Food Adventures Crew knows there are only a couple of truly authentic Mexican Restaurants in the Miami Valley, and we have found a favorite. It is a humble place called Taco Loco located at 5392 Burkhardt Road. It is clean, it is cheap, it is authentic. But most of all, it has some of the most delicious Mexican food we have ever eaten. We have some close friends from Mexico, and upon their recommendation we stopped in. The experts were right, every trip to Taco Loco is a new Food Adventure.
Why the name Taco Loco? The owners, a mom and pop duo from Mexico, had to renovate before they could open. They were fixing the old vacant building, putting in many hours painting, putting down flooring etc. The long days caused them to sometimes sleep in their van in the parking lot overnight, since they lived in Cincinnati. When a neighboring resident visited the construction she told the owners, “You are working too hard, and sleeping in your van, what are you CRAZY?” Since ‘Loco’ means crazy in Spanish, they decided the name fit.
Here’s the Skinny:
1) This place is very authentic, so don’t expect the typical queso sauces, cheese and tomatoes like you see on some Tex-Mex dishes at other Mexican restaurants.
2) The prices are low, so you can explore many types of food and have your own Food Adventure.
3) The staff is friendly, the place is a hole in the wall, the dining area is small, and the environment is clean.
4) You know the food is good, when most of the patrons in the dining area are people from Mexico.
5) Not only is the food delicious, but they have a variety of rare, non-alcoholic drinks made from scratch using fresh herbs and other ingredients.
6) Locally owned by Lola and her husband Octavio. It’s a true mom and pop establishment!
Horchata: Start off your meal with one of these milky beverage specialties. It literally tastes like rice pudding in a glass. We were blown away by the taste of this unique drink.
The Beef Shoulder Taco – Tasty meat on a corn tortilla. These are authentic style tacos, like they eat in Mexico City. We will tell you it is one on the best tacos on the planet. Ingredients are cilantro, onion and meat choice. No cheese, but you may order ‘Tacos Locos’ which means add tomatoes and sour cream.
The Chicken Torta – A sandwich that would give any sub shop a run for its money. Diced grilled chicken, and the perfect complimentary toppings on homemade telera (Mexican sandwich bread). An incredibly filling sandwich for $5 and one of The Big Ragu’s favorites.
Whole Fish – Do you want to kick it authentic old school? Then try this whole, fried tilapia on for size. You have to deal with a little bit of bones and the fish staring at you, but the taste is worth it. At the price of $7.50 this is a steal.
The Food Adventures Crew have eaten so many menu items in our trips to Taco Loco, that some deserve an honorable mention:
The Large Quesadilla’s are fantastic. Filled with rice, beans, cheese and your choice of meat, this giant menu item will dwarf your plate.
Carne Asada, a skirt steak dish, is a specialty here. If authentic means anything, we noticed that besides us, a lot of Latinos were eating this dish too.
Have you eaten Sopes before? Sopes are made with a circular foundation fried masa dough (ground hominy) topped with refried beans, lettuce, and crumbled cheese. We think of it as an authentic taste version of a tostada. Ragu loves this unique menu item. Taco Loco serves similar menu items called Huaraches which are bigger, oval versions of Sopes. We love them as well, especially the thick base, which almost tastes like potato dough.
The Burritos are delicious. They come wrapped in foil and are so big, we can usually only eat half of them.
Want authentic fajitas? The steak ones here are fantastic, and the flavor of the grilled green peppers make the dish.
The Tamales were good too. Filled with shredded pork and topped with crumbled cheese, they are one of the few items covered with a queso sauce.
A filling meal is the Enchiladas Verdes, stuffed with green chiles and your choice of meat, and covered in lettuce and avocado.
Besides our favorite Horchata, other specialty drinks include a “Tamarindo”, which is made with tamarind fruit. When Lola brought the fruit out to show us, we made a mustache with it. Yeah, that’s us. We take our own pictures, too.
We also drank a “Jamaica” drink (pronounced hamica). This beverage was a tea made with fresh hibiscus flowers, some of which Lola showed us as well. We told you this was a great place for a Food Adventure.
For dessert, we suggest the creamy, homemade Flan. For those of you not familiar with flan, think of an upside down, firmer version of creme brulee. Lola made us proud with this dessert!
Finally, we have to mention the complimentary table salsas. Served in two squirt bottles, one is a mild Verdes Salsa made with tomatillos. The other is a red chile salsa, made with chili peppers. Careful, the red one has a kick! Both of these salsas are made in house, and kick up any menu item. Experiment to your taste with a dash or a squirt on the free basket of extra thick corn tortilla chips.
With Cinco De Mayo coming up, it is good timing for you to try some really authentic Mexican fare at Taco Loco. Not many people know about this little secret, but now you know the scoop. Celebrate with good food and cheap prices. If you do not check out Taco Loco soon, then you my friend, are CRAZY !
Give us your take on TACO LOCO by commenting below. Make sure you browse through the photo album for some AMAZING food photos from this little known secret.
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