A staple at our Chattanooga Happy Hour – or any Mexican bar or restaurant, really -- is some variation of cocktail with Tequila as the main ingredient (margarita, Bloody Mary, Tequila Sunrise, etc.). We celebrate this great spirit as we near National Tequila Day on July 24th.
Another choice gaining ground in America bars and restaurants, perhaps confused with Tequila, is Mezcal.
Both drinks are made from the harvested core of the agave plant, otherwise known as the “piña”, but the two spirits are characterized by more differences than similarities. Think of it the same way in which bourbon and scotch share the category as whiskey, yet you may love one and hate the other because of variations in taste.
Geography also matters. Just as Bourbon is a whiskey associated with Kentucky (where 95 percent of it is made) and Scotch whiskey was originally made in Scotland, tequila and mezcal come from different regions of Mexico. There’s a town in Jalisco named Tequila. Spirits Writer John McEvoy explained to Food & Wine magazine that tequila is mass produced in 5 places, while mezcal is a product made in nine parts of the country.
Another spirits writer, Chris Tunstall, said the most common agave used for mezcal are tobalá, tobaziche, tepeztate, arroqueño and espadín.
The differences don’t stop there. The two drinks are distilled differently.
Industrial ovens steam the agave before distillation in copper pots to create tequila. Lava rock pits dug into the ground and filled with wood and charcoal typically cook the agave to create mezcal with distilling in clay pots to produce a characteristic smokiness.
After distillation, both drinks end up in oak barrels for varying periods of aging, the labels as different varieties based on the length of aging. Tequila, for example, comes in three varieties: blanco (silver or plato/0-2 months), reposado (2-12 months) and anejo (1-3 years). Mezcal is also grouped as joven (blanco or abacado/0-2 months), reposado (2-12 months) and anejo (at least one year).
We don’t expect anyone to come up to the bar and order an “abacado mezcal”, but hey, at least you can now that you know what it is and say it if you want to impress your date.
Fun fact: The term mezcal used to refer to any spirit distilled from fermented agave, but then the government got involved and changed the phrase from a category of spirits to something more specific.
“Tequila was originally called vino de mezcal de tequila — or the wine of the mezcal from the community of Tequila (in Jalisco),” explained Lou Bank of SACRED Agave, a nonprofit that promotes the rural Mexican communities where mezcal is made. The word mezcal comes from the Nahuatl words metl and ixcalli, which taken together mean "oven cooked agave."
Another fun fact about Mezcal: Some producers avoid the variation of the word spelled “mescal” to avoid being mistaken for some derivative of mescaline.
Some of the more commonly available brands of mezcal available in the US include Del Maguey Chichicapa, El Jolgorio Tepeztate, Rey Campero Tepextate, Ilegal Mezcal Reposado, Mezcal Vago Olla De Barro Tobala, Montelobos Mezcal Joven.
If you’re now torn between ordering tequila or mezcal in your margarita, we suggesting ordering one of both. Then more. You know, to be sure you can tell a difference!
Besides, who’s counting when you can get 2 for 1 Margaritas during happy hour in Chattanooga? Call your favorite Amigos location for specific times & prices.
It’s May, so that diet you vowed to follow in January may be long forgotten by now. If not, good for you! For others, keeping things like sugar in moderation is a must if eating out with diabetes or similar conditions. For those of you wanting to eat out lighter fare so you can look good on the beach this summer or feel healthier, we offer this guide to how to eat healthy at Chattanooga Mexican Restaurants.
Most people don’t ordinarily think of Mexican as healthy because, sure, those foods fried or covered in cheese or creamy sauces taste sinfully good. But think about all of the fresh vegetables and fruit. When a group of friends tries to figure out where they can meet up for dinner that will work for the vegetarian in the bunch, Mexican restaurants offer some of the more appealing options for everyone. You can eat healthy without feeling like you’re eating cardboard because Mexican food is packed with flavor! Amigos even offers up a dedicated Vegetarian menu that lets you create your own veggie plate!
Your nutritionist would be proud of you for ordering the Veggie Fajitas with sautéed zucchini, tomatoes, bell peppers, and mushroom. We serve it with three flour tortillas, rice, refried beans and salad with lettuce, guacamole, sour cream, and tomatoes.
