Thursday, April 29, 2010

Taqueria Mercado

We just got back from lunch at Taqueria Mercado. It just opened downtown on 8th and Walnut in the past week and has replaced another good mexican restaurant Javiers. I had never heard of this restaurant, but I know some of my co-workers have eaten at this place before but at a different location. The biggest difference between this place and Javiers is that Taqueria Mercado is a sit down and order restaurant instead of ordering at the counter as soon as you walked in.

Unlike most mexican restaurants, you do not get any free chips and salsa as an appetizer. If you want some though, it is only $1.50 for a basket of chips and a dish of salsa. We did get a basket, more by accident than anything. My co-worker asked if we got any chips and salsa after we all ordered and he said OK and brought some out. In the end we found on my bill that it cost $1.50, which was no big deal, we will know for next time. I would probably still get them because they were very good, everyone at the table enjoyed them.

I got a small chicken burrito ($4.25) and asked for rice in it (menu said add rice for $.25). I also asked for no sour cream, not only is it bad for you, I just don't like it. Lastly I asked for some guac and I asked if it came with chips and he said yes ($2.25). I will never know if actually does come with chips because I never actually got my guac and/or chips, yet they did try and charge me for it. I also ended up getting sour cream in my burrito which I noticed half way through. It looked like they may have put some in and then realized it wasn't suppose to go in so they stopped adding it and then served it to me anyway. Instead of making a big deal about it, I just scraped some of it out and continued eating it. If it wasn't so good I probably would have made them take it back.

Did I mention how good it was, wow. If it wasn't the best mexican food I ever had, it sure was close to it. Even with the messed up order, it still didn't take away from how delicious it was. And I did get some rice, but it wasn't in the burrito like I thought it would be, it came with some beans on the side, which I think they might have messed up thinking I wanted their lunch platter which, again, I didn't ask for. I am hoping once they are in business for a little longer some of the kinks will get ironed out.

All in all I wish the communication between me and the waiter and the cooks was better, but in the end I did get my burrito with some rice and I paid close to what I was thinking it was going to be ($6). I will definitely be back to try out more items from the menu. If you have never had this at any of their locations, I would suggest going, you won't regret it.

Taqueria Mercado on Urbanspoon

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Senor Roy's

Last week I ate at Senor Roy's twice. Senor Roy's is a big truck, just like Cafe de Wheels, that comes downtown a lot during lunch hours. Senor Roy's serves tacos and burritos and more of the mexican items. Being that it was my first time there, I didn't know how the whole "system" worked. So I started down at one end of the truck looking at one menu. There I chose to get two chicken tacos (I had heard from a co-worker that two tacos was plenty to eat, he was right). Then I was told to move down the line to the other end of the truck where another, yet different, menu was located. I tried to figure out what they all had from this menu, but it wasn't too clear and I ended up just asking a lot of questions until I got something that sounds somewhat good. It didn't turn out the best. It was good, don't get me wrong, but I just didn't get as much stuff as I could because I didn't know what they all had since the menu was confusing.

None-the-less, I went back two days later with a co-worker and got one chick and one steak taco. This time I came prepared. I had looked at the website prior to going this time, so I knew all the additional things I could add on my tacos. This time I got shredded cheese, pico de gallo, corn, mild picante, rice, pickled red onions and I think that was it, but it was much better than the first time when I only got rice, corn and diced tomatos on my chicken tacos.

Both times the chicken had very little flavor and was almost dry tasting. I kept comparing it to something I would make at home, which would be just throwing some chicken on a grill or skillet and throwing a little salt and pepper on them without doing much else. We actually told one of the workers as he walked past us while we were eating that they might think of blackening the chicken to give it some more flavor. He said that he would mention it to the higher ups, not sure if he did or not. Either way, the second time was much better than the first since I actually had some flavor in my tacos. I also got some guac and chips the second time and that was pretty good and by adding the guac to my taco, it also helped with the flavor. The guac and the chips, however, were not as good as Chipotle's.

