April 18, 2012

Tour de Monmouth- Stop #1- La Mexicana

The Tour de Monmouth Street is an adventure that's been rolling around in my head since late fall.  I believe the idea hit me one day as I was headed north up Monmouth Street and nearly collided with the car in front of me because I was too busy gawking at all the restaurants I've never tried.  Then I thought, "I know!  Why don't I actually patronize all of these restaurants instead of just staring at them!"  Great idea, indeed.  So, over the next few months (or perhaps between now and the end of summer), I hope to do complete a tour of all the eateries on Monmouth Street in Newport, KY.

My first stop brought me to La Mexicana.  I've heard nothing but crazy-good gossip about their tacos and little Mexican grocery store for years. Yes, I realize the ridiculousness of this being my first trip.

I went into La Mexicana with the specific goal of ordering the tacos; asada tacos to be exact. When I realized how extensive their menu is I ordered some guacamole and a Corona while I mulled over my decision.  Then I spotted the sopes.  I've only had a sope