The experts say the healthiest Mexican menu options include grilled chicken dishes, which we offer in our tacos, burritos, enchiladas, grilled chimi, la tapatia, Pollo Jalisco, and more. The shredded chicken in our Flautas comes sautéed with bell peppers, tomatoes, and onions. The Carne Asada is another excellent entrée choice including grilled meats.
Other healthier options at a Mexican restaurant could include Tamales, Gazpacho ( a tomato based soup traditionally served cold), grilled seafood-based dishes, salsa and picante sauce, soft tacos with chicken or beef, fish tacos, or chile con carne (minus cheese and chips).
Assembling foods like a chicken fajita yourself gives you greater control of the portions and the ability to add more veggies.
Black beans work great for dieters, low in fat, high in protein and providing plenty of fiber. Pinto beans and grilled vegetables also work great as a substitute for refried beans or white rice. Corn tortillas contain fewer carbs and calories than wheat tortillas. You’ll want to enjoy other foods in moderation, including cheese, chips, sour cream, and nachos. Guacamole adds a similar creaminess to cheese and sour cream but is better for you. Pico de gallo may be available as a substitute for sour cream or melted cheese. Save the deep-fried options for special occasions.
If craving an appetizer, make sure it’s something everyone at the table will share.
Load up on veggies, especially extra lettuce.
Browse the menu on our website before arriving. It’s easier to make healthy choices when you aren’t hungry or distracted by conversations.
You can also control portion sizes and take any part of your meal that you don’t finish to save for left-overs. Remember that beer carbs vary from brand to brand, so choose wisely. Ask your bartender to substitute a piece of fruit in place of sugar and choose tequila on the rocks if you want to avoid the sweets. Or remember that a lighter meal leaves room for margaritas!
Save the dessert as a treat to reward yourself for meeting your goals.
The key to diet-friendly Mexican food involves following smart guidelines and indulging in moderation. Mexican restaurants are great places to eat healthily!
If your attitude about Mexican food is “the hotter the better!”, this article is for you! We’re going to suggest some of the boldest dishes you can find at Chattanooga Mexican Restaurants.
Technically, “spicy” is not a taste. Yes, you heard me right! Spiciness is actually a form of pain, and spicy foods contain chemicals that stimulate the pain receptors in your mouth. Some of those nerves also monitor temperature, which is why spicy foods give off a burning (hot) sensation when we eat them. The same type of reaction causes us to cry when cutting onions. If you’re like us, you know it hurts so good!
A little “pain” can be good for us now and then. Peppers get their spice from something called capsaicin, which aids in lowering blood pressure and cholesterol and has also been found to improve circulation and relieve congestion. The trusty taste buds know that spicy foods have a kick, and Mexican food, in particular, has a reputation for being very spicy. We prefer to think of it as “mouthwatering”. Besides, you can cool off with 2 for 1 Margaritas and daily specials on 32 oz draft beers!
Mexican foods contain some of the most spicy ingredients in the world including Jalapeño peppers. We suggest you try the new Jalapeño Bacon Dip, Chiles Toreados with Cebollitas Asadas, or Abuela’s Guacamole for a sampling of the heat to come. Another appetizer, our Amigo Dip, contains cilantro, which is another Mexican staple known to put a stride in your step.
Still looking for an Entrée to Test your Fortitude?
Two grilled chicken enchiladas topped with creamy suiza sauce and served with rice, lettuce, tomatoes and sour cream. Substitute Grilled Steak or Grilled Shrimp if that’s how you roll.
We bring the heat by cooking grilled chicken and sautéed onions with our spiciest salsa and famous white cheese sauce. Served with rice, refried beans, and three flour tortillas.
Get ready for our spicy hot marinated strips of grilled steak, sautéed onions and mushrooms served with rice, lettuce, guacamole, sour cream, pico de gallo and three flour tortillas. If you like it hot, it’s sure to hit the spot!
One shredded chicken chimichanga, one tamale and one shredded chicken flauta, topped with creamy suiza sauce and garnished with lettuce, sour cream and mango pineapple sauce.