It is hard not to compare it to Chipotle since that is the only other place I go on a regular basis for tacos/burritos, but I have a hard time comparing the two. Chipotle is sort of a "fast food" type joint which I only hear bad things about the food quality and nutrition. Where Senor Roy's tasted very natural and like I said before, "homemade". On most days if I had to choose between the two places, I would sadly have to say Chipotle because I think I am addicted to it. I have a hard time spending over $6 anywhere for food because I know I could get a chicken burrito from Chipotle for that much. I think I may need help.

I still think you ought to try this place out. They do offer a lot more choices than what I get on my tacos and they do stack on the meat and sides (make sure to ask for a fork). When you do go and check it out, let me know what you got and how it was.

SeƱor Roy's Taco Patrol (Food Truck) on Urbanspoon

Thursday, April 15, 2010

City View Tavern

I almost hate to do a review on this place because I feel like not a lot of people know about it and it is never crowded for lunch even on a beautiful day like today. But I figured since only about 2 or 3 people read my blog, it won't matter too much.

City View Tavern is one of the nicest places to go eat when it is beautiful outside. It is in Mount Adams and it has a back deck which over looks the city. The view is awesome, but the burger is even better.

We found this place out from an old resident of Mt. Adams and he got us to go because he promised an amazing burger. Well, he was right. They have, I think, one of the top 5 best burgers in Cincinnati. It is very simple, but very juicy and flavorful, it even has a little kick to it. When it gets placed down right in front of you, the smell that comes off the burger is almost as good as the first bite you take. With the burger comes with a bag of chips, I usually go with the BBQ Grippos, and then whatever drink you want all for around $8. They have a pretty good beer selection since they are really a bar more than a restaurant, but I have yet to have a beer there. The bartender is also the cook, the waiter and the host, he does it all. He makes sure the burgers are done right and he always asks how they were that day when he rings us up before we leave.

If you haven't been there before, you need to take a drive there one beautiful day for lunch. You won't regret it.

City View Tavern on Urbanspoon

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Washington Platform

Last week we went to Washington Platform for our Thursday lunch. We went there because they had an oyster festival going on. I am not a big fan of oysters, so I did not try any, but those who did said that they were very good.

I on the other hand had a buffalo chicken wrap. It was a very generous portion and was pretty good. The only thing I didn't like about it was of course, the mustardy bbq sauce. It didn't have as much of a mustard taste as Arnold's bbq sauce, but I could still definitely taste it. I am not sure what the deal is with people and their messed of bbq sauce, but this is the 2nd or 3rd time in the past 2 months that I have come across bbq sauce that tastes way too much like mustard. And yet, I live my entire life never having this problem. But like I said, besides the hint of mustard, it was very good and filling. It came with a side of fries which were also good. I would have liked to swap them out for their onion straws, but the waitress made a big deal about it when the person who ordered in front of me asked for this swap, so I decided to just let it go. The person next to me got a Roast Beef and swish cheese sandwich on a preztel. It looked very good and I might have to go back to try it out.

I did get to try the onion straws and they alone were a reason to check this place out. They were very good and could tell that they were made right there at the restaurant. I think that might have been the reason why they didn't like to swap out the bagged french fries for the home cooked onion straws. I even asked her if I could get the burger with onion straws on it and she didn't think they would allow it, unless they had a special burger that day that already had onion straws on it. They seem to be very picky about them, unless we just had a new waitress. But if you are from Washing Platform and you can make me a burger with onion straws, let me know! I will be there in a heartbeat!

All in all in what a pretty good experience, I think I would have enjoyed it more for dinner since they seemed to have a pretty nice bar and beer selection. The backroom that we did not get seated in looked a bit nicer with brick walls and booths. We were seated out front by the bar with just some tables and drywall and a couple of booths.

If you ever do go there, you'll have to head next door after eating to Minges to pick up a huge bag of candy. They have a huge selection and it is all tax free.

Washington Platform Saloon on Urbanspoon