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Taking a nod from the successful Rocco's Tacos, Caliente in Delray Beach seeks to put asses in seats with a clubby, neo-Deadwood vibe and plenty of standard Tex-Mex fare. But months after launch, the party hasn't quite found its way inside. Instead, veritable tumbleweeds blow through the long hallway of the restaurant, past the kitsch-filled bar and open kitchen. Tacos, burritos, rellenos -- all the usual suspects -- are present, all of them overpriced. Tacos, at least, are $2 during happy hour (daily from 4 to 7 p.m.) and drinks are half off. Even there, the soft flour tortillas and shredded meat plunked straight from a steam tray won't do much more than elicit a milk-curdling "meh." Make like most of Delray and seek your faux-Mex elsewhere. With more than 200 types of tequila, this faux-Latin cantina will make your throat as fiery as its hot-red walls and neon sign. The tequila runs so freely that even the second-floor DJ has stacks of Patrón to his or her right and left. Buy shots that range from cheap brands like Montezuma to the good stuff like Patrón Gran Burdeos (which will run you $65 a shot), or grab a 32-ounce double margarita. If you're craving something other than pizza for a late-night snack, Caliente Kitchen keeps a takeout window open for those drinking outside to order tacos, burritos, or other typical Mexican fare. Reggae and mainstream alt-rock reverberate throughout the space, making the music feel less inspired by its supposed theme than even its décor. But after a few shots of tequila, hearing "One Love" will feel like the first time.
Caliente is probably the best place to sample the wide world of tequila outside of certain areas of Mexico or Disney's Epcot Center. It's also a go...
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"Dusk Till Dawn" Wednesdays at Caliente Kitchen keep getting hotter... Wash down Mexican favorites like California Fish Tacos, Crispy Taquitos or Carne Asada with Caliente's famous oversized margaritas...They're 2-for-1 all night long! Sounds by DJ Konnekt
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