If you feel like you’ve gone too far, you can cap off your meal with a tasty dessert top of ice cream. See? That didn’t hurt one bit. Be bold. Make lunch and dinner at Chattanooga Mexican Restaurants more than a meal… make it an experience with zesty sauces, spices, and peppers. Contact us online for more information about our restaurant and to view menus for all of our locations.
Forget the cookies and milk, leave Santa the gift the that’s on the top of his list… Amigos! Stand out from the crowd of sugar cookies and leave the big guy a special Christmas treat.
Snow isn’t Santa’s favorite white stuff… queso is! It’s rich, warm, creamy and the perfect midnight snack for Santa. Bonus, we’ve heard his reindeer are huge fans of our fresh baked chips.
Riding in a sleigh and climbing down chimneys is a real workout. Santa needs to refuel for his remaining stops. What better way to prepare than with tacos! The perfect combination of carbs, protein, dairy and vegetables… tacos should be a staple on Santa’s plate.
It’s a proven fact that the big guy loves sweets! He’s tired of cookies though, so instead opt for the soft, sweet, sugary crunch of a churro. And… with 3 scoops of ice cream on top, you can’t go wrong!
Who needs a white Christmas when you can have a frozen one! Margaritas are much tastier than milk, and they will leave Santa with a burst of energy to finish his tasks.
Leave Santa the gift he’d really enjoy this Christmas. Give the gift of great food from Amigo Mexican Restaurant!
Holidays are all about spreading cheer, right? What better way than with our creamy, zesty, and citrusy guac! With over 25 crowd-pleasing entrées featuring our fresh, finger-licking guacamole, here are 7 Amigo Mexican Restaurant top-guac sellers you need to order.
And speaking of guacamole… don’t forget to sign up for our "Guac Around The Christmas Tree" Contest. Enter now for your chance to win a Holiday Mexican Fiesta for 2 that includes chips and salsa, 2 entrees, 2 non-alcoholic beverages, 1 dessert, and guacamole, of course! To enter, click here. Good luck, amigos and Happy Holidays!
Question: What do marigolds, butterflies, and skulls have in common? You guessed it – Day of the Dead, or Dia de los Muertos! Here are 10 fun facts about Dia de los Muertos you should know.
Think you’re a Dia de los Muertos pro? Take on the challenge of completing our crossword puzzle below. And of course, don’t forget to come to Amigo Mexican Restaurant for dinner to celebrate trick or treating. (We know all moms will be treating, with a margarita!)
¡Hola, amigos! Guess what this Saturday is?? It’s one of our favorite holidays of the year! No, not Cinco de Mayo, though we love it too. Okay, we’ll go ahead and give you a hint. It starts with guaca- and ends with -mole. Yep, it’s National Guacamole Day and we couldn’t be more ready! We’re so excited that we’re counting down the days to creamy, chunky, zesty, and savory (all the elements that make up Amigo guac) with a pop-guac quiz. So grab a chip, and let’s dip right in!
*Also, don't forget to stop by an Amigo Mexican Restaurant for a dip of Abuela's Guacamole, made fresh and chunky when you order! We start with a whole avocado and then we add fresh cilantro, tomatoes, onions and a hint of jalapeño just for that extra kick.
Sometimes in life all you need is a warm hug and a warm churro. If your week has been –let’s just say– less than sweet, we have just the fried fix for you! Our ooey, gooey, warm churros provide the ultimate sugar therapy that will melt away almost all your troubles. Still not totally convinced? Here are three reasons to save room for our famous, crispy Mexican pastry.
For more delicious Mexican desserts, try one of these at your local Amigo Mexican Restaurant.
A cheesecake burrito deep-fried and topped with three scoops of vanilla ice cream and strawberries.
Sopapilla With Ice Cream
Indulge yourself with our most popular dessert pastry! The Sopapilla is fried and topped with three scoops of rich vanilla ice cream. Then drizzled with the perfect combination of chocolate and honey, sprinkled with cinnamon.
Flan (Mexican Custard)
A Mexican delicacy. Our flan custard is rich and creamy, drizzled with a delicious caramelized topping.
Fried Ice Cream
Treat yourself to our creamy vanilla ice cream, quickly dipped into the fryer for just the right amount of crispiness. Then topped with all your favorites: honey, chocolate, whipped cream, sprinkled with cinnamon and topped with a cherry.
