Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Some like it hot; Taqueria Mercado 3:

I've never been a huge fan of love at first sight. At least not when it comes to serious relationships, anyway. I don't doubt that it could exist, but the best relationships that I've had developed over time. Take David and I, for example. We had a year and a half of awkward friendship before we started dating.
The situation with spicy foods and I 5 years ago was entirely different than it is now. I used to give David dirty looks when he attempted to season my food with black pepper.

"It's not spicy!" He would protest.
"Hmmmph." I would scowl at him and begrudgingly let him sprinkle the tiniest bit of pepper on my plate.

Now, forward to the present, David raising an eyebrow skeptically while I gleefully smother my pizza in Sriracha.

"More Sriracha?"
"Hmmmph!" I retort, adding an extra splash or two.

And I have Taqueria Mercado's salsas to thank for it. Since it opened, capsaicin and I have been getting serious about our relationship. While it wasn’t love at first taste, I found I couldn’t resist for long. We took it slow at first with the mildest salsa, then to the next hottest, and now have moved on to third base--copious amounts of the red-hot salsa.

I put it in an order of cheese dip. On my quesadilla. On my taco. On some nachos. Since Taqueria opened, I've been hoarding leftover salsa in the fridge because I simply don't want the experience to end.

Chori-queso ($4.50): cheese dip and chorizo.

The spicy salsa complements the dishes in a way I can’t exactly describe. You add it to your meal, so don't fear, most things from Taqueria are not spicy by default. Though they are not pictured, I can't quit the carnitas tacos--they are my favorite, with quesadillas running a close second.

small carnitas quesadilla ($2.50) and refritos

One of the few spicy by default: Camarones a la diabla ($10.99)

David likes to get the small steak burrito. Slowly we've been working our way through Taqueria's menu, and we've enjoyed everything we have ordered so far, with the exception of the tongue taco. That must be an acquired taste. I may be getting experimental with the salsa, but there are some things that I'm not quite willing to try…at least without a few margaritas first.

finish your meal with some tasty caramel flan ($3.50)

Taqueria Mercado 3 on Urbanspoon


  1. Great photos! And thanks for the reminder that I need to get over and check out this place. Could you tell me if the service has gotten a little quicker since they've had a chance to settle in? (I work close enough to walk there from my office, but hate to spend too much of my lunch hour waiting for food.) I sure hope so - this place sounds so good!


  2. This place looks super delicious!! I just stumbled upon your blog recently and I'm obsessed! My husband and I just moved to Cincy and your blog is giving us so many great ideas of where to go eat. Love it!

  3. Eggy--
    I totally understand! I'm not sure about lunch service, though several of my co workers have tried it. I have not heard anything about it being slow. David and I always head over there for dinner, and don't mind waiting because we usually pass the time at the bar with some margaritas. That said, service at dinner has always been quick for us. let me know how lunch is!

    Sarah P--
    Thanks!I'm really happy to hear that and hope you have a great time in Cincinnati visiting restaurants! One of my recommendations for newcomers is to check out Findlay market in OTR. It's a really fun and unique place to visit.

    You've probably found them already, but there are a lot of other talented bloggers I'm proud to know in the city that you should definitely check out. I keep a lot of them in my links bar on the right. All of us are constantly discovering new things in Cincinnati that keep us happy (and full)!


I try to be honest, fair and keep a good sense of humor in my posts--I would appreciate if you follow the same policy with your comments.