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Best Mexican Restaurant 

click to enlarge left Rita's margarita mistress Isamar Carrasco serves 'em strong. - PHOTO BY ANDREW GOFF
  • Photo by Andrew Goff
  • left Rita's margarita mistress Isamar Carrasco serves 'em strong.

 Rita’s has got fillings. Lots and lots of fillings. You can have your taco stuffed with grilled veggies or chorizo tofu or a spicy chicken tinga. And Rita’s has got margaritas, probably lots of them, too. Somewhere between all that choice and all that booze, Journal readers named Rita’s Margaritas and Mexican Grill their runaway favorite for Mexican food cravings.

 Rita’s has four locations, one in Arcata and three in Eureka. For those who specified, Arcata was the hands-down winner.

 The menu is huge -- mole and machaca and even menudo. A friend tells me those 80-plus items (not counting sides or appetizers or breakfasts or even burritos) are a minefield. It takes a little experience to sort the brilliant from the blah. With enough repeat visits, he swears, I’m gonna love this place. Nearly 40 percent of you agreed. Maybe that’s the marketing plan?

 Most wistful answer: “Let me know when you find it!”

 Most gusto: “La Chaparrita, fighting the man one taco at a time.”

 -- Carrie Peyton Dahlberg

The Breakdown: Rita’s 39.2%, Carmela’s 12.6%, Pachanga 6.6%, Luzmila’s 6.1%, Chapala 4.7%, Voter Turnout: Third.

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