Ladies and Gentlemen: Bow down to beverage royalty… reining at the throne as the most popular cocktail, the Margarita is a total classic. Its refreshing blend of salt, lime, orange liqueur, and thirst-quenching tequila make it most deserving of devotion.
While the cocktail-martini hybrid basics may scream simplicity, we like to think of the marg as the perfect base to experiment, blending new tropical tastes and flavors… one of its best qualities!
In its purest form, the classic Margarita (whether on the rocks or frozen) is the quintessential cocktail to accompany any Mexican plate. Cause sometimes, less really is more. But if you’re feeling bold, we offer a multitude of margs that pack a punch.
Try out our Chamoy Margarita. Salty, sweet, sour, and spicy, it’s an absolute flavor knockout! This margarita is refreshingly citrusy, subtly chile-spiced, seriously delicious, and perfect for these hot summer days! (East Ridge, TN location only)
While everyone has their own idea of what the perfect margarita tastes like, all our amigos agree, our margs can’t be beat! Frozen or on the rocks, flavors include: Margarona, Mango, Peach, Passionfruit, Strawberry, and Raspberry. Cool off with a 12oz. Texas Margarita, 27oz. Jumbo, or grab a 60oz. Pitcher for sharing!
Our summer recommendation? A sweet and spicy, Tajin-rimmed (Chili Lime) Frozen Mango Margarita! Tajin is a unique blend made of world-class chilies, lime, and sea salt.
Sip down 2 for the price of 1 during Happy Hour (daily). East Ridge, Brainerd, Hixson from 3-9pm and 4-8pm at Johnson City and Elizabethton locations. See you soon!
Since May is National Salsa Month, we give you an ode to the red stuff. After all, without it, what would we fill up on before our entrees arrive?
Let the Salsa guide you – to Amigo’s
With each savory bite, salsa is the perfect
complement to every entrée,
the necessity to a Happy Hour margarita,
and the best accessory to each salty tortilla chip.
Spicy, savory and oh so satisfying.
Salsa, we salute you!
Ranging from mild mouthful to fiery fare.
Here’s to you and every Amigo’s meal
you make complete.
Whether you’re topping or dipping, Amigo’s salsa reigns King as the ultimate fresh Mex accouterment. Using the freshest ingredients and our secret family recipe, we proudly serve this silent hero.
Maybe it’s the juicy, ripe produce or the freshly made tortilla chips that keeps you coming back time and time again. Whatever your favorite reason, Amigo’s salsa is sure to hit the spot. We must warn you though, our salsa can be habit forming!
The hours in the day are never long enough for the stress-inducing demand of traffic jams, meetings, or toddler tantrums. And at some point, it might seem like there’s nothing you can do about your elevated levels of stress. But, after taking a deep breath, you might begin to realize that you have more control than you previously thought. In fact, managing stress is all about taking initiative: of your lifestyle, thoughts, and the way you confront challenges. No matter how stressful your life may seem, there are simple steps to relieve the pressure and easily manage stress.
Here are three steps for stress relief, as follows:
1. Come to Amigo’s
2. Come to Amigo’s
3. Come to Amigo’s
Take a few minutes to unwind, come to Amigo's, and solve this Amigo Mexican Restaurant themed crossword puzzle (with a margarita in-hand, of course) to reduce your stress today!
How well do you know Mexican food? Maybe not as well as you once thought. Here are 5 facts about Mexican food that just might surprise you!
Fact #1 Tortillas used to be canned.
Yes, you read that right. Store-bought tortillas were most commonly found in the canned food aisle! While these nonperishables were once stocked on the shelves, this Mexican food phenomenon is no longer found in stores.
Fact #2 Not All Mexican Food Is Spicy.
As a prevalent ingredient in most Mexican dishes, the chili pepper does not always mean every dish is hot. Some Mexican dishes, for example, dance with sweet, savory notes. I mean come on, have you tried our Traditional Corn Tamale?
Fact #3 Mexican Food is HEALTHY!
Mexican food is actually a healthy choice, despite its carb-filled reputation. It combines the perfect blend of food groups and natural feel-good nutrients, which release endorphins that make us feel happy. Finally you can enjoy the low fat, low calorie flavors of Amigo’s without all the guilt.
