Destination eating is a serious matter. Since it now costs about $4 a gallon to fill up the tank, we figure the meal better be worth the drive. On that note, we present Chapultepec, a neighborhood dive just north of the Gulfstream commercial monstrosity. This restaurant delivers the best damn Mexican north of the border.
Chapultepec is the house that Mama built. Peek into the kitchen and you'll witness three generations of women slaving over a hot stove. The tortilla chips are made fresh throughout the day and when that plastic box shows up with a side of runny green sauce, beware. Whatever your previous notion of "spicy" may be, prepare to leave it at the door. This is how they eat it in central Mexico, no Americanized tomato based salsa here. It is seriously hot, so before you even place an order, heed the following advice -- get a Negro Modelo to coat your tongue between bites.
Speaking of spicy, the chilaquiles ($6.99) will cause the back of your
knees to start sweating. Crunchy tortilla chips somehow manage to soak
up the verde sauce without becoming a soggy mess. Crema and queso create
a creamy canopy for your choice of steak, chicken, or the ultimate hang
over cure in Mexico - two fried eggs (anything in Mexico becomes
breakfast with an egg on top, glorious, sí?).
For more delicate
flowers who require taste without the jaw-dropping spice, try beef
chimichangas ($8.99), which are deep-fried without excess grease; a
monumental achievement. Made with skirt steak and filled with melted
cheese, this is another menu stand-out. But really, the burritos ($8.99),
enchiladas ($7.99) and quesadillas ($7.99), all manage to capture the authentic flavor of
Mexican for food purists, without the new wave, "healthy" mindset of
calorie...blah, blah, blah.
Mexican soap operas play on every
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television screen and an old jukebox cranks out tunes in Spanish. This
is the real deal folks, so get in the car and get to know Mama's
cooking. Chapultepec is open Monday thru Wednesday, 10 a.m. to 9 p.m., Thursday thru Saturday, 10 a.m. to 2 a.m., and Sunday 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.