One thing I have noticed in the 4 years I have spent in the metro Miami area is there is a wide variety of cuisine, but surprisingly, there is not so much variety when it comes to authentic Mexican cuisine.

I had heard about Chaputlepec, 23 NW 2nd Avenue and it had been on my list to try for some time. I finally made it with a friend on a Saturday night, and upon arrival they had set up outside to serve tacos street style. This was a good sign, because this is how it is often done in Mexico, and I have never seen this until now in metro Miami / Fort Lauderdale.

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Deciding to take a seat inside – though there was outside seating available, we reviewed their simple menu offering the typical fajitas, assorted tacos (all the right ones: al pastór, de lengua, barbacoa, res, pollo), fajitas, churrasco, as well as honduran baleadas and salvadorean pupusas.

We ordered a bucket of cold, assorted Mexican beer; the weekend special is 6 Mexican beers for $20. Tacos were $2 each; a fair if not great deal, and of straightforward, authentic quality. Not the best I have ever had, but the real deal. The staff was friendly, and accepted all major credit cards.

I also ordered a pupusa with my meal. A pupusa is a Salvadorean specialty and when properly done, it is sublime. The pupusa I got was disappointing. It tasted like it was pre made, stored, and re-heated on site. The texture was not good, and I could not taste the fillings. I did manage to get most of it down by dousing it with an excellent habanero sauce that you have to ask for specifically. It appears to be made on site, and is deliciously hot. It was served with the customary curtido, a salvadorean cabbage based relish, and the curtido was good, and properly made.

My dining companion ordered a churrasco, which came out properly cooked to medium, and was a good quality piece of skirt steak. Not too tough, and well seasoned. The yellow rice and refried beans that came were pedestrian. They were not bad, but not great. They were ok. Fresh tortillas were served steaming and wrapped in a cloth to keep them warm.

Chapultepec is not the best Mexican restaurant ever, but it is real, authentic, and it is good. I definitely would go back.

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