Restaurant Review

When I think of Mexican Restaurants in Tacoma, I always think of Moctezuma’s (4102 South 56th Street, Tacoma, WA  - ).  It isn’t the most authentic Mexican cuisine in Tacoma, but it does make me happy when I go there.  While Moctezuma’s is getting to be a bit of a chain – there are 4 of them now, they never feel that way.  And, having frequented their hole-in-the-wall location off 56th and South Tacoma Way in my youth, I like to think we grew up together (they now have a much larger building of their own, though still in spitting distance of their more humble beginnings).  While their menu is huge and has all the tex-mex items you’d expect – yes, they have some pretty amazing fajitas - they also have lots of nods to more traditional Mexican food.  No, the street tacos aren’t quite like a taco sold on the actual streets in Mexico, no matter what the menu says.  But the tacos are made with fresh ingredients on house-made tortillas – and are worth eating any day of the week.  They used to do this traditional chicken pipian (a red sauce made from dried chilies and ground pumpkin seeds) that I fell in love with.  It is off the menu now, but I still make that bad boy at home (and my own vegan version that rocks, if I do say so myself).  I appreciate a place that teaches me a traditional dish I’d just never bumped into before.  And Moctezuma’s is great for a big crowd.  As cheesy as it is to say, they have a little there for everyone.  If your work team doesn’t enjoy a lunch at Moctezuma’s, I’m not sure what to say.  And while the restaurant is huge, expect a bit of a wait at the peak dinner hour (well, peak Tacoma dinner hour – full at 5:30pm, but room available at 7:30pm).  Lunch is busy, but doesn’t usually involve a wait.  Their drinks are definitely on the opulent side – just what you’d expect.  Anyway, next family birthday, head on down to Moctezuma’s.  You’ll enjoy the meal, and you’ll have some leftovers for lunch the next day – a solid winner in my book.     

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