After a couple of hours at the nearby Arnold’s last Wednesday, a friend suggested that our group head to Taqueria Mercado for some food. At the time of our visit I had no idea that the restaurant was the subject of so many recent reviews, but my friends who had been before all praised it. We arrived around 8:30 to find only a couple of other occupied tables. We were quickly guided to a table between the bar area and the somewhat open kitchen. I had a run back to Arnold’s to retrieve a left item, and when I returned I had a fresh margarita waiting for me.
I wouldn’t say it was the best margarita I’ve had, but it was overall pretty good. Most of the salt on the rim had been washed away from the filled to top drink. You can even see some of it on the table from when the server set it down. Speaking of service, we had absolutely no problems, and found the experience to be really fast. I read other reviews complaining of slow service but that was not the case for us.
We started with some chips and salsa, which I really enjoyed. Unlike most other Mexican restaurants, the chips and salsa are not complimentary here, but they are worth spending the extra $1.50 for. The same tortillas that are used for most of the menu items are fried crisp and served with delicious salsa. Also available are three other bottled sauces that you may have to special request. The chips were thick and held up perfectly against all the sauces.
All of the experienced friends in our group ordered tacos. However I wanted to try something different and decided on the enchiladas with chicken filling. However as you can see above, the enchiladas aren’t all that different from the tacos, at least not in appearance (minus the red sauce on top). It seemed that all the dishes are served with the same style of tortillas and differentiating between them can be difficult. With all of that said, I thought the enchiladas were very good. The red sauce on top had a nice amount of heat to it. The rice and beans also were not bad, though I did add a little extra sauce to my rice to spice it up.
My wife went with two small quesadillas. Again see how these could easily be confused as tacos, especially since the easiest way to eat them was to pick them up just as you would a taco. My wife was not as happy with her choice and found the chicken to be dry. One of our friends warned us to this problem, as he has had the same experience before. Though I guess the sauce on my enchiladas helped to disguise the issue. Both of our meals were from the lunch combo menu, which can be ordered for dinner for an extra fifty cents. Each of these plates of food was only $6, so it’s not a bad deal at all.
The others in our party all seemed very happy with their tacos. I definitely want to give those a try sometime in the future, maybe even skipping chicken and getting the al pastor (pork) or carnitas (fried pork). I’m sure my wife will do the same, as each of those choices seem to get better reviews than the chicken that we had on this visit. As far as Mexican food goes it is the best we’ve had in the last few months.