty Boh and quesadillas, not necessarily in that order, to appreciate this well-liked spot.
* Nino Taco in Owings Mills. A popular taco joint, where to go for your fix of fajitas, cheese, beans, tortillas and beef in this area.
* Rio Grande Cafe in Bethesda. This is far afield for a Top 10, but so many people mentioned it as the only authentic Tex-Mex in the area, I thought I ought to include it.
* Si Salsa in Pikesville. It doesn't call itself Tex-Mex, but Si Salsa is definitely American-Mexican, and take a look at the menu. There's as much Tex-Mex as anything on it.
* Zen West in Govans. Family friendly, clean, colorful and cheerful. Sometimes those qualities are just as important as fabulous food.
(Kenneth K. Lam/Sun photographer)