I don't know whether the stars were aligned or what, but I believe I have found Nirvana at Vaqueros. Their chile con queso and their shrimp and polenta (aka grits) are to die for.
We went on a Thursday night and the place was relatively empty despite the half-price margaritas and cheap drafts. This is by far the best Mexican food I have found in NOLA. Stay away from Vaqueros on Thursdays, I don't want crowds.
Anyone have any favorite Mexican/Tex-Mex/Southwestern restaurant to rival Vaqueros? Taqueria Corona and Superior Grill don't hold a candle.