Category Archives: Mexican, Cuban, Caribbean

El Mariachi is so good that even the chips excel

Let me tell you why I love El Mariachi so hard: Even the chips and salsa that drop on your table the moment you take a seat are exceptional. These thick, deeply corn-flavored treats, fashioned on the premises from fresh-made tortillas, are positively addictive. They’re so crunchy that I had to look twice to persuade myself that they weren’t lightly breaded before they were fried.

Yes, the salsa is first-rate, too, a finely mashed reddish-brown puree of red chiles, tomatoes, and herbs, just spicy enough. But those chips? Perhaps the best I ever ate, I really could make a meal of them, if that didn’t involve missing out on the rest of the menu. But I can’t do that. It’s too good to skip. Continue reading El Mariachi is so good that even the chips excel

Chilakiles has delicious Mexican breakfast and more

A couple of weeks ago, I started getting glowing reports from friends and readers who urged me to check out a new little South End Mexican breakfast spot called Chilakiles.

But when I asked Google to search, Google fought back.

“Did you mean: chilaquiles?”

No! I said “Chilakiles,” and “Chilakiles” is what I meant.

Google didn’t believe me! I say “Chilakiles,” Google says “Chilaquiles.” Let’s call the whole thing off? Nope, can’t do that. It sounded too good. Continue reading Chilakiles has delicious Mexican breakfast and more

Tacos surpass pizza as Taco City and Taco Choza arrive

Some time during recent months, pushed by the arrival of the excellent taquerias Taco City in the Highlands and Taco Choza in St. Matthews, the metro area quietly, without any publicity, achieved full taco.

What’s that, you ask? Simple. The numbers are a little vague, but by my best count, hungry Louisvillians now have at least 65 locally owned, independent places to buy tacos, surpassing the roughly 60-plus local pizzerias.

Given all the cranky jokes about this being a city with a pizzeria on every corner, this is no small achievement. Continue reading Tacos surpass pizza as Taco City and Taco Choza arrive

Go East to Con Huevos and Joella’s

Three years ago two interesting new locally owned fast-casual eateries came to town, and I loved them both: Con Huevos set a new standard with its delicious, chef-driven Mexican breakfast and lunch. Joella’s first introduced us to Nashville-style hot chicken, a feisty genre that might remind you of Indi’s hot fried chicken but that’s really not the same.

Both eateries have recently opened branches in the metro’s eastern suburbs. Naturally I had to check them out. Continue reading Go East to Con Huevos and Joella’s

La Lupita stands out in Clarksville

Can a dining decision be political? You bet! When nightly news shows horrifying images of immigrant parents ripped from their families while partisans shout for a border wall, it’s time to call B.S. The best way I know to do that is to take my dining business to local restaurants run by Latino neighbors, such as the spectacularly good La Lupita in Clarksville.

And while I’m there, happily noshing, I want to thank the owners and servers and tell them I’m glad they’re here: “Me gusta que tu eres mi vecina,” I’ll say in fractured Spanglish, reaching out with a few words in their language. “I’m happy that you are my neighbor.”

Continue reading La Lupita stands out in Clarksville