Food in Review: Mexican Restaurants


Credit: Kimball Sheehan

We’re not drooling, you are.

For the first issue ever of Food in Review, we chose the most popular ethnic food type of Western Albemarle High School students. Despite the vast differences between Crozet and a big city like New York City, they do have one thing in common: local homemade Mexican food. You know quesadillas, chips & salsa, tacos, beans, rice, queso, guacamole, and all the good stuff. Is your mouth watering yet? If so, check out our food reviews for these popular local Mexican restaurants.


El Puerto:

Tucked behind the brand new CVS in Charlottesville, a mystery of flavor awaits you, and a familiar red open sign welcomes you. Behind the doors lies a restaurant full of traditional Mexican colors and decorations. The story behind this wonderful place lies in the family history of Pablo Aguirre, who opened the restaurant fifteen years ago. Aguirre named the restaurant after his hometown: El Puerto de Santa Catarina, Jalisco Mexico.


This family food business has the most amazing comfort food and the best quality service we have seen yet. If you are struggling to find something you want out of their menu, they are quick and willing to accommodate to your needs. You are always greeted with a friendly face and handed a plate full with a variety of flavors. If you’re looking for a good price tied to great food AND bottomless chips, El Puerto is the place for you!


Order Recommendations:

To Drink: There are a variety of Jarritos flavors, but our personal favorite is the fruit punch flavor. Also, they have the basics like Diet Coke and water if you’re boring.

To Eat: A crispy cheese quesadilla with rice and beans (mix them, it’s amazing), a 5 for $5 taco combo special with any combination of various  meats or beans, and hard or soft shells.


Mi Rancho:

Centrally located in the Old Trail Village is a fantastic Mexican restaurant: Mi Rancho. This restaurant has authentic Mexican food. The staff is very helpful with giving tips about their favorite dishes and various combo options. The menu has a wide variety of Mexican food including vegetarian dishes, fajitas, and taco salad. If you cannot decide what to order, do not worry!

Mi Rancho has a number of orders that will combine some of your favorite dishes. If you’re looking for a great deal with a distinctive taste, they have a long list of specials each day, some of which include Menudo (scalded beef tripe and beef cut feet with a side of onions and cilantro), Tacos de Lengua (three corn tortilla tacos, cow tongue, and a side of hot salsa, onions, cilantro, and refried beans), and Burrito Adobo (burrito with pork beef, refried beans, and rice inside, cheese on top, and a side of pico de gallo, and sour cream).


Order Recommendations:

To Drink: water (with ice or no ice)

To Eat: #17 combo (one burrito, one enchilada, rice, and beans), Nachos with Beans, Fried Ice Cream (we loved it), Churro Bowl (two desserts in one!)


Brazos Tacos

As you parallel park after ten tries and the police have left and that annoying car alarm has finally stopped going off, you will notice that Brazos Tacos is no ordinary restaurant. It is centrally located in the IX park, so that inner VSCO girl can get those artsy pics.


Brazos Tacos has a large menu that accommodates all eaters including vegans, vegetarians, meat-lovers, and even little bitty bitty children. Your hangry mood will pass with their fast service and unique flavors and that rare $2 bill they gave you as change. They have seating areas indoors and outdoors. We prefer sitting outside on their comfortable benches with a view of their garden. But be warned, bird mobs that be tryna steal yo food.


Order Recommendations:

To Drink: Orange San Pellegrino

To Eat: the Solid (our favorite taco with pulled chicken, refried black beans, roasted corn pico, sliced avocado and jack cheese), Carnitas (taco with slow cooked pork shoulder, sliced avocado, pickled red onion, cilantro with a lime wedge for that extra spicy kick), and Sir Paul (vegan option taco with refried black beans, avocado, roasted corn pico and roasted pepitas). We recommend a side of chips and creamy queso to share.



We hope you liked this new edition. Also, keep an eye out for the new Mexican restaurant opening in Otto’s (rip).