Yes, we put a Mexican restaurant on the list. Fact is, this hot spot has the requisite tacos and chimichangas and quesadillas, but even those items are made with top-notch ingredients (we're partial to the Enchiladas D.F.—for Mexico City's Distrito Federal—with shrimp, lump crab, and a pumpkin seed cilantro mole). And owner Frank Scibelli has taken enough scouting trips to Mexico to bring back a host of authentic dishes that we guarantee you will never see on any other Mexican menu in town.
Cantina on the Cheap
We also like Cantina for its value. Even the high-end dishes come in under $20 (and several are cheaper at lunch), and you can gorge on three authentic-style tacos (soft shell, please), which comes with cilantro rice, charro beans, and tortilla slaw, and a margarita for fifteen bucks.
1511 East Blvd., 704-331-9222; 7708 Rea Rd., in Stonecrest, 704-752-9797, cantina1511restaurant.com