However, Katie and I are pleased to add another restaurant to our list of approved Mexican restaurants in Johnson county. "EL CACTUS" recently opened in Coralville. It's located at 104 1st Ave. Despite it's rather unfortunate gringo name, the food was as authentic as anything either of us has ever had. Katie thought the beans and rice were especially good. Even though it wasn't listed on the menu, they had horchata for me when I asked for it (with free refills!) Abigail even enjoyed the food (not that she's very discriminating at this point in her early eating career...)
So we highly recommend to all our Iowa friends to make it a priority to visit El Cactus in Coralville if you're hankering for some carne asada or chimichangas.
Finally, our list of Approved Mexican Restaurants in Johnson County, compiled over the last three years, now includes the following, ranked according to awesome-ness:
- EL PATIO - West Liberty (they take only cash - no check or credit, but it's worth the inconvenience. Doesn't hurt to speak Spanish, either.)
- PLAZA JALISCO - North Liberty (lots of seafood dishes)
- EL CACTUS - Coralville (see description above)
- LA REYNA - Iowa City (south of HW6) - they have an authentic restaurant attached.
- IGUANA'S GRILL in North Liberty / CAFE IGUANAS in Hills. I'm not really sure if they're separate restaurants or not. Either way, they're both good.