09 February 2008

Cuco's Mexican Taqueria and Market

I had heard so much buzz about Cuco's that I just had to go and see for myself. It was definitely worth the trip, with good food, great prices and a plethora of veggie-friendly dining options.

There are numerous establishments in and around Columbus that peddle similar wares as Cuco's--that is, traditional Mexican fare. Most of these establishments (Las Margaritas, El Vaquero, et al.), however, are not nearly as good at this seemingly simple task.

The first bonus points for Cuco's are earned by the menu clearly designating all vegetarian items. I love this attention to my dietary restrictions.

The chips and salsa they bring to the table are very good. Even better is the salsa bar, where you can self serve a variety of salsas with endless chips to shovel the sauces into your mouth.

The guacamole was tasty, with chunks of onion and tomato integrated into the spicy avocado paste. My entree was the vegetarian burrito, pictured above, with rice, green peppers, onions, black beans and a few other grilled vegetables wrapped with cheese and guacamole in a tortilla. There are only two words to describe it: muy sabroso.

The service was also very quick. The entrees came out less than 10 minutes after they were ordered. It was extra impressive because the food was made by hand and did not taste like it had been sweating under a heat lamp all night.

Some of the other interesting looking vegetarian items include the avocado sandwich, quesadillas, nachos and the veggie fajitas. The sandwiches looked especially delicious.

Probably the weakest link was the margaritas. They were decent but not spectacular. There is a limited tequila menu. Although they don't short you on tequila, the drinks were not quite up to the excellent quality of the food. The bar crowd, however, didn't seem to mind. Maybe next time I'll stick with Negra Modelo.

There is also a little market area that sells a limited selection of Latin grocery items. This is a very good Mexican restaurant. If you're looking for high end food or Tex Mex options, you might have to look elsewhere. But if you enjoy traditional Mexican food that doesn't break the bank, Cuco's is definitely a winner.

Bonus: Everybody else loves Cuco's too. Check out the reviews here, here and here. The Cuco's Web site also has a ton of pictures of the inside of the restaurant and the food. Be warned...unlike my pictures, it is not all vegetarian.


Cuco's Mexican Taqueria on Urbanspoon


Sophia H. said...

Do you know if the rice and beans served as sides are vegetarian at Cuco's? I usually find it difficult to get a good firm answer about whether these side menu items are really vegetarian at Mexican restaurants because i don't think they truly understand what i mean. Have you ever eaten at La Casita on Bethel? do you know if their rice and beans are vegetarian?

deraj1013 said...

Cuco's staff is usually pretty firm with their understanding of English. The entree I ordered is actually called a vegetarian item...but yeah, I know what you mean about south of the border dining. What insidious fiend decided to put lard in beans in the first place?

But I Cuco's has a few vegetarian items on the menu. I can't tell you about the full menu. I've found there is always somebody there who can help diners out making decisions on the menu. You can always try, "Tienes comida para vegetarianos aqui? Y los acompaƱamientos?" if you feel comfortable translating the answers.

I've heard of La Casita, but I have not eaten there yet. Maybe I'll go find out for you. I love asking annoying vegetarian questions.

Mike/Megan said...

Another great recommendation!! I would never drive by and think to stop in but it’s a true gem. My wife and I are salsa lovers and being able to sample 6 varieties was great! In fact, the tomatillo salsa was some of the best I’ve had. Their menu on the website is outdated as they now have mushroom tacos and mushroom and spinach quesadillas. What’s odd is that they don’t list the mushroom tacos as Veggie... but they are?? The food is solid and the even though the margaritas on the rocks are served like slushies they were tasty and not too tart. I’d recommend an extra shot to give it that kick.

I have to say that I stumbled on your blog by accident but it’s great! It’s nice to have recommendations from real restaurants from a fellow vegetarian. Thanks and keep it up!!

deraj1013 said...

Glad to be of service. I read everybody else's food blogs. After following what everybody else does in blogs and print media, I decided that vegetarians needed a focused outlet for reviews. And here is the labor of my love.