T&T’s Mariachi Brunch gets Sunday mornings off to a flavorful start
By Brock Radke
Photos by Beverly Poppe
Savvy Vegas visitors know some of the best, most vibrant Mexican food on the Strip can be found at Tacos & Tequila, the lively eatery perched on the second level promenade at Luxor. But did you know T&T does brunch, and in a big way?
A rowdy, rambunctious three-piece mariachi band roams the dining room, serenading as you enjoy a bowl of chips and salsa and the first of two-for-one top shelf margaritas. And let’s talk about these margaritas: made with Jose Cuervo Reposado, Grand Marnier, organic agave nectar and a house-made sweet-and-sour mix heavy on fresh lime juice, these are as refreshingly close to perfect as it gets. If only Luxor bordered a beach. But there is impressive range on this brunch beverage menu, including the pineapple-chipotle margarita made with Herradura tequila, a classic mojito featuring 12-year-aged Montecristo rum and the hangover-curing Bloody Maria, with tequila, cucumber, Tabasco and a skewer of cheese, olive and tomato.
Be careful: With great music and great drinks, you might have too much fun. Don’t forget about the great food. Always highly recommended is beginning with a bowl of freshly made guacamole. T&T’s version is done Mexico City-style, without lime juice, and just tomatoes, onions, Serrano peppers and chopped cilantro mingling with lush, creamy avocado. To start with something hot, the Mexican meatball soup known as albondigas is a soothing pleasure, a slightly spicy tomato broth with a touch of fresh herbs.
The Mariachi Brunch menu is a collection of soulful, satisfyingly savory dishes—almost like home cooking away from home. T&T’s breakfast burrito is bursting with soft scrambled eggs, smoked bacon and salty Oaxacan cheese, with a colorful splash of pico de gallo and salsa roja. Even more hearty is the machaca burrito, a mixture of salted beef and black beans mingling with eggs, cheese and tongue-tingling habanero salsa. T&T chef Saul Ortiz is known for his fresh salsas, and this kitchen churns out an exciting array of them, from spicy to mild, roasted to raw.
More simple fare comes in the form of huevos con chorizo, your preference of eggs with the dense, spiced sausage plus a side of flour tortillas and crisp potatoes. The T&T team proves it’s capable of putting a refined spin on traditional Mexican dishes with two specialty items. Chilaquiles, normally a sort of casserole of crisp tortillas drenched in cheese and red sauce, is a cylindrical masterpiece of flavor, fresh corn tortillas saturated with mild roasted salsas and panela cheese and topped with a mound of tender shredded chicken, crisp lettuce and rich crema fresca. And huevos rancheros is upgraded with a traditional mole poblano sauce, rich and deep in color and flavor.
Authenticity stretches into dessert, too, and just because it’s brunch doesn’t mean you can skip on something sweet. Try cornflake-crusted fried ice cream or custardy caramel flan, and polish off that final margarita.
11 a.m.-11 p.m. daily; Mariachi Brunch 11 a.m.-
3 p.m. Sun. 702.262.5225