Category Archives: Miami Restaurants

George’s in Sunset ****

Angus Center Cut Beef Filet “Au Poivre” with Truffle Mashed Potatoes and French Green Beans

305.284.9989
1549 Sunset Dr
Miami, Fl 33143

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I recently wrote a rave review on George’s restaurant located in the Grove, making specific mention that his location in Sunset did not have the same quality of service. However, I feel that I need to revise this criticism after most my recent experience there for my graduation dinner. The place was obviously packed for graduation weekend (although it is packed almost every night of the week), and I was struggling to find the hostess amidst the large crowd waiting outside—as they don’t take reservations for parties less than 8 persons…a.k.a get there early! Suddenly, a rather stout bald man approaches me and assures me (in a charming French accent) that he will personally see to it that my family is seated within 15 minutes. Pleased to meet you, George!

We headed to the bar, grabbed a round of cocktails, and sure enough he had us a table outside before we finished the drinks. This kind of attentive personal service is seriously lacking in Miami, so to be taken care of and treated in this way is infrequent and enjoyable. We were then each brought a complimentary glass of champagne before receiving our menus. Again, a nice personal touch that scores major brownie points with customers. Who doesn’t love getting free stuff? Especially, free alcohol!!

To start, I ordered the Steamed Mussels with shallots and garlic in white wine sauce. This is the must try menu item. They come in a large le crusset pot, piping hot, with a decadent side of Truffle French Fries. I would estimate that about 50% of the tables you see will have an order of these mussels on them, because everyone loves them. The mussels themselves are large and plump and the sauce is just outrageously good and flavorful.

Mussels with Shallots and Garlic in a White Wine Sauce with Truffle Fries

Next, I got an order of the French Onion Soup, which is prepared in the traditional way and served in a crock with baked gruyere and provolone cheeses atop sliced French baguette. Although it is tasty, onion soup is onion soup in my opinion, and I would recommend trying some of the more unique menu items.

French Onion Soup with Melted Gruyere and Provolone Cheeses

For my “celebration entrée,” I thought that a nice steak was the most appropriate! I ordered the Angus Center Cut Beef Filet “Au Poivre” with Truffle Mashed Potatoes and French Green Beans (photographed at top). The steak was incredibly lean and buttery…each bite just melted in my mouth. And the sauce, although rich, was delicious. The cognac added a nice sweetness to the dish complimenting the pungent peppercorn crust on the steak. I was a little disappointed with the mashed potatoes however, which lacked in truffle flavor. I would get the potatoes au gratin instead next time.

For dessert, we ordered the Raspberry Custard Tart with homemade Raspberry Sorbet. I really enjoyed the dessert, although my family thought the sorbet was a little too tart and sour. Guess it is a sheer matter of preference.

Raspberry Custard Tart with homemade Raspberry Sorbet

Overall, I believe that George’s in the Grove is a more appropriate place for a dinner date and family dinner because it is a lot less noisey. But I take back my former harsh criticisms on Georges in Sunset, and recommend it as a great place for celebration dinners and drinks. The bar scene is much larger at the Sunset location, and on Wednesday nights you can watch the local Miami divorcee scene get smashed and mingle. Ohhh, and Wednesday night is ladies night, which means free champagne for women all night long!!

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Food Truck Heaven

Every Tuesday around 12 O’clock in the afternoon, my phone starts blowing up with mass tweets discussing the South Florida food trucks. I read things like; “last call for melty goodness” tweeted by CheeseMeMobile, “I’m about to attack you” @JefesOriginal, “Live Music and Fresh Food” # BTTR. For weeks I have been getting these messages and thinking to myself, I want melty goodness and fresh food, but what the heck is BTTR?!?

