‘Watts for Dinner’: Buena comida at La Familia Mexican Taqueria

Will Watts

This week we visit La Familia Mexican Taqueria in East Naples. This was our first visit to the restaurant and I was super excited. Mexican food is one of my absolute favs!

Things got off to an appetizing start with the flor de calabaza (pumpkin-flower) quesadillas, a unique dish and an amazing start to our food adventure.

Unlike more “Americanized versions,” these quesadillas look more like large tacos with loads of melted cheese. And there was more than pumpkin flower inside. There was actual bits of pumpkin. And I’m here for it.

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For my main entree, I selected a chicken tinga sope, a gordita with al pastor and some rice and beans.

A sope is a traditional Mexican dish consisting of a fried masa base, topped with your choice of protein; a gordita is very similar, but in pocket form.

This was some of the best tinga I’ve found in this area. A lot of Mexican restaurants don’t even serve it. Tinga is shredded chicken in a sauce made from tomatoes and chipotle chilis in adobo.

Both dishes feature refried beans, cotija cheese lettuce tomato and crema.

The tinga was my absolute favorite. I highly recommend this dish. The al pastor (spit-grilled pork) was not my favorite but still very tasty.

My dining companion also opted for the chicken tinga, but as taquitos – tightly wrapped rolled tacos with meat inside and topped with lettuce, tomaotos, avocados and crema. It was a beautiful and tasty dish.

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One Yelp reviewer wrote: “La Familia Mexican Taqueria is a great Mexican restaurant that serves some amazing Mexican food. The servers are friendly, warm and engaging and the atmosphere, while humble, only adds to the overall experience. I have always said Mexican food is best served in these humble, hole-in-the-wall type establishments.” He’s not wrong.

Another wrote: “I live 40 minutes away and will willingly drive that distance to return to this restaurant. I promise you will not regret stopping here! The woman who waited on our table explained that all the recipes are her grandmother's recipes. This is a family business and the food is phenomenal!”

There’s a lot of great Mexican food along this area of “the Trail.” But there’s always room for one more! Happy eating!

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This newspaper pays for all meals related to dining reviews. We do not solicit or accept free food. Not all dishes are featured in print, but you can find a gallery of all reviewed dishes online at marconews.com.

If you go

La Familia Mexican Taqueria

  • St Andrews Square, 8795 Tamiami Trail E., Naples
  • 239-331-7358