Restaurant Scene: Start Chattanooga Taco Week at Santi’s Mexican Grill and Sports Bar

Contributed Photo / Tostadas de Tinga served with sliced avocado, lettuce, tomatoes and crema.

Every Tuesday, Santi's Mexican Grill and Sport Bar has 99-cent crunchy shelled tacos filled with ground beef or shredded chicken and $2 street tacos with your choice of carnitas, al pastor, lengua (cow tongue), tripa (what most Southerners know as chitterlings), cachete (slow cooked beef cheek), shrimp, grilled chicken, brisket or steak. However, in honor of Chattanooga Taco Week, Santi's will be running this special all week long.

Santi's Mexican Grill and Sports Bar

Where: 2040 Hamilton Place Blvd. #225

When: 11 a.m.-10 p.m. Monday-Sunday

Owner George Alvarez is a native of Jesus Maria, one of the three cities in the Mexican state of Jalisco that make up the "Golden Triangle" of tequila. He learned the ropes of the food and beverage industry working for his uncle at La Altena Mexican Restaurant on East Brainerd Road. Before long, Alvarez yearned to carve out his own space in the Chattanooga area's prolific Mexican food scene. With the support of his family, he and his wife, Leslie, opened their own restaurant and gave it the name of their first-born son, Santi.

Tacos are just the beginning of Santi's offerings. There are chimichangas and enchiladas. Chilaquiles complete with a sunny side up egg and $2 off fajitas Fridays. Seafood towers filled with snow crab legs, shrimp, oysters and such, and 80-ounce beer towers filled with Negra Modelo, Corona, Pacifico and such. There are bowls brimming with birria (even the traditional kind made with lamb), and there are the trendy quesabirria.

There are the Mexican versions of loaded fries called papas tapatias, pulpo al volcan (spicy octopus). Of course, there are churros and tostada de tinga. Just when you thought pasta wasn't in the realm of Mexican cooking, there's the pasta chipotle — a dish that includes fettucine noodles, scallops and shrimp that is almost like an Alfredo with the addition of a smoky heat from the peppers.

And did I mention, on any given day, all of this can be enjoyed while listening to the festive sounds of a mariachi band or watching Santos Laguna go to battle against Club Necaxa in the Liga MX?


Chattanooga Taco Week which will run July 10-16, is brought to you by the fine folks at Nooga Nightlife and Chatt Taste Food Tours. Scratch your taco itch with deals from local restaurants like: 423 Taco, Mexiville, Hi-Fi Clyde's, The Bitter Alibi, Barque, El Meson, Taco El Vez, both locations of Amigos Mexican Cocina and plenty of others. For more information call (423)529-2582 or email

Contact Andre James at or 423-757-6327.

  photo  Andre James