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Laredo’s is our favorite Mexican restaurant in Madison.

La Mestiza and Casa Del Sol are two other relatively authentic, sit-down Mexican places in town, but not worth the drive since they offer no improvement over Laredo’s, whether in price, originality, or quality.

There used to be a place we went at least every two weeks for their sublime Chili Verde Lengua (beef tongue) and awesome free salsa bar, but like many restaurants that are good but not sufficiently mainstream, they went out of business.

Habanero’s is good if you just want a quick torta, nothing fancy. Their pickled jalapenos are to die for, however.

Taqueria Guadalajara is the next highest rated place on Yelp after Habanero’s, and the salsa was delicious. However, the space is tiny, and it was uncomfortable for me to watch the cook putting my enchiladas in the dirty microwave, and garnish them with the dessicated cilantro. And since he was about 3 feet away from where I was sitting when this happened, I couldn’t even pretend to look elsewhere and tell myself it didn’t happen.

Antojitos el Toril was just plain bad. Everything was dry and the flavors were not good.

But hey, there are still other places to try!

Anyway, Laredo’s. They have a very large menu that is more or less logically laid out, although in places the design seems to suffer from the usual “Hey let’s take all these food categories and randomly make a collage out of them in MS Paint!” syndrome that afflicts many Mexican menus. The prices are very reasonable and everything we have had has been tasty, from their quesadillas to burritos to chimichangas to …. well we eat anything pretty much. Their fillings have great variety and flavor profiles, as do their toppings. Their creamy verde sauce is unique, and their good old red and verde sauces are much better than the norm.

Most things are quite good, some are extremely tasty, and the quality is always consistent. And very assiduous at refilling your (tasty) free salsa and warm chips.

Verdict: A tasty option for busy nights.