Dear Lea,
Does Downtown Bellevue have any family Mexican restaurants that would be decent to go to on Cinco De Mayo?
– Muchas Gracias, Bob

Dear Bob,

I do think Bellevue is in need of some better sit-down Mexican restaurants. There is Chipotle, Baha Fresh, and Taco Time, but I don’t really consider these “family Mexican restaurants.” They could probably qualify in the category of “family Mexican fast food.”

There are actually three Mexican restaurants in the Downtown Core that I would consider going to for a fun Mexican dinner with your family or for some after-work shots of tequila with friends: Azteca, Las Margaritas, or La Cocina Del Puerco.

It’s up to you how you choose to celebrate Cinco De Mayo on Monday, May 5th, which by the way is a celebration of the Mexican militia’s victory over the French army in 1862. Many think that Cinco De Mayo is the Mexican version of July 4th, but to the contrary, Mexican Independence Day is on September 16th. Why we don’t sip Margaritas and Sangria on that day beats me. I love any excuse to celebrate and eat guacamole!

Back to the question at hand, you have three choices to get your Mexican food fix. Azteca is great because it has a traditional Mexican menu, a live mariachi band on occasion, and even a “Little Amigo” menu. At Las Margaritas, I do have to point out that they have a great happy hour. It’s Monday through Friday from 3pm to 6pm, which is perfect for the after-work crowd. They offer $0.99 tacos and $3.50 margaritas; you can’t beat that!

The diamond in the ruff is La Cocina Del Puerco. It is tucked away in Old Bellevue on Main Street and looks like a place you’d find on the streets of Zihuatanejo. The food is truly authentic, serving up handmade corn tortillas and real Mexican cheese. I was on a plane coming home once from Los Angeles, and this gentleman and I got to talking. He wasn’t from Washington, but he asked where I lived, and I told him Downtown Bellevue. The one and only thing he said about Bellevue was, “The best Mexican Restaurant I’ve ever been to is in Bellevue. It’s called La Cocina Del Puerco.”

I leave you with that.

Muchas Gracias to you Bob,

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