Throughout the ‘90s, the name Los Mariachis was synonymous with Mexican meals in Pinellas County.
Known for its heaping plates of affordable, authentic Mexican food, not to mention gigantic “Monster mugs” of beer and margaritas, Los Mariachis was an ideal dining destination for businesspeople on lunch, frugal families, and young people looking for a cheap night out.
Since that heyday, the options for Mexican food in Pinellas County, and specifically Clearwater, have changed and multiplied, with taco joints now seemingly occupying every other corner.
Heck, even the name of Los Mariachis changed – the Cleveland Street location is now called Los Mayas due to new additions to the menu, although the Ulmerton Road branch still goes by the original moniker.
But no matter how many taco stands and Mexican grills open in the area, and no matter what the name is, Los Mayas/Mariachis will still be thought of by many as the go-to place for Mexican food in Clearwater.
One reason is because the menu is chock full of authentic ethnic plates and an endless array of combos. This leaves little room for a lot of taco varieties, but the tacos they do serve as some of tastiest – and most filling –around.
Carne asada (steak), pollo asada (chicken) and pastor (pork) are the only types of tacos offered, and they only come in soft tortilla shells. They do offer beef-filled hard shell taco for those who prefer theirs American-style, but we won’t get into that preference here.
The pollo asada was filled with thick slices of highly-flavorful meat. Topped with a side of Pico de Gallo and cheese, these jumbo tacos were bursting with taste and meat; combined with the side of beans, and the plate of three was definitely filling enough for lunch.
Despite the name and menu change, the meals still taste as authentic
and homemade as they did back in the day. The owners always boasted of serving “real” Mexican food, and I can safely say that nothing I ate tasted processed, pre-prepared or microwaved.
The prices for the taco meals are a bit high - $9.25 for chicken, $9.75 for pork and $10.95 for carne asada - but with the beans and a heaping order of chips & salsa on the side, the quantity of food you get more than makes up for the cost.
Tacos can also be had for $1.75/$1.95 for one, $4.95/$5.25 for a pair, and Los Mayas also offers a taco salad and taco fajitas.
Wash the meal down with a domestic draft, a bottle of Mexican imports, or a drink from the full liquor bar, and you will be sure leave Los Mayas with a smile on your face and your stomach full.
Especially if you get a monster mug.
Take a bite:
1200 Cleveland St.
Hours: from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Monday to Friday; and from noon to 10 p.m. Saturday and Sunday.