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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. $$

Chili’s Restaurant

60 Wolf Road, Albany, 489-4664. Come in and enjoy casual family dining 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. $$

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. $$

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. $$

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. Patio is now open. Serving 11:30-10 Mon-Thu, 11:30-11 Fri, 1-11 Sat, 1-10 Sun. Parking across the street available after 4 PM. AE, MC, V. $$

Fresno’s Southwest Restaurant & Bar

1620 Western Ave., Albany, 456-2837; 377 River St., Troy, 687-0737. 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. $$

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. $

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. $$

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 4-9 Mon-Fri, 11-10 Sat-Sun. AE, MC, V. $$

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 noon-10 Mon-Fri, noon-11 Sat-Sun. AE, MC, V. $$

Mexican Connection

41 Nelson Ave., Saratoga Springs, 584-4466. Try the burro grande or a California tostada, fajitas or chimichangas. Full bar, more than 50 fine tequilas and many Mexican beers. Catering and banquet facilities available. Daily specials. Serving from 4 PM daily. Reservations suggested. AE, D, DC, MC, V. $$

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 tomatoes, topped with melted cheese); vegetarian specialties. Takeout available. Serving lunch 11-2:30, dinner 5-10 Mon-Thu, 11-10:30 Fri, 12-10:30 Sat, 12-9 Sun. AE, MC, V. $$

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 strawberry truffle 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. $$$

Xicohtencatl

50 Stockbridge Road, Great Barrington, Mass. (413) 528-2002. Enjoy authentic Mexican fare—such as tamales, huevos rancheros and a special mole—in a comfortable Berkshire setting. Dine outdoors and enjoy the sunset with one of many fine sipping tequilas. Full bar. Takeout, delivery available. Off-premises catering. Lunch 11-3 daily, dinner 5-10 daily, often later on weekends. AE, MC, V, local personal checks. $$

 

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