Mexican food is about as American these days as hot dogs and popcorn. Really. I’d nearly forgotten when living in Spain, but now that I’m back, it’s one of those first things you ask. “Where’s the best Mexican food?” There isn’t a plethora of it here as there aren’t a plethora of Mexicans either. In fact, a waiter at Tequila Grill recently told me that he moved here from New York so that he could learn English. (Apparently he didn’t need to speak English much in New York.)
Anyway, I’ve tried three Mexican restaurants here – two in Calvert County and one that came highly recommended that’s over in Charlotte Hall. They are all decent and all serve deep-fried-ice cream. Yum.
La Tolteca: 135 Dares Beach Road, Prince Frederick, MD 20678
Locals don’t seem to like this place, but I’m not sure why. It isn’t as pretty as Lusby’s Monterrey, but the food is good and my resident fajita expert actually likes the fajitas here better than the two other places we go. The food may not wow you, but it’s good solid Mexican food, prices are reasonable, and portions are generous. The customer service is great, there is both mole and adobo on the menu, and they have a children’s menu which even includes a hot dog for the pickiest eater. We love the deep-fried ice cream here, but they also have sopapillas, churros, flan, and a banana chimichanga!
Monterrey: 11753 HG Truman Rd, Lusby, MD
My guacamole fetish is the only reason that I would rank this the best though my friends in Calvert county swoon over this place. It is beautiful inside and spacious, so it’s great for a large gathering or party. The margaritas are a hit and the guacamole is made fresh, in front of you, at your table when you order it. Next time, that will be my meal and I will NOT share.
On second visit I’ve realized that though I LOVE guacamole, if you tell them you like it hot, it will be made hot and while I really wanted to be a glutton and eat it all myself, I could only eat half.
Splitting fajitas is a great idea though and their fajitas are truly amazing. A perfect lunch for two would be one order of fajitas split and one appetizer shared.
All the other dishes are great though I’m not a fan of that melted cheese sauce that Mexican places use and this resto is no exception. If you have an aversion to that, ask for your meal “sin salsa de queso.” They have a children’s menu and a really nice regular menu with some unique items that you don’t see everyday. I really like the taco soup here as well.
*Best Deep Fried Ice Cream and Best Guacamole
Tequila Grill: 30320 Triangle Drive, Charlotte Hall, MD 20622
This is one of those places that I was told about when we first moved here. “It isn’t in Calvert County,” they said, “but it’s worth the 40 minute drive.” And it is. I usually stop by the Amish markets and make a short day of it or go here before hitting Costco, but it really sweetens the errands.
This location is the newer of the two and very nice inside. The staff are extremely friendly and love kids. My three youngest scored a free deep-fried ice cream on our first visit and were serenaded on their second. They have a children’s menu and the food is great. I have the same issue with gooey cheese, but as long as I ask for my food without it, I end up loving my meal.
This unique menu has Tinga which I happen to love, mole, and adobo and if you come on the weekend, the mojarra is as beautiful to eat as it is served – just amazing. You’ll find the biggest dessert menu here which includes cheesecake as well. Other than the tinga, the most amazing decadent thing that I’ve tried so far (and it became an instant favorite) is the crab cazuela. It’s absolutely delicious and packed with generously sized chunks of crab.
*Best Crab Cazuela and Best Tinga!