Review: La Mexicana

La Mexicana

How do I love thee, La Mexicana?  Let me count the ways.  I’m really excited because I’m starting rehearsal for Hamlet with Falcon Theater, but also because we’re rehearsing at the theater, which is two doors down from my favorite Mexican restaurant in town, La Mexicana.  It’s my gold standard.  Nada?  Their tacos taste like La Mexicana’s, but their guacamole just doesn’t hold up.  Oh, and it’s about 1/4 the price.  See?  I’m a purist.

I can’t remember the first time I went to La Mexicana.  It had to be during a show at Falcon, but I swear I’ve never been the same since.  I crave their green salsa and barbacoa tacos.  Oh, and their spicy guacamole.  And the fact that the guys who work there flirt with me incorrigably.  That’s just a bonus.

La Mexicana

Anyway, their food is pretty darn authentic, and didn’t change when they were purchased by a different family.  The tortillas are corn, and for the tacos, fried until a little crispy around the edges (but still soft).  The burritos are as big as your head, and filled with your choice of meat and other toppings.  The tacos are cheeseless, covered in a mound of chopped onion, some cilantro, garnished with lime and filled with your choice of meats.

Oh, sure, you can have carne asada or something else typical (my favorite is the barbacoa), but it’s the only place I know of in town where you can get goat (birria) or tripe (tripa) tacos, too.  I haven’t been brave enough to order them yet.  When I do, you can be sure I’ll post about it.  The barbacoa is rich and a little spicy, incredibly tender and very flavorful.  Two tacos is more than enough– yet they have chips and guacamole (very chunky, with big chunks of jalapeno and tomatoes and all sorts of good stuff) and amazing green salsa (which I’ve tried to duplicate and will discuss in a later post).  It’s easy to overeat at La Mexicana.  Two tacos, a medium guacamole (for sharing!) and a soda runs about $12, which isn’t bad– two can easily eat for under $25, with tip.

While you’re there, slip into the back where there’s a good-sized Mexican grocery store, where you can buy just about any of your  Mexican and other Hispanic groceries.  Terry’s favorite are the Bimbo donuts.  I try not to take offense.

(Thanks to stevec77 on Flickr for this photo)

La Mexicana on Urbanspoon

  • http://getinmahbelly.blogspot.com liz

    best tacos in cincinnati!

  • Kel

    I love this place. We live right down the street and stop in every few weeks. We love the grocery store in the back. They sell great staples and even sell their meats occasionally on the weekends.

  • stepf

    They use corn oil in their beans, so they’re vegetarian-friendly. I LOVE the sopes with pumpkin flowers. And the guac… it’s the best by far. We’re there at least twice a month.

  • Lauren D.

    Oh my gosh. I’ve lived in Cincinnati for almost three years and I’ve yet to find a GREAT Mexican restaurant. I’ll have to try this soon!

  • http://liberalfoodie.blogspot.com/ LiberalFoodie

    they’ve got goat tacos, THE BEST in town! this and taquiera mercado/maya really know how to serve up authentic mexican food.

  • BDraz

    The food there is great, and they have the Mexican Coke with cane sugar! I highly recommend getting one on your next visit.

  • http://veggieoption.blogspot.com/ VeggieOption

    Count me among those who also sing the praises of La Mexicana. Authentic, affordable and vegetarian-friendly. Yay!

  • suz

    Julie, where is this place? I’ve never heard of it before, but if it is vegetarian friendly, I just might check it out. Thanks!

  • http://winemedinemecincinnati.com julie

    Suz, it’s in Newport.

  • eroslane

    Bimbo rulez!! :-D

    I bought the Bimbo caramel muffiniethingies at Christmas. The package of Bimbo a’la Santa is still pinned to the bulletin board at CineHell.

    AWESOME

    I can remember eating at LM in the early years and being one of the few gringos there. (Pre-Levee/Aquarium only days). Newport’s not known for it’s, uh, cultural diversity to say the least. I’d eat the yummy tacos and watch bad Mexican soap operas on their television.

    I love all the different fillings you can try with the tacos: the corn fungus, the pumpkin blossoms, steak, mushrooms — but I still recall the time I tried it with the choizo. Tasted FANtastic but I reenacted the Hindenburg tragedy at Lakehurst every five minutes for about three days.

    Eeeerf.

    Just sayin’…the huge manatee.

  • eroslane
  • Shawn W.

    I just last week had their goat meat tacos. It was outstanding! Do not hesitate a moment next time you are there.

  • http://winemedinemecincinnati.com julie

    Deal! Next Monday, I’ll get the goat tacos and report back. :)

  • vudutu

    We love the place for a quick max fix, sorry Stepf but there is NO WAY the refried beans aren’t made with lard, they are way too good. Julie when are we going to try Rio Grande in Newport?

  • http://lamexicana.com cha cha

    There guacamole is disgusting, too much jalapeno.