Taqueria La Monarca8531 Olive Blvd.
It's your birthday, and you and your friends are all heading out to that Mexican joint near Olive and Interstate 170. You chose it because it's big (you would have no problem getting a seat if everyone else in town didn't have the same idea), your friends are all familiar with the menu (there are five other area locations), and the staff will sing to you and send you home drunk on margaritas (¡Olé
In case you missed the reference, I'm talking about Chevy's Fresh Mex. Chevy's does happen to have some delicious food for a chain restaurant. I love the salsa there. And why doesn't every Mexican restaurant serve sweet corn tamalito with combo platters? I could eat a bowl of it!
I'm not saying give up on Chevy's. But the next time you want to take your group for Mexican near 170 and Olive, consider Taqueria La Monarca.
I'll warn you: There are some things that you won't get at La Monarca:
1. No free chips and salsa. I don't dare downplay this. We all expect chips and salsa to appear on the table as soon as we sit down at any Mexican joint.
2. No attention to décor. Plan to eat in the back of a grocery store.
3. Sit down for this one...no margaritas. La Monarca is alcohol-free.