Many of the region's Mexican restaurants celebrated Cinco de Mayo with takeout orders and distanced fanfare, including a few newly opened spots that are now open again for limited dine-in service. After a big buildup and a small delay, Vaqueros Mexican Restaurant & Taqueria opened in January in the former Hooters location in Spokane Valley (vaquerosmexicansv.com). Totally worth the wait for the décor alone: A handsome Old West theme honoring the original Western cowboy or vaquero, with leather seating and lots of mixed woods. The menu, though, is the real draw, with several pages of mouth-watering meals. Open daily, Vaqueros serves breakfast, lunch and dinner from 11 am to late night, including specials like chicken en molé ($15), six variations each of salads and huevos, pozole ($17), and all-day breakfast burritos ($10). Vaqueros is the newest venture from veteran restaurateur Jose Rodriquez and family, who operate several Rancho Viejo locations in the region.
Meanwhile, Mexico Lindo in Liberty Lake is the latest from Fiesta Mexicana's Miguel Amador, and opened late in 2019. Head here for tacos of all shapes, sizes and fillings, including lengua (tongue) and alambre (bacon, beef, cheese and pasilla pepper). Deep-fried ice cream sounds good right now and they have it ($5.50), along with a kids' menu, and the perfect marriage of savory and spice in the form of shrimp with chipotle cream sauce ($14). Find out more on the restaurant's Facebook page, MexicoLindo LibertyLake.