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MEXICAN

Cactus Café
54 Main St., Lee, Mass., (413) 243-4300. Traditional and contemporary Mexican cuisine features fresh fish, grilled items and lots of vegetarian specialties. Creative daily specials. Mexican beer, margaritas, wine and sangria. Takeout and catering available; special parties up to 35. Serving lunch 11:30-2:30 daily, dinner 5-9:30 Sun-Thu, 5-10 Fri-Sat. MC, V. $$

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Chia Bob’s Bistro
1036 Crane St., Schenectady, 386-2200. Serving Mexican favorites with a focus on vegetarian dishes. Offering “build-your-own” burritos, tacos, enchiladas and quesadillas. Fill your pick with an eclectic array of choices from artichoke hearts or asparagus to wild mushrooms or sun-dried tomatoes. Entertainment on most nights. Full bar, off-premises catering, private parties. Serving dinner 5 PM-1 AM Wed-Sat; 3-9 Sun. Closed Mon-Tue. AE, MC, V. $

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Chili’s Restaurant
60 Wolf Road, Albany, 489-4664. Come in and enjoy casual family dinning at this Southwestern bar and grill. Try the signature baby back ribs, steaks, sizzling fajitas and salads. Margarita bar. Catering and takeout available. Serving 11-11 Sun-Thu, 11 AM-midnight Fri-Sat. AE, D, MC, V. $$.

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El Loco Mexican Café
465 Madison Ave., Albany, 436-1855. An eccentric bistro where the specialties include quesadillas, chilis rellenos, Tex-Mex fare and many vegetarian items. Try the spinach-artichoke burrito or the ancho-chipotle chicken. Full bar, gourmet margaritas made with 100-percent blue agave, tequilas, beer and wine. Takeout available, Tuesdays are smoke-free. Serving 11:30-10 Tue-Thu, 11:30-11 Fri, noon-11 Sat, 4:30-10 Sun. Closed Mon. Reservations suggested for large parties; reservations not accepted Fri-Sat nights. AE, MC, V. $$

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El Mariachi
144 Washington Ave., Albany, 465-2568. The real thing: True Mexican cooking in downtown Albany. Try the cochinita pibil, a popular pork roast made with orange juice and red onions. Full bar. Serving 11:30-10 Mon-Thu, 11:30-11 Fri, 1-11 Sat, 1-10 Sun. AE, MC, V. $

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El Mariachi II
289 Hamilton St., Albany, 432-7580. Authentic Mexican and Spanish dishes, including paella and pollo San Marco. Full bar, featuring over 45 top tequilas. Takeout and on-premises catering available. Serving 11-10 Mon-Thu, 11-11 Fri, 1-11 Sat, 1-10 Sun. Parking across the street available after 4 PM. AE, MC, V. $$

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Fresno’s Southwest Restaurant & Bar
1620 Western Ave., Albany, 456-2837. A chain restaurant with a Southwestern theme and even a handy “How to Eat a Fajita” guide. The fajitas are a specialty, as are items like Louisiana Cajun Skillet (chicken, shrimp and sausage with Cajun-esque spices). Full bar. Serving 11 AM-midnight daily. AE, D, MC, V. $$

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Garcia’s
1614 Central Ave., Colonie, 456-4116. The menu of Mexican items includes pollo fundido, fajitas, burritos, enchiladas and chimichangas, as well as Tex-Mex barbecued ribs. Full bar, catering and takeout available. All-you-can-eat lunch buffet 11:30-1:30 Mon-Fri. Serving 11:30-10 Mon-Thu, 11:30-11 Fri-Sat, noon-9 Sun. AE, CB, D, DC, MC, V. $

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Jake’s Round-Up
23 Main St., South Glens Falls, 761-0015. “Hippest, hottest, coolest, most groovenist place to be,” is the slogan for this deluxe cowboy bar with outdoor fountain dining. Dine in a French bistro or an Adirondack cabin. Specializing in ethnic grandma comfort food. Serving lunch noon-3 Thu-Sat; dinner 4-11 daily. Full bar, on- and off-premises catering, takeout available. AE, MC, V, local personal checks. $$

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Leon’s Mexican Restaurant
135 Crescent St., Saratoga Springs, 587-2346. Jockey Filiberto Leon is proprietor of this traditional Mexican eatery. Homemade salsa and cheese sauce are served complimentary with tortilla chips; specializing in authentic fajitas, quesadillas, flautas, chimichangas and tamales. Full bar, on-premises catering, takeout available. Serving 11-10 Wed-Mon. AE, MC, V. $$

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Margarita’s
392 Broadway, Saratoga Springs, 583-1106. Choose from traditional and gourmet Mexican dishes, such as chicken fajitas, and a variety of specialty items. Cajun items also spice up the menu. Vegetarian items and kids’ menu available. Full bar, extensive margarita and tequila list. Takeout available. Serving 3 PM-10 Mon-Fri, noon-11 Sat-Sun. AE, MC, V. $$

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Mexican Connection
41 Nelson Ave., Saratoga Springs, 584-4466. Try the burro grande or a California tostada, fajitas or chimichangas. Full bar, more than 70 fine tequilas and many Mexican beers. Catering and banquet facilities available. Daily specials. Serving from 4 PM Wed-Mon. Closed on Tue. Reservations suggested. D, DC, MC, V. $$

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Pancho’s Mexican Restaurant
1536 Crescent Road, Clifton Park, 383-2930. Serving authentic Mexican cuisine in a cozy setting. Featuring fajitas and entrées like the pollo con fundido (two grilled chicken breasts atop a bed of rice, peppers, onions and tomatos, topped with melted cheese); vegetarian specialties. Takeout available. Serving 11-10 Mon-Thu, 11-11 Fri-Sat, 11-9 Sun. AE, MC, V. $$

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Sunset Café
42 Front St., Ballston Spa, 885-8550. Chef James Koines blends his French restaurant experience with Southwestern ingredients. Cassoulet, bourbon-marinated salmon and unique pasta dishes are on the menu, as well as daily specials. A pastry chef on-premises creates tasty desserts such as key lime pie and chocolate soufflé. Special children’s menu, too. Non-smoking. Full bar, off-premises catering, takeout available. Serving 11:30-10 daily. AE, MC, V, DC. $$$

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Metroland's Fall Winter Dining Guide 2001
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