tequilasunriseIt’s rare to find an establishment serving foreign cuisine that’s prepared traditionally here in the states. Too often in my experience, restaurants will substitute authentic dishes with processed fare, sacrificing quality and taste. It was a pleasure, then, to discover and experience firsthand Tequila Sunrise, one of South Florida’s few outlets for authentic Mexican food. Located on North Dixie Highway in Oakland Park, Tequila Sunrise is family-owned and has been satisfying its patrons since 1995.  When diners eat at a Mexican-themed restaurant, they don’t just expect the food to be authentic; they want the atmosphere, the staff, and the drinks to be genuine, too. Entering Tequila Sunrise, you’re pulled in by its festively-painted walls and decorations that evoke old ‘Mejico.’ Before we knew it, we were drinking tequila and enjoying a warm and pleasant dining experience. The night started out with a traditional Mexican ceviche (a marinated seafood dish) that proved the perfect beginning to the selection of foods we were about to taste. The most notable part of a notable dining experience was the Fresh Catch Veracruz, grilled to perfection and then broiled over salsa with a dijonnaisse glaze. All the fish entrees at Tequila Sunrise are purchased from local fishermen. Another favorite is the shrimp enchilada: succulent shrimp sautéed in garlic butter and traditional Mexican spices. Both are served with Mexican-style rice and refried beans (frijoles refritos or frijoles negros). The menu features many traditional and familiar dishes like quesadillas filled with chicken, crab, or vegetables, and chimichangas smothered with sauce and melted cheese. The food at Tequila Sunrise was delicious, but mention must also be made of their famous margaritas, which bring guests in from near and far. The margarita menu features over a dozen award-winning margaritas, made from freshly-squeezed fruits. Our favorite that night was the Prickly Pear margarita: real prickly pears, peeled and soaked for days in tequila. And with a name like Tequila Sunrise, you might think that tequila is a staple of their drink menu, and you would be right, with over 60 brands of tequila listed. There’s live music every Friday and Saturday night with the acoustic melodies of Steve Chumley. Thanks to Schiller Martin, who showed us great hospitality, and the entire staff,  who were both friendly and professional. If you haven’t been to Tequila Sunrise, try it for authentic Mexican cuisine and great margaritas. BeachFront News gives Tequila Sunrise 4.5 out of 5 stars. Tequila Sunrise Mexican Grill 4711 North Dixie Highway, Oakland Park, Florida 33334; 954.938.4473 – Anthony Isaac Palacios