I still don’t know what the abbreviation stands for, but today I found out what BTTR is all about. Basically, it is what I envision heaven will be like for me–about 40 different food/dessert trucks lined up within a very small walking area. And these aren’t your average food trucks, these are gourmet “miniature restaurants,” offering incredible homemade delicacies at a ridiculously reasonable price. Try the McShane grilled cheese at CheeseMeMobile, which includes Pulled BBQ Pork, Ruthie’s Cole Slaw, Vintage Cheddar Cheese, all pressed on Garlicked Texas Toast. Or perhaps, you want a Chorizo, Chuck, and Sirloin Burger topped with Oaxaca Cheese, Caramelized Onions, Jalapenos, Avocado Sauce, and Red Pepper Mayo (goes by the name of Latin Macho) at LatinBurger. With a million different types of food all within walking distance from one another, anyone and everyone can create their custom fantasy meal.

The McShane Grilled Cheese from CheeseMeMobile

Image taken from BurgerBeast.com

Latin Macho from LatinBurger

Image taken from BurgerBeast.com

What was mine, you ask?

I’ll share with you, gladly!

At first I was overwhelmed by the variety of food choices, so I began by going to the only truck I recognized from my Twitter feed–Jefe’s Original.  Ensenada Style Fish Tacos, which is beer batter crispy fish, shaved fresh green cabbage, authentic pico de gallo, and house made crema served on a soft fresh corn tortilla. Tacos Carnitas, with seasoned chunks of slow roasted pork, chopped onions and cilantro, and roasted salsa verde served on fresh corn tortilla. Each taco was served with a wedge of lime and a side of hot sauce (and I mean no-joke hot) for just $2.35. I was absolutely blown away by the fish taco, which had incredible crunch and flavor and no strong fishy taste. I wouldn’t have even known it was fish had I been blind sampling. After devouring my first taco, I moved onto my carnita taco, which had a tough act to follow. It was also good, but not nearly as amazing as the fish one. Moral of the story: savor the unique fish taco experience at Jefe’s and get your carnita fix at Chipotle another day.

Jefe’s Original Esenada Style Fish Tacos

Jefe’s Original Tacos Carnitas

The next truck I stopped at was Slow Food Truck (SFT) because their seasonal and local menu caught my eye. This truck is certainly for carnivores, offering a variety of thick juicy burgers and pulled pork, short rib, and tender chicken sandwiches. I ordered the Beef Short Rib specialty sandwich, which was braised beef short rib, organic arugala, queso blanco, and crispy fried onions served warm on baguette. Basically, a super sophisticated Philly Cheesesteak, and let me tell you that this sandwich put a whole lot of Philly Cheesesteak places to shame. I rarely enjoy a steak sandwich outside of the 215 area code, and I had not one bad thing to say about this sandwich. In fact, I had not one thing at all to say because I was too busy eating! It was perfection from the salty onions to the tender meat to the warm bread….greasy, finger-licking goodness.

SFT’s Beef Short Rib Sandwich with Queso Blanco, Arugala, and Crispy Fried Onions

Ariana also ordered the “Fatty Burger” Special from SFT, which was a ground sirloin patty stuffed with bacon, and topped with cheddar cheese and crispy fried onions. It was one of the most fattening burgers (or shall I say food items period) that I have ever put to my lips, but it was worth every artery-clogging bite that I stole from her! So bad for you, but so good.

SFT’s Fatty Burger with Cheddar Cheese, Bacon, and Crispy Fried Onions

Image taken from BurgerBeast.com

Next I was ready for some dessert, but I needed something on the lighter side after all that greasy beef. I decided on Italian ice from The Chill Stop, which is an all-natural, handmade, mobile ice company that uses seasonal ingredients and local produce right from the Miami area. I ordered the Mint Chocolate Chip flavor, which was NOT green much to my surprise and delight! Since the Chill Stop does not use any artificial preservatives, flavors, or colorings, their mint chip ice was fresh crushed ice infused with natural pieces of spearmint leaf. It was super refreshing and tasted very clean. Without doubt has changed my perception of water ice forevermore–no more Rita’s for me!

