(WMC TV) - They are as real as Mexican restaurants get this side of the border.
They are los mas autenticos Mexican restaurants in the Mid-South, according to our news partners at La Prensa Latina, the Mid-South's bilingual newspaper (http://laprensalatina.com/):
* TAQUERIA LA GUADALUPANA, 4818 Summer Ave., Berclair/E. Memphis, (901) 685-6857. La Prensa Latina's Brenda Aguilar said Taqueria La Guadalupana's tacos are as authentic as the ones prepared at taquerias in her native Mexico City.
"They make them with the original tortilla," Aguilar said. "Steaks on the grill, with the cilantro and onions on top!"
WHAT ANDY LIKES: Tacos (of course!), Best Mexican Breakfast Selection in Mid-South
* EL PATIO MEXICAN GRILL, 3964 Austin Peay Hwy, Raleigh/NE Memphis, (901) 382-6062. Friendly faces and authentic dishes in huge portions put Raleigh's El Patio Mexican Grill in the top cinco.
The festive patio, hence the name, didn't hurt either.
"You're outside, and you can really enjoy it," said La Prensa Latina's Amalur Munoz. "The sun! The margaritas!"
WHAT ANDY LIKES: Tequila Spice Fajita, Pina Fiesta (grilled shrimp, chicken and veggies in a hollowed pineapple), Tiliapia & Shrimp
* EL MEZCAL, 402 Perkins Ext'd., White Station Area/E. Memphis, 901-761-7710, https://www.loc8nearme.com/tennessee/memphis/el-mezcal/2269664/
In 1992, Francisco Alvarez and his family launched a chain of Mexican restaurants committed to authentic Mexican cuisine, atmosphere and service.
20 years later, El Mezcal is the only place where you can order a real Mexican shrimp cocktail or drink a thirst-quenching horchata made from ground rice.
WHAT ANDY LIKES: Coctel De Camaron (shrimp cocktail), Tacos De Lujo (beef, chicken or shrimp with avocado and pico de gallo), Steak A La Tampiquena (rib eye with onions, bell peppers and tomatoes)
* FIESTA MEXICAN GRILL, 7065 Airways Blvd., Southaven, MS, (662) 253-0282. Perhaps the best service of any of our top five, Fiesta Mexican Grill takes a fresh approach to its signature dishes.
* CHAPULTEPEC MEXICAN RESTAURANT, 255 New Byhalia Rd., Collierville, TN, (901) 854-8940. "It is very authentic," said customer Shari Michael as she ate lunch at the only place in our top five that once earned the High Score of the Week on the Restaurant Scorecard. "When I came in, I thought, 'Oh, it's so clean, and it smells good!'
"It's very tasty. The spices that they use are just wonderful."