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→
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.
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.
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.”