The Mexican Mission: Finding The Perfect Mexican Restaurant is a Hard Task

La Bamba III, Jalisco, Tipico Café

La Bamba III, Jalisco, Tipico Café

Once again, my friends and I are on the hunt for the perfect dining experience; this time, we’re hunting for Mexican food. Since we live in South Florida, you’d think that the Latin flavors would be on just about every street corner, however, what we found out was that it’s harder to find dynamite Mexican restaurants than you’d think. We also found out that the best Mexican restaurants are not those that are wonderfully decorated with great ambiance. The ones we have chosen here today are very basic and very down-to-earth. So pull one of those dusty sombreros off the wall and check out what we found:

La Bamba III

This is by far, my favorite Mexican restaurant in Fort Lauderdale. It’s not necessarily about the food, but the social interaction there is great! Mondays are “Gay” night at La Bamba and you can see all your old friends and make new ones! You might have to wait up to half an hour for your table on a Monday night, but that’s alright… enjoy a pitcher of their famous strawberry frozen margaritas while you wait and socialize! My favorite meal at La Bamba is their “bistec a la tampiquena,” which is a flattened skirt steak, served with an enchilada and sides of rice and beans, slathered in cheese and salsa, with a scoop of sour cream and guacamole. I like to go HUNGRY, so that I may eat the entire plate!


Another place that may seem skeptical at first when you drive by is Jalisco on Federal Highway. As with many Mexican restaurants, their fresh salsa and chips is always a good way to start off your meal. Now, you might think we are crazy for picking this place as one of our top Mexican dining experiences, but in reality, the food here is more authentic than the chains (Taco Bell, Chipotle, Lime, Whole Enchilada) and the prices are more reasonable too. Plus, if you’re lucky, they might even have their Mariachi singer there to play traditional music for you to enjoy.

Tipico Café

Our third pick, which was a good choice, however not our favorite, is the Tipico Café at the Gateway Shopping Center. A coworker of mine has suggested it, as he “goes there twice a month,” he proudly exclaimed. Again, the atmosphere is nothing to look at. Hanging on their walls are their accolades from the New Times Best Of issues from 1994 where they had been picked as the top Mexican restaurant, however, our experience was not that good. I had read online that their chicken soup was fabulous so I tried it… Hoping for some kind of traditional Mexican chicken soup, I was disappointed that it was plain old chicken noodle. I ordered the chicken chimichanga and my friends both ordered the enchiladas and the sizzling steak fajitas. The fajitas looked great! However, both the enchiladas and the chimichangas didn’t impress us. At least they were served warm.

So if you’re looking for the perfect Mexican restaurant, we haven’t found it yet. However, if you have any suggestions or comments of your own, please send them to us, as we are always on the hunt for a great dining experience.

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