Round Corner Cantina for Mexican Fare and Margaritas; Red Orchid Features Family Curries (Tues., 1/14/20)

1) Even when it’s not quite summer in Pittsburgh, it always feels like warmer climes at Round Corner Cantina in Lawrenceville. The food certainly helps: chips and salsa, burritos, tacos, and other Mexican cuisine, much of it for $10 or less. The decor furthers the ambiance. Wallpaper of palm fronds border the booths in the dining room. Then there’s the recently opened Chalet, a patio bar which is enclosed and heated during the winter. It’s also always important to know where to get a margarita that’s not too watery, not too alcoholy, and not too costly. Round Corner has you covered, serving up one that’s just right. Whenever the kitchen closes, the bar stays open for at least an hour more and even longer on weekends. There are daily specials, a happy hour, and a brunch menu. And don’t forget churros for dessert. Round Corner is also available to book for private parties. 3720 Butler St., Lawrenceville. (CM)

2) Chef Keson brings decades of culinary experience from her native Thailand and Pittsburgh Thai restaurants to Red Orchid. She, her husband, and her sister use fresh local produce to create one-of-a-kind dishes. Among those dishes are curries made from a family recipe. The curry fried rice is also a winner. The Pad Thai ($12.50) is great, but if one is looking for something a little different but also exceptional, try the Pad Ka Prao ($12.50). It is made “from the wok” with stir-fried garlic, bell peppers, green beans, and fried egg. Either ground pork or chicken for a protein. Try the Spicy Basil Pad Ka Prao for a spin. Both are served with jasmine rice. For a traditional beverage, there’s Thai Iced Tea and Thai Iced Coffee. It’s also BYOB. The menu includes multiple appetizers, soups, sides, and specials. The restaurant expanded some years ago and offers 24 seats in a spacious dining room. 5439 Babcock Blvd., Ross Township. (CM)