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Piña’s Mexican Restaurant’s steak taxqueño with jalapeño margarita (takeout). Click to enlarge. (photo: Sanam Lamborn)

Cinco de Mayo is upon us, and I am looking forward to indulging in some Mexican food and margaritas. We have an abundance of Mexican restaurants in San Pedro to choose from, but not all serve cocktails. If you are looking for a place to grab some food and drinks, here are my suggestions.

Piña’s Mexican Restaurant is the first place in town my San Pedro-raised husband took me for food and drinks when we were dating. Their carne asada plate has long been my top choice because their meat is very well seasoned. Another favorite is sopes, a soft and doughy version of tostada topped with a meat of your choice, beans, lettuce, tomatoes, and cream cheese. The taxqueño beef is made with thin slices of meat, potatoes, and onions cooked in a unique spicy-with-a-hint-of-sweetness red sauce. Their jalapeño margarita is refreshing and my favorite for dine-in or takeout. Address: 1430 W. 25th St., open daily 9:30 a.m. to 8 p.m.

Puesta del Sol’s molcajete (dine-in). (photo: Sanam Lamborn)

At Puesta del Sol, I usually like to start with a guava or mango margarita. Sometimes I even have both! The nachos supreme lives up to its name (meaning they are great). The chips are large, which provide for extra surface for melted cheese, along with a generous amount of the usual toppings, and their unique touch is sliced black olives. The mini bean and cheese burritos with chicharrones are soft with a satisfying crunch from the pork rind. The molcajete is an impressive dish served sizzling hot in a mortar and pestle layered with salsa, grilled queso fresco cheese, fresh slices of tomatoes and avocados, and finished with shrimp. Thin slices of grilled beef, chicken, and nopales adorn the sides of the bowl. It’s currently off their menu, but if you ask nicely, they’ll make it for you. The carne asada plate, a steak filet grilled to perfection, is by far my favorite in town. The steak is topped with pico de gallo, sour cream, guacamole — cleverly arranged in the same sequence as the Mexican flag — a grilled jalapeño, and green onion. Spanish rice, beans, and tortillas are also served with most dishes. Visit puestadelsolsp.com for the latest hours of operation. 

Green Onion’s taco platter with double Cadillac margarita on the rocks (takeout). (photo: Sanam Lamborn)

My first experience at Green Onion was last Cinco de Mayo. The hype about the double Cadillac margaritas is true — they are huge, strong, and taste so good that in no time, you’ll let your hair down and let loose. I’ll be very sad when take-out cocktails come to an end. The fajitadilla is a tasty quesadilla that combines fajitas and perfectly melted cheese. The beef and chicken taco platter is great for dine-in or takeout. The platter features quintessential toppings and side dishes: lettuce, cheese, guacamole, pico de gallo, salsa, Spanish rice, and refried beans. Although the chicken is simplistic in taste, the beef is very flavorful. Additionally, their carnitas is a perfect combination of soft and crunchy. The pork in chile verde is subtle in flavor yet good. Please check their website for the latest hours of operation: greenonionmexicanrestaurant.com.

Kalaveras’s guacamole with chicharrón, El Chupacabras, and margarita flight (dine-in). (photo: Sanam Lamborn)

Kalaveras is the newest addition to town that offers a different dining experience. I am new to exploring because I waited until dine-in was open again to try them out. Takeout works here, but I am of the opinion that going to the restaurant is a far better experience. The margarita options are innovative and exquisitely presented. I quickly fell in love with the pepino con chile and piña con chile, chamoyada, and El Chupacabras. The guacamole is served with crispy chicharrones instead of chips. The barbacoa, served in a bright red bowl of broth, is cooked in a combination of earthy and peppery spices. It is served with a side of Spanish rice, beans, and tortillas. The tacos gobernador, stuffed with battered shrimp and topped with thin pickled onions and carrot shavings, are a modern twist that will leave you satisfied. Please check their website for the latest hours of operation: kalaveras.com/san-pedro. spt

Sanam Lamborn

Sanam Lamborn created the Eat in San Pedro Facebook group and Instagram account in April 2020 to entice people to patronize San Pedro’s eateries.

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