The Chill Stop

The Chill Stop’s Mint Chip Italian Ice

Overall, I say watch out LA because the food truck scene has taken Miami by storm and our trucks are getting it right! The crowd may be a little strange, and the neighborhood a little rough, but the food bring served up at BTTR is outrageously good. If you want to read about all of the different food trucks in Miami, I suggest that you check out BurgerBeast.com, which is a website run by a local Miami foodie. If you follow BurgerBeast on Twitter, they Tweet the food truck’s various daily locations!

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Barrio Latino ****

16-oz Churrasco with Chimichurri, Served with White Rice, Black Beans, and Yucca

305.692.4455 
3585 NE 207 St
Miami, Fl 33180

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In just a few short weeks, I will be sipping Malbec and eating churrasco con chimichurri off the coast of Argentina. No, I’m not going on vacation. I am moving there….indefinitely (with Ariana, of course!). We have decided to become career gypsies while the US economy recovers…that sounds like a reasonable excuse, right? In the meantime, however,  I have been getting my churrasco fix at a restaurant right here in Miami, called Barrio Latino. They are located in both Aventura and now near Sunset in Miami, and they serve an outrageously good 16-ounce Churrasco for just $20. My favorite part is their homemade chimichurri sauce, which is a little bit unconventional because of its sweetness, but it is awesome. Included in the price are two sides, choices include: rice and beans, tostones, mashed potatoes, yucca, maduros, french fries, or baked sweet potato. I’ve tried almost all of them by now, and my favorites are the rice and beans, maduros, and baked sweet potato. Just as a disclaimer, the baked sweet potato is enormous…don’t tell me that thing is not genetically modified (see photo).

On days when I am really hungry, I also like to start with an appetizer. I suggest the Mariquitas (fried green plantain chips) with Mojo sauce. Their mojo sauce is as good as their chimichurri, but very strong in garlic…so be careful if you’re on a date!

Fried Green Plantains Chips (Mariquitas) with Mojo Sauce

I also love the Proveoleta Parrillera, which is a thick slice of imported Argentine provolone grilled until slightly melted and then drizzled with olive oil and topped with a roasted tomato. There is nothing better than hot cheese, in my opinion, and this shit is hello good! It is also great to put on top of the mariquitas!

Grilled Provolone Cheese Topped with Oven-Roasted Tomato (Provoleta Parillera)

Another great appetizer that I have tried is the Mollejas Al Limon, which are beef sweetbread grilled with lime juice. I was super hesitant to try these at first because sweetbreads refers to the glands of an animal (nice way to sugar coat the name, right?), but after I got over the fattiness of the texture, I realized that they were pretty delicious. Just make sure that you use a lot of lemon juice to help cut the fat taste.

In addition to the churrasco, I have also had the Vacio, which is a 20 ounce Argentine style Flank Steak also served with chimichurri and your choice of two sides. The Vacio is much thicker and juicer than the churrasco (which is a thin skirt steak), so it all depends what you are in the mood for. I usually prefer the skirt steak.

20-oz Vacio Steak and Chimichurri Served with Baked Sweet Potato, White Rice, and Black Beans

If you really cannot decide though, and you want to try a little bit of everything (or if you’re just obscenely hungry…have no shame), then order the Parrillada Argentina, which is a sizzling hot plate packed with Chorizos (sausages), Vacio, Mollejas al Limon, Morillas (blood sausages), and Churrasco. It also comes with your choice of four sides, and is certainly intended for two people to share. Check out my before and after photos….

La Parillada de Argentina when if was brought to the table…..

La Parillada Argentina when my friend and I were finished with it!

And, if you don’t want to do a full steak, I suggest the Ropa Vieja, which is a Cuban classic with shredded beef stewed in tomato sauce, served over rice with black beans and maduros (sweet plantains). Mix it all together, put a dash of Tabasco on it, and call it a day.

Ropa Vieja Served with White Rice, Black Beans, and Maduros

Love, love, love Barrio Latino. Great food, great prices, great service, and you will leave full. It is often a one meal kind of day for me when I go because I tend to over eat.

