Tomorrow is Cinco de Mayo. And I couldn't think of a better way to get this celebration in-gear than to start the party as soon as possible.
So, this weekend my wife and I hit Azteca Mexican Restaurant, just off of W.T. Harris and I-77. The last time I was here it was 2008, so I was anxious to try it again. The last time I loved the food and atmosphere -- but would I love it again??
Short answer: Yes.
Long answer: My wife and I entered, and were quickly guided to our table, and our drink orders were taken as well. Total time, about 15 seconds. As we perused the menu, I could remember why I enjoyed my time here before. Along with the carved wooden booths, and the paintings, there was a mariachi band playing. They were playing a tune, that I couldn't quite put my finger on. It was familiar, but the horns and guitars were throwing me off..... it was the Macarena. I buried my head in the menu, sipped my margarita, and tried to ignore the visions of me in a bar actually dancing to that song - poorly - in the '90s.
As I went over the menu, I decided to go with one of my favorites -- steak fajitas. Simple, but delicious. My wife and I chatted over the music, which was loud, but it seemed to only add to the atmosphere. After a short while our food came out.
I actually had four plates in front of me. The sizzling platter of beef, a container with the warm tortillas, a plate with re-fried beans, rice, guacamole, and sour cream, and the empty plate where I put it all together in small individual tacos. After I took in the spectacle, I dug in.
First a tortilla. Then I spread some sour cream and guac on the tortilla. Next I took some of the sizzling steak accompanied with the onions and peppers and put it in the tortilla. Then I took a bite. Heaven. The steak was tender, and had been marinated. I thought I picked up some cumin and some tequila.... though it's possible the tequila flavor was left-over on my taste buds from the margarita.
Next I did the same thing, but included some rice and re-fried beans too. Delicious as well. I repeated the former step two times more for a total of four over-stuffed individual size soft tacos.... I was uncomfortably full. And I REALLY wanted to let my belt out a few notches!
I have never been disappointed by Azteca. The food is always good, and the atmosphere fun (as evidenced by the conga line dancing the Maracena). In addition, the service was great. I'll be back.
Price: $$$ (Just over $20 for food, drink and tip. If I ordered a soda, the tab would've been $15 instead)
Kid Friendly: Yes. They offer high chairs, and a limited children's menu (tacos, chicken fingers, etc.)
Conclusion: Azteca offers some of the best Mexican Food in the area. Combine that with a great atmosphere, and attentive service, and you've got a great reason to go here often.
Azteca Mexican Restaurant
7340 Smith Corners Blvd
Charlotte, NC 28269