The Red Cadillac, Tacos & Tequila
2258 Morris Avenue, Union
Hours: Wed, Thurs and Sat, 1 pm-2 am; Fri, 11:30 am-2 am; Sun, 1-9 pm
Style: Mexican food served in a setting inspired by owner Joe Montes’s 1968 red Cadillac instead of the usual terra cotta colors of the Southwest. Montes and his wife, Jamey, call the look Garage Americana: hubcaps and tires on the walls, servers dressed like gas station attendants, gas canisters as water pitchers, happy-hour prices listed on a filling-station sign.
Don’t Miss: On the Start Your Engines list, the guacamole ($9) is fresh, but be sure to request salt and fresh limes to amp up the flavor. The guac comes with noteworthy house-made fried pita chips, much better than the tortilla chips that come with the complimentary salsa. Skip down the menu to the Main Rides and have the beer-battered fish tacos ($18)—Instagram-ready and flavor-packed, they come in a flour tortilla with slaw and cheese (add house-made hot sauce for a dynamite kick). Tequila is available in 10 to 15 house-infused flavors, such as PB&J, a high-octane flashback to childhood that smells like peanuts and tastes like strawberry preserves ($5 per shot). The infusion process for the sweeter flavors takes six to eight weeks; spicier infusions like jalapeño can be made in a day. For a Road Trip, choose shots of any six tequilas for $25. The Sangrita—a sangria/Margarita hybrid—swirls Cognac and fresh orange and lemon juices into red Burgundy, then adds frozen lemon-lime Margarita for a kind of adult slurpee.
Heads Up: The food is prepared mild, but can be spiced to the customer’s liking.
The Scoop: With more than 50 years combined in the restaurant business, Joe and Jamey Montes set out to create a neighborhood place with simple, reliable food and unique ambience. Each section of Red Cadillac—front bar, dining room and lounge—offers a different vibe.