Jessica Boyington visits 2 of Philadelphia's top Mexican restaurants

So grab a marg, and your party hat...it's time to take a look at some of the best around!
PHILADELPHIA (WPVI) -- There aren't many things as universally understood as the experience you get at a Mexican restaurant. (You just know it's going to be a good time!)

So grab a marg, and your party hat...it's time to take a look at some of the best around!

On East Passyunk Ave you'll find Juana Tamale, a Mexican comfort food spot in an eclectic neon setting.

Chef Jenn Zavala's talents took her on an unconventional route, from season six of "Top Chef" to selling tamales out of a graffiti-covered van under I-95.

Each bite handcrafted by Zavala has a bit of her quirky flair stuffed in it. The Caesar salad over a wheat chicharron gives a twist on a classic. Don't get me wrong, the chicken tacos were delicious, but I have never had anything like her Birria tacos with consomme sauce for dipping.

That is until I had her Queso Birria ramen. That's beef, cheese, cilantro, green onion, sesame seeds, and ramen noodles that you drown in more of that consomme broth. You also get a beef taco to go with it.

When you step inside Tequilas off of 16th and Locust streets, you're not in Rittenhouse anymore! It's as authentic of a Mexican spot as you can get.

Owner David Suro left Guadalajara with a mission to dispel misunderstandings of Mexican culture, and with this restaurant, he does just that. This fancier 170-seat space is full of color, texture, chandelier lighting and Mexican cuisine.

The ceviche with shrimp and tilapia is perfect. The queso fundido, a skillet of chihuahua cheese poblano peppers and onions, is mouthwatering. It comes with a side of tortillas, that by the way they make by the hundreds fresh and in-house every single day!

The Molcajete de Carne is a heated lava bowl filled with beef tenderloin in a rich roasted tomato sauce, peppers, onions, and chihuahua cheese. But the surf and turf, an 8-ounce rib-eye and langostino with bean puree, rice, and chorizo sauce is one of my favorite dishes in the city.

They have over 200 kinds of hard-to-find agave spirits, and they use them to create top-notch cocktails. I sipped on a Mexican Mai Tai, and their most popular...the rose petal margarita, and that alone is worth a visit to this Philadelphia gem.

Check out Part 2 and Part 3.
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