For the 10th straight year, October is Dining Month on OnMilwaukee, presented by the restaurants of Potawatomi Hotel & Casino. All month, we're stuffed with restaurant reviews, dining guides, delectable features, chef profiles and unique articles on everything food, as well as voting for your "Best of Dining 2016."
The best Mexican/Latin America category is always a hotly contested one during of Best of Dining poll, and this year's results were no different, with the top five all landing within 100 voters of one another. But which restaurant emerged on top?
The taco hot spot – with four locations including Tosa, the East Side, Water Street and Oak Creek and another on the way in Brookfield – previously held the title in 2013 and 2014, until last year when Botanas (also no stranger to the top spot), reclaimed its place at the pinnacle of the podium. For 2016, however, its BelAir back the gold medal position, thanks to its tantalizing taco options, deals on Taco Tuesdays and Taco Thursdays, and refreshing margaritas.
Lori Fredrich's pick: Antigua
There are numerous places I could point out where you can find a great authentic taco or hand-rolled tamale. But, my pick this year goes to Antigua, one of my favorite spots in the city for Latin American cuisine. It gets my vote in large part because my palate never gets bored with its offerings. Whether it’s the Ecuadorian shrimp or a Mexican mole, there’s something interesting to try every day of the week. But, owners Citlali Mendieta-Ramos and Nicolas Ramos also get points for being change agents in the Burnham Park neighborhood, a factor that makes me all the more willing to give them my support.
This year we also asked a variety of prominent Milwaukeeans to weigh in on their pick for specific categories. For this category, we consulted Kay Collins, owner at KBC Tour Company.
Collins' pick: El Canaveral
There are a lot of places in Milwaukee to enjoy Mexican food, but my favorite is definitely El Canaveral. First off, I love that it is in a former Schlitz Tavern with a great bar and beautiful wood work (if the walls could talk). The patio is so nice on a sunny afternoon. The menu is full of flavor, and they are not afraid to bring on the heat. And always – always! – leave room for dessert.