Fiesta Jalapenos, North Ridgeville

Owner Alex Martinez ensures the vibe in his establishment of 17 years echoes Mexico’s past and present. The decor showcases photos of famous matadors, actors and recording artists, and patrons dine to the lively beat of mariachi and cumbia music.

“I want people to leave their cares at the door and be happy,” Martinez says. “It’s an attitude that’s a lot like what you’d find on a cruise ship.”

Favorite entrees include Enchiladas Supremas (a quartet of beef, chicken, cheese and bean enchiladas); and Stone Molcajetes (a hefty portion of 8-ounce grilled chicken, 8-ounce rib-eye, shrimp, chorizo, two jalapenos and avocado accompanied by plates of rice, beans and guacamole salad). The Signature Margarita, a refreshing concoction of fresh orange and lime juices and freshly squeezed lemon mixed with Grand Marnier and Altos tequila, makes any meal complete.

“We use the freshest, locally-sourced ingredients to give your taste buds something to be excited about,” Martinez says.


Don Tequila, Elyria

The heart and soul of Mexico surrounds all who enter Don Tequila — right down to the replicas of sugar skulls that have been crafted through the years for the November Dia de los Muertos (Day of the Dead) celebrations honoring family and friends who’ve passed away. Mariachi tunes, along with a display of treasures staff members have brought back from trips to Mexico and a colorful mural depicting an agave farm add to the ambiance.

“We do our best to make our customers feel like family and friends,” says Melissa Calderon, assistant manager.

The menu is filled with irresistible choices that make for return diners. Those who crave a tad bit of spice can opt for the 12-inch Burrito Durango. Other popular requests include Molcajete; and Quesa-birria (three barbacoa quesadillas with a side of consome and fresh cilantro and onions).

Weekday happy hours from 4 to 8 p.m. enhance the merriment with a generous assortment of libations.


Te’Kila Mexican Grill, Vermilion

Te’Kila Mexican grill is the ideal place to recharge after a morning or afternoon of sun, sand and waves.

“It’s a little hidden gem,” says Sergio Hernandez, who owns and operates the restaurant with his family.

Appointed with decor that Hernandez describes as “thoroughly modern,” the restaurant features a menu of meticulously crafted entrees.

“We have great food and really good drinks,” he says. “But we’re also trying to include items that you won’t usually find in Mexican places.”

Examples include a sweet corn-on-the-cob appetizer seasoned with chili lime powder and a variety of bowls packed with a smorgasbord of proteins.

Hernandez’s favorite entree that “customers go crazy for:” Burrito Te’Kila, the house burrito. He suggests pairing it with a specialty cocktail or margarita. His favorite is the house Te’Kila Margarita made with freshly squeezed lime juice, agave and orange liqueur.