Friday, July 23, 2010

Tequila's: A Taste of Mexico in Nashville

Sometimes folks like to guard neighborhood gems closely and keep them under the radar. Tequila's Mexican Restaurant is one of those gems.

Around our house, Mexican and Tex-Mex are a part of our weekly diet. It's truly the "cuisine" we crave on a regular basis.

About a year ago, we heard whispers about an off the beaten path, quiet neighborhood Mexican restaurant, nestled away in a shopping strip center at the corner of Charlotte and Annex.

Before we knew it, we were Tequila's regulars. We spent New Year's Eve there. Friends from Memphis came to town for the Country Music Marathon and we took them on karaoke night. (Unfortunately, karaoke night is no longer). Recently, instead of a trendy restaurant at the Gulch or 12th South, I found myself recommending Tequila's for a girls' night out since we were in the mood for Mexican. The girls loved it! And just last week, some friends from Destin, FL made a Tequila's run with us too. They were impressed with the fish tacos.

My favorite dish reminds me of the few months I lived in Mexico. Mexico has incredible steak and beef. The Tacos de Carne Asada have the best steak of any version I have tried in Nashville (including Rosepepper Cantina in East Nashville and Cinco de Mayo - another Charlotte Avenue favorite). With a side of cilantro, it takes me back to a south of the border experience at a Mexican barbecue where my Mexican friends slow roasted steak in a fire pit in the ground. Very tender, juicy steak, topped off with a wonderful marinade.

A restaurant is definitely a gem to me when they don't skimp on the mass produced house items. The house margaritas are really smooth for house margaritas. Of course the top shelf 'ritas are even better. The free flowing salsa and chips are fresh like the other ingredients on the menu.

Besides the freshest ingredients we've found in a Mexican restaurant, Tequila's has great customer service. Dining with a 20 month old brings out the best or the worst in a server. I'm happy to report the service staff are wonderful with children. They even bring the children's plates first and make sure the plates are not hot.

You'll be happy to know the crowd is very diverse and not completely full of 20 month old toddlers. Early in the evening, you'll see the family crowd. It's surprisingly low key and quiet even so. Later on, the later night diners come in. There's a happy hour hum, but never too out of control. You might see birthday parties, business folks grabbing a bite and drink after work, laid back groups of friends and low key date-nighters.

No matter when we dine, we are always seated quickly. And we can count on the familiar, dependable, comfortable experience with simply great food that makes one want to become a"regular".

Tequila's Mexican Restaurant is a superb Charlotte Avenue gem. And (gulp), I think I'm ready to divulge our sweet neighborhood secret to rest of Nashville, if my neighbors are ready to share it as well?

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