Sunday, February 28, 2010

Lo mejor del Mar a Sa Paladar!

If you travel around Nashville long enough, you'll eventually pass a Las Palmas restaurant, which bills itself as the "Best Mexican Restaurant" in town. Las Palmas has adopted this sobriquet because the readers of the Nashville Scene have repeatedly chosen Las Palmas as the best Mexican joint in the Scene's "Best of Nashville" poll for several consecutive years.

I know full well that I've not dined in all of the Mexican Restaurants in Nashville, so I'm not prepared to anoint any of 'em the best. I will say, however, that I've found a place that has quickly become my go-to place for quality Mexican cuisine ... and it ain't Las Palmas.

If you want to eat some very good Mexican food, I urge you to try 7 Mares (Seven Seas) in Antioch. Located in the same strip mall as Your Choice Restaurant -- which has been mentioned several times on A Man's Gotta Eat -- 7 Mares' menu not only features classic Mexican dishes like chile colarado and carcinitas, but bold seafood dishes as well. I recommend the camarones a la diabla (spicy sautéed shrimp) or the caldo de mariscos (a delicious mix of shrimp, fish, mussels and scallops simmered in a saffron broth).

It had been a while since I'd been to 7 Mares when I made my last visit. I was fully prepared to order one of their patented seafood dishes until I spied the $4.99 Fajitas Lunch Special" sign in the window. "Maybe I'll give the fajitas a try" I said.

Now, I've had some dicey experiences with fajitas in Mexican joints over the years. The meat tends to be dry, the vegetables are usually über-wilted, and there's always the ubiquitous pile of canned refried beans resting to the side, rapidly hardening as the meal progresses. I started to re-think my "Maybe I'll try 'em" decision; but knowing that I'd never had a bad meal at 7 Mares, I figured their fajitas would be better than the worst fajitas I'd ever eaten. And for five bucks, well, at least I would've been able to say I got a deal.

I knew there shouldn't have been a doubt in my mind that 7 Mares' fajitas would be first-class. The chicken was well-seasoned and juicy. The onions and green peppers weren't overcooked. And - and this is a mighty important and - the refried beans are scratch-made. I'm not a big fan of refried beans - probably because I've eaten some terrible refried beans in my day - but I enjoyed 7 Mares' refried beans to the very last bite.

As much as I liked those fajitas, I'm still quite partial to the seafood dishes at 7 Mares. For me, that's really what makes the place stand out in a city full of Mexican restaurants.

7 Mares
957 Richards Road
Antioch, TN 37013


Reggie C said...

That is near my office and that is a very good Mexican restaurant.

Kurt said...

I can name many Mexican places that are better than Las Palmas. I think the people who vote that place Best in Nashville must only eat Mexican at Las Palmas.

Brian Stanley said...

I will dodge the gangs and give you the benefit of the doubt Django.