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George’s in the Grove *****

Morels Mushroom Risotto with Shaved Foie Gras

305.444.7878
3145 Commodore Plaza
Miami, Fl 33133

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“Don’t fix it, if it’s not broken!” This is a quote I’ve heard my dad say a million times over throughout my lifetime. I remember when the Blackberry first came out and I wanted to trade in my hot pink Motorola flip phone so that I could get a pin and enter the world of bbm-ing (this dates me a little since kids these days know their Blackberry pins before their social security number!). But, my dad wouldn’t have it. He refused to upgrade me because my Motorola worked just fine. I then made it my mission to break that little phone and quickly learned that Motorola phones are nearly indestructible—much unlike Blackberrys! That pink phone had loose wires coming out of one end, had duck-tape keeping the battery in, and had a simultaneously cracked and water damaged screen, but wouldn’t you believe it still made phone calls! Now the biggest annoyance in my day is when my trackball gets stuck and my bbm is slow (and to this my dad would say, “be careful what you wish for!”) But, back to point…don’t fix something if it’s not broken! Likewise, don’t feel pressured to always try a new menu item when you have already found a dish that you love at a restaurant! When I find something that I really like at a restaurant, I stick to ordering it because I then I am never disappointed!

One place that I go for the same dish every time, is Georges in the Grove (they also have opened a place in Sunset, but I was there the other night and very disappointed by the unfriendly service, which never happens at the one in the Grove!). Anyways, the dish to order is without doubt is the Steamed Fresh Mussels with garlic, shallots, and parsley in a white wine butter sauce served with french fries. I really don’t even think that there are adjectives in the English language to describe how incredible these mussels are. Just…wow! The mussels are enormous and succulent and the sauce is outrageously good. As soon as I get the bowl, I drop a few slices of french bread into the sauce to let it soak…yummm. And best of all, they are served piping hot and do not cool off before you are finished, so you can take your time. Also, if you are into truffle flavor, ask the waiter to bring you truffle fries instead of plain fries (the Georges in the Grove will do this at no charge…but the same cannot be said for the one in Sunset—I’m really hating on them). The fries are delicious and taste fresh cut, and also go well with the white wine sauce.

Steamed Fresh Mussels with garlic, shallots, and parsley in a white wine butter sauce served with french fries.

Truffle French Fries

Of course, I have also tried other menu items (all very good), but if someone won’t split the mussels with me for an appetizer, then I have to get them for my entrée. On the occasion that someone will split them with me for a starter, I like to order the Steak Tartar, served with Truffle Fries and Mesclun Salad. Not too many places do steak tartar and so I take advantage of this menu item when I go. It sounds gross, but it is delicious.

Steak Tartar with Mesclun Salad and Truffle Fries

And for those of you who like your meat cooked, the Steak Frites with Bearnaise Sauce is also amazing!!

Steak Frites with Bearnaise and Mesclun Salad

If you’re looking for a carb, then I highly recommend the Morels Mushroom Risotto with Shaved Foie Gras (pictured at top). It is straight up high-class comfort food!

The only thing I am not crazy about is the pizza at Georges. The crust doesn’t ever get crunchy on the bottom and so the dough is very chewy, which isn’t my thing. I ordered the Proscuitto and Arugala Pizza for lunch today and was pretty disappointed. But other than that, everything else on the menu is a go!

The atmosphere (at the one in the Grove) is very hip and chic with a lounge feel. And don’t be alarmed when the disco balls light up and the club music comes on for someone’s birthday, because it seems that everyone goes to Georges for their birthday! Ohhh and they give you a free mimosa with breakfast and lunch, or a glass of champagne with your dinner (again, at the one in the Grove…the one in Sunset didn’t)!

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Gigi ****

Steak Chow Fun with Mushrooms and Eggplant Served Over Thick Egg Noodles

305.573.1520
3470 North Miami Ave
Miami, Fl 33127

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When I go to a restaurant for the first time, I usually disclose the fact that I have a food blog and then ask the waiter what the top three menu items are, based on both their personal opinion and customer popularity. I do this for a few reasons; (1) I am hoping that they will try to “buy” a good review from me in exchange for some samples of free food and preferential service (but don’t worry, I am completely honest in my reviews and won’t be bought by a free appetizer!), (2) I really do like to try the signature dishes that a place is best known for, and (3) it narrows down the menu substantially and takes the guess work out of ordering!

