Cantina Laredo

A concept that hails from Dallas, Texas, Cantina Laredo has since expanded to a few key cities all over the country, typically finding its way into upscale shopping centers, airports and commercial centers. An open concept busy with decorative earthen pots, hanging lights and a massive bar that serves up refreshing drinks of all kinds. The menu is ‘Modern Mexican,’ a version of Tex-Mex that is cleaned up a bit and served with higher-notch ingredients. The locations often end up being large-size very busy establishments, but they don’t make for a bad place for a happy hour.

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El Cazador Mexican Restaurant

A bit off the beaten path in Dayton’s north thoroughfare, El Cazador in Englewood Is a Tex-Mex house set up for large groups of people to enjoy some good Spanish inspired cuisine. The servings are hearty, the food is inexpensive, and the spot really brings a lot simple food to the table with an overall pleasant service. That said I found the food to be pretty uninspiring.

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Abuelos Mexican Food Embassy

It’s a chain of several dozen restaurants throughout the Midwest and central U.S., and Abeulos Mexican Food Embassy aims to be a higher-class restaurant with about one location in most major cities around the country. It focuses not only on the traditional Tex-Mex fare but also Spanish Tapas and plenty of other dishes. While the spot does offer an opportunity for nice surroundings and a pretty creative menu, the food here doesn’t always rise to the price points being asked for it. But still, I found the experience to be decent.

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Christopher’s Restaurant

A popular destination among many in Dayton, Christopher’s restaurant in Kettering is so popular because it’s a place that does just about everything; it’s got a very local and small-town vibe to it, but it’s still got a menu where you can find finer dining dishes. It’s got a lunch menu for soups and salads and lighter fare, but heavy Italian pastas and steaks as well. Really, the secret to its success is how many different palettes and moods it can appeal to at once. For this reason, Christopher’s is and will remain one of those few timeless restaurants that locals will always continue to swear by.

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La Piñata

La Piñata is a small chain of so-called “Tex-Mex” restaurants currently encompassing three locations in the south Dayton-north Cincinnati area. It serves a variety of traditionally tex mex dishes featuring a lot of beef, chicken, and shrimp. I’ve been eating at this place for years and I have literally never found something on the menu I didn’t love.

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