Fact #4 Most of our favorite foods come from Mexico.
Did you know that Mexico has provided many of the world’s favorite foods? These ingredients include beans, avocados, chili peppers, corn, tomatoes, the cacao and vanilla bean. What would the word be like without chocolate or vanilla? Sad, just sad.
Fact #5 The first meal of the day is always sweet.
Okay, maybe not a fact but more of an opinion, we strongly believe that dessert should never be overlooked. Fact: It is common in Mexican culture for churros to be served up for breakfast. At Amigo Mexican Restaurant, we serve up a plate of warm, deep-fried pastries drizzled with a sugary, sweet, chocolate sauce and a side of ice cream. Talk about the breakfast of champions!
So, what do margaritas and tortilla chips have in common? Aside from being a delicious gift from the Heavens…. Yep, you guessed it – SALT! Not only that, but they also share the same National Food & Drink Week – this week! (All the more reason to eat at Amigo’s, right??!) In homage of this Mexican, flavor-filled week, here are 5 reasons to come to Amigo Mexican Restaurant looking for your lost shaker of salt.
1. Two for One Margs. To share or not to share? You decide. Get two margaritas for the price of one during happy hour, everyday. Flavored, traditional, frozen, or on the rocks, you can’t go beat an Amigo’s margarita. Call your favorite location for specific times and prices.
2. All the Dips. Consider the tortilla chip your edible spoon for delicious, freshly prepared dips. We’re talkin’ guac, queso, bean, spinach, and Amigo dip! Heck, order all 5 and double dip, we’re not judging.
3. Salt = Healthy. Studies have shown that an adequate amount of sodium actually encourages a healthy weight and fast metabolism. With that said, bring on the bottomless chips! And can we get an amen for the extra salt rimmed margarita?! Amen.
4. On a Budget? No Problem. There’s no denying that everyone needs authentic Mexican and Tex-Mex in their life (cough... a couple of times a week, at minimum). We can also agree that there’s no need in spending a fortune to enjoy it either. Join us for a budget-friendly fiesta today!
5. Make it an Amigo Fiesta! Bring a friend and stop in for some gooey queso goodness, kickin’ margaritas, warm tortillas, fresh chips and salsa, and authentic Mexican food that can’t be beat.
Good mood, bad mood... whatever the mood, our delicious dishes and tasty treats are sure to hit the spot. We'll help you select the perfect meal to put a smile on your face and goodness in your stomach.
Nachos: You didn’t come to cut your food up and push it around your plate, you nacho lover you. You came to get messy and dig in. Forget the bib they gave you at the seafood restaurant, you sat down equipped with all you need… hands and napkins. Stressed, depressed, elated or just plain hangry, you know that those crunchy chips and delicious toppings leave you feeling oh so satisfied.
Burrito: Unlike the messy nacho fan with guacamole on his elbows and queso on his cheeks, you prefer a neater approach to dining. We can’t say we blame you, though. While there is something to be said for a stack of chips, cheese, meat, beans and toppings, it can’t compare to the gift wrap you can eat. You ice princess, burrito eater, you don’t wear your emotions or food on your sleeve. You prefer your ingredients neatly rolled away, just like your feelings.
Pollo Picoso: There’s no denying that you like it hot, hot, hot. Whether it’s the queso or the spicy salsa, the Pollo Picoso gets your blood pumping. You aren’t the one to walk away from a situation, you suit up and hit the field. You are the type that always chooses dare, accepts all challenges and thinks you are the toughest guy in the room. If you can finish the Pollo Picoso, you’ve won the Amigo championship.
Margaritas: Ms. “I’d rather drink my calories”, we feel you. Breakups and celebrations alike both pair well with ice cold tequila. You’ve had years of practice honing your wildcard status and recognize that the only thing better than a margarita is two margaritas. We enjoy your appreciation of tequila, questionable decision making and ability to rally like the champ you are. Now, go ahead and order the queso or the guac’… you know you want it and we won’t tell.
Dinner drinkers and Mexican food lovers can all unite over dinner at Amigo Mexican Restaurant. One warning, "we may be habit forming."