When I arrived at Gigi in Midtown for the first time, I went through my usual routine and was happy and surprised to find that the waiter was equally as obsessed with food as I was (keep in mind that this is very unusual). I asked for some suggestions and he lit up, listing off his personal favorites and customer’s top picks. The limited menu is divided into sections labeled: basics, buns, raw, noodles, snacks, and rice bowls (the place is clearly Pan-Asian and Pacific Rim cuisine!).

To start, he recommended the Tuna Roll from the raw menu, which was similar to sushi (minus the rice) with Tuna, Avocado, Cucumber, and Citrus. The ingredients seem so simple, but the flavors are very full and clean. The citrus compliments the tuna, and the thin cucumber casing adds a nice crunch to the soft texture of the tuna and avocado.

Raw Tuna Roll with Avocado, Cucumber, and Citrus

Next we got an order of the Grilled Butternut Squash off the snack menu, served with yogurt sauce, spicy vinegar, and scallions. The squash was cooked to perfect with a nice black char from the grill on the edges, yet it was still super sweet. The yogurt sauce was nice and light, so it complimented the dish without over powering it. After polishing off our first round of squash, we went ahead and ordered a second….yes, it is that good!

Grilled Butternut Squash served with yogurt sauce, spicy vinegar, and scallions

We also placed an order for the Grilled Sweet Potato, served with Shiso hollandaise sauce, citrus, and scallions. This dish—also off the snack menu—looked very similar to the butternut squash, but it wasn’t nearly as good! Everyone’s forks attacked the butternut squash until it was gone, and then we slowly picked at the sweet potato….until the second order of squash arrived, of course! There was nothing wrong with the potatoes; they just looked too similar to the better tasting squash dish.

Grilled Sweet Potato, served with Shiso hollandaise sauce, citrus, and scallions

Next the waiter surprised us and brought out an order of Brussel Sprouts and Cauliflower for the table to sample. The vegetables were roasted and then tossed with fresh bacon and soy. The reason that I didn’t order them myself, is because I knew that I would compare them to the brussel sprouts served at Sugarcane, which are out of this freaking world! After trying Sugarcane’s version of brussel sprouts, I can no longer enjoy them prepared any other way, and even though the waiter tried to convert me to Gigis, they still didn’t hold a candle to Sugarcanes. They were tasty, but Sugarcane’s are simply incredible. Success on getting some free food though, right?!?

Brussel Sprouts and Cauliflower with Bacon and Soy

For my main dish, I ordered the Steak Chow Fun, which is sliced steak, mushroom, and eggplant, served over thick egg noodles (photographed at top of blog). I was a little surprised by the density and size of the noodles, which were like Italian paparedelle noodles. Most Asian noodles are very thin and delicate, and so this was unusual for me, but the dish was absolutely incredible! The meat was cooked just to my liking; it was very juicy and tender. The sauce that everything was tossed in had a great garlic-soy flavor, and it had the rich consistency of an eel sauce so it adhered nicely to the pasta. The mushrooms were little bites of heaven, it was like finding gold whenever I came across one with my chopsticks!

And finally, just when I thought the meal was over, the waiter brought out a miniature soft ice cream cone for everyone at the table (more free food, yay!) And of course, once the sweetness hit my lips, I wanted more. So, I walked myself over to the bar area and ordered up some cookies: Peanut Butter Chunk and Classic Chocolate Chip. These cookies are enormous and only $2!!!! It’s one of the best food deals that I have seen yet, especially since the cookies are amazingly delicious! I rarely want more than a couple bites of a cookie and I had no problem devouring the entire peanut butter monstrosity. I think my friend’s face captures just how delicious they were!

