Finding good, true Mexican food in an age littered with chains of Tex-mex, California-mex, and Southwest specials is not easy. But I have found it in Marquito’s. Even better they are located, literally within walking distance (does anyone do that anymore here in Atlanta!) from my home. Marquito’s isn’t trendy and doesn’t sport bright lights, or piñatas, and your ears aren’t assaulted by the typical fast paced mariachi music. Instead they offer a casual place to relax and enjoy the company of friends and family. Often they have live music, pleasant to listen to, and not too much to talk over. You can sit outside, they have a lovely waterfall (masks any traffic noise!) or inside.
We are always greeted promptly and seated, often at a table of our choice. No reservations necessary. Margaritas or Mexican beer are a must (they do have a handful of American brands as well, but we go native!) Watch those margaritas, they do pack a punch! The salsa is always fresh and with a snappy bite, the chips crisp and homemade. Their guacamole is unsurpassed (especially when you add the salsa to it for extra zing!) and available year round, regardless of avocado prices. (They must have a secret supply, because it is always the real deal, never canned or frozen.)
Knowing how big the portions get, I usually skip the appetizers, beyond the dips, and move right to the main course. With rare exception most dishes come with the option of chicken or beef, the chicken is either grilled strips or shredded, while the beef is either grilled strips or ground beef. Whatever your preference it is exceptionally fresh and cooked to order. Fajitas are served flaming at tableside with a host of accompaniments, tortillas, onions and peppers, pico de gallo and such. A favorite is the quesadilla suprema with grilled chicken or beef fajitas. It is the best of all worlds, a slightly crispy flour tortilla (no doughy, chewy mess here) filled with cheese, grilled meat, onions, peppers with a side of shredded lettuce, sour cream, and pico de gallo. Magnifico!
The enchiladas, tacos, and burritos are equally satisfying and served with the traditional sides of refried beans and rice, but not the typical taste. These are part of the enjoyment not the sides that get left! Marquito’s is frequented by locals, always a good sign of quality Mexican fare. With entrees starting under ten dollars it is also a real bargain. On a recent visit, several families were sharing a table following an evening baseball game. Despite the late hour (after 9pm) and sudden crowd, service was speedy as always with the host pitching in as needed. It is easy to see why Marquito’s succeeds where many others do not. While they do have a second location, they are unquestionably one of the best little neighborhood haunts.
Marquito’s Mexican Restaurant (in the Loehmann’s Plaza)
8610 Roswell Road
4015 Holcomb Bridge Road