I haven’t done a “Date Night” post in ages. Mostly because we started cooking at home more so there were fabulous recipes to post. This post tonight? It needs to be done.

Tonight we ate at Los Toltecos Authentic Mexican Grill at 1305 W 7th St, Frederick, MD 21702-4102.That’s the shopping center on West 7th with the Giant Eagle, just so you know. They opened about two months ago, I think. We’ve been there three times. It’s that good.

My husband and I are constantly seeking authentic Mexican food to take us back to our honeymoon (Riviera Maya, Mexico) and a great vacation in Cancun. One thing that stands out the most about those trips was the sunny 80 degree weather in February. The other? The food. Holy jeebers did we ever eat in Mexico. Since we can’t really afford to keep going to Mexico we have to fall back on the food. So we keep searching.

Los Toltecos takes me back. It’s such a surprising little jewel! I mean, come on. It’s a restaurant in a strip mall. How much can you really expect? A lot, apparently. You walk in and the atmosphere is warm, inviting, and relaxing. The colors on the walls, the decor, the tile on the floor…You’re meant to feel at ease and stay a while. The staff immediately puts you at ease with a smile and friendly attitude. They make sure you know that you aren’t being rushed. Very authentic Mexican treatment. Laid back but super professional.

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Los Toltecos House Margarita on the rocks

The first time we went the place had been open for about a week. They were serving two for one house margaritas. The house margarita? Oh. Em. Gee. It’s out of this freaking world! They use Cuervo 1800, melon liqueur, Grand Marnier, and (of course) lime juice. I haven’t had it frozen because it goes down so smooth on the rocks. The thing is HUGE and at $6? Easy on the wallet too. The salsa and chips are made onsite and very fresh. We’ve also had their cheese dip and it’s creamy and delicious.

On our first trip to Los Toltecos I had the Chimichanga Deluxe with beef. The dish comes with two 8-inch fried burritos. I couldn’t finish. I guess it doesn’t help that I couldn’t stop eating the salsa and cheese dip. The chimichanga itself is perfection. Light and crispy. Not at all greasy. It comes in an incredible cheese sauce that I would drink with a straw if I could. You also get rice, refried beans, lettuce, tomato, guacamole, and salsa. Tell me who could eat all of that. I dare you to try, it’s worth feeling so stuffed afterwards.

The next time we went we skipped the appetizer. I got the Enchiladas Veracruz. Three enchiladas filled with shrimp and scallops. Topped with cheese and a green tomatillo sauce. You get rice as well and the lettuce, tomato, and sour cream. The enchiladas were absolutely stuffed with seafood. The sauce was light and tasty. Perfect amount of cheese. It didn’t take away from the dish at all. Once again…I couldn’t finish.

Our second trip fell on a night when fajitas were on special, FYI. Let me tell you how good those fajitas smell. I can’t wait to try them.

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Los Toltecos Carne Asada

Tonight I had the Carne Asada. Big fan of Carne Asada. The waitress put the plate in front of me and I knew I was in trouble. Warm flour tortillas (you can get corn instead of flour if you like). Loads of rice and refried beans, lettuce, tomato, guacamole. And three pieces of paper thin flank steak covered in a marinade that was so filled with spices it was almost a paste. Smelled soooooo good! Tasted three times as good as it looked and twice as good as it smelled. I told my husband that if it was legal I would marry that food. Did I clean my plate? Um. No. Are we sensing a theme yet?

The food and atmosphere remind me of Mexico. I hope this place sticks around because I love it. I’ll be a sad panda if this restaurant closes. Each dish I’ve tried has left me fighting a strong urge to lick my plate clean. The menu is great. Lots of variety but not overwhelming. Nice vegetarian section too.

Los Toltecos is a small local chain. There are 6 locations in Virginia. The Frederick location is the first and only one in Maryland. If you don’t have one…you’re missing out. Come visit. We’ll go! One piece of advice. Come HUNGRY.

{November 17, 2012}