Miniature Soft-Serve Ice Cream Cones

Peanut Butter Cookie

The Amazingness of the Gigi Chocolate Chip Cookie

Overall, Gigi is an amazing place to grab a bite at any time, and especially late night. They are revolutionizing and redefining drunk-eating by staying open till 5 am on Friday and Saturday nights, and 3 am on week nights. I love everything about this place, and make sure you save room for one of the cookies!!

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Cafeina ****

Hot Passion Cocktail, made with rum, cointreau, fresh passion fruit puree, fresh citrus, and then jalapeno.

305.438.0792
297 NW 23 St
Wynwood, Fl 

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Every second Saturday of the month, there is an artwalk that takes place in the Design District here in Miami. The people who attend are just as interesting to look at as the art, and the alcohol is usually free. This being said, my roommate, Ariana, and I look forward to going every month. It is a nice change from the frat scene in the Grove, and it is probably the most “cultural” event that exists in Miami…sadly. Anyways, this Saturday we decided to grab some dinner at Cafeina before heading to the galleries.

Cafeina is certainly more of a bar/lounge scene than a restaurant (not suggested for a dinner date), but the food is surprisingly delicious! My girlfriends and I sat on a sofa around a low table and got started with a round of drinks—the hot passion cocktail, made with rum, cointreau, fresh passion fruit puree, fresh citrus, and then jalapeno. This drink reminded me a lot of the Chili Passion Martini from the Setai(which is my favorite drink ever) and so naturally, I loved this one too. Anything with jalapeno is good in my book.

Then for food we ordered up a Flatbread, made with artichokes, roasted chicken, tomato sauce, mushrooms, mozzarella, and hoisin sauce. The hoisin sauce was a really nice and unique flavor with the pizza, but I had some problems with the dough. The crust tasted like frozen pizza dough, which is unacceptable at any food establishment in my opinion. It had the cardboard texture of communion wafers that you receive on Sundays at mass. I don’t know about you, but personally, I’d rather my pizza not remind me of the body of Christ!

Flatbread, made with artichokes, roasted chicken, tomato sauce, mushrooms, mozzarella, and hoisin sauce

Next to be served were the Beef Empanadas served with spicy “criolla” sauce. These were awesome! It is hard to screw up anything meaty and fried but he dipping sauce that accompanied these took it to another level! I would definitely order these again.

Beef Empanadas with Spicy Criolla Sauce

Speaking of fried things, we also got an order of the Goat Cheese Croquettes made with homemade guava sauce. I knew I would compare these to the ones served at Sugarcane (which are my favorite and amazing!!), and these actually exceeded my expectation. They were very, very similar and the sauce was equally as delicious. We fork-fought over the last couple bites, and I shamelessly scraped he plate clean.

Goat Cheese Croquettes with Homemade Guava Sauce

Last but not least, we couldn’t resist ordering the Truffle Fries served with cilantro truffle mayo. The truffle oil was surprisingly good quality, considering the bucket of fries was only four dollars, and after polishing off the first order, we got a second! The mayo dip was an outrageous combination. Cafeina gets the value in good condiments and it takes their otherwise standard menu to an elevated level.

Truffle Fries with Cilantro Truffle Mayo

Overall, I really enjoyed the Cafeina experience. I was pleasantly surprised by the quality and presentation of the food, considering it is more of a bar/lounge than restaurant and I thought that the atmosphere was perfect for starting off the night. They had artwork set up in the outdoor area and the people were very friendly. Just make sure that you make a reservation, especially if you want to sit outside!!! They fill up fast!

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Mercadito ***

Tacos Pescados, which were tilapia, chile poblano, and tomatillo-garlic mojo

786.369.0430
3252 NE 1st Ave
Miami, Fl 33137

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My roommate, Ariana, and I are always looking to get a deal—we call it finagling. We finagle our way into clubs and shows without paying, we finagle lower prices at clothing stores, and we love to finagle free food (this may be the reason that Whole Foods in Sunset stopped offering samples, our apologies!). However, when we can’t finagle food for free, we at least try to get it at a better price. So this week Ariana spent some time researching (a.k.a googling) weeknight food specials at local restaurants. She knew he found a winner when she came across Mercadito’s Taco Tuesdays! Mercadito is a very popular and trendy restaurant located in midtown, directly next to Sugarcane Raw Bar Grill. They are known for their wide variety and changing seasonal menu of tacos, guacamoles, and salsas. The prices are fairly steep for Mexican fair—with pre-fix dinner costing $35 per person and lunch tacos costing 3 for $10.50—but on Tuesday nights you can get tacos for just $2.50 (minimum 2) and margaritas for $5. This was in our budget and so we tried it out for our first time this past Tuesday.

We started off with an order of Traditional Margaritas and an Auntie Ox, which is green tea infused vodka, passion fruit, agave, orange, and guajillo. The margaritas were stronger when ordered from the table than the bar, and Ariana claimed that the Auntie Ox was the best drink that she has ever tried yet.

Mercadito Traditional Margarita

Auntie Ox

Next we ordered a Traditional Guacamole, made with avocado, garlic, key lime, cilantro, and tomatillo pico de gallo and a Habanero Salsa made with grilled tomato, garlic, chile habanero, and lemon. The guacamole was very good and a good portion, but I thought that it was kind of ridiculous to have to pay $3 per little dish of salsa. We went through two dishes among three people, and we didn’t even get to use it on our tacos. Despite our waiter’s warning about the heat of the habanero salsa (which does sounds intimidating), we all agreed that the salsa was not spicy! It had a great flavor, but I still needed tobasco sauce to get my spice.

Traditional Guacamole made with avocado, garlic, key lime, cilantro, and tomatillo pico de gallo

Habanero Salsa made with grilled tomato, garlic, chile habanero, and lemon

As far as tacos go, we pretty much ordered every kind on the menu. First we got the Chicken Tacos, with grilled chicken, cactus salad, tomatillo salsa, and avocado. This was my favorite taco because I felt like it had the most toppings and flavor. Each bite was juicy and flavorful.

Chicken Tacos, with grilled chicken, cactus salad, tomatillo salsa, and avocado

Next were the Carnitas Tacos, with Michoacan style braised pork, chile de arbol coleslaw, and toasted peanuts. The flavor was almost Asian inspired on this taco, with the crushed peanuts reminding me of pad thai. The pulled pork was very tender and flavorful but the coleslaw was lacking.

Carnitas Tacos, with Michoacan style braised pork, chile de arbol coleslaw, and toasted peanuts

Then came the Tacos al Pastor, with chile ancho rubbed pork, grilled pineapple, and chile de arbol salsa. There weren’t a lot of components to this taco but it was yummy in its simplicity. The spice of the salsa was a nice contrast with the pineapple and the meat was very good.

Tacos al Pastor, with chile ancho rubbed pork, grilled pineapple, and chile de arbol salsa

As I loosened up my belt a notch, the next order of tacos were brought to the table—Carne Tacos, with skirt steak, grilled pear, shaved brussel sprouts, chile de arbol vinaigrette, and crispy leeks. I was the most excited for this particular taco because of how many components the menu described, but I found it very disappointing, because I felt like a lot of those items were missing or undetectable when served.

Carne Tacos, with skirt steak, grilled pear, shaved brussel sprouts, chile de arbol vinaigrette, and crispy leeks

And last but not least, we got an order of the Tacos Pescados, which were tilapia, chile poblano, and tomatillo-garlic mojo. I am not that big into fish tacos, but these were tasty…still not my thing though (pictured at top).

Overall, I thought that the portions were very small and that although the tacos were good, they were not mind blowing or sensational. I would have been just as happy (and a little better off financially) if I had just eaten a burrito from Chipotle. Also had the prices not been happy hour specials, I would have been dumbfounded when the bill arrived, because even with the happy hour menu, we ended up paying $35 per person! I think that the food is good and that the atmosphere is very pleasant, but I do not think it deserves the price it commands. I would definitely suggest trying the Mercadito experience, but only on a Taco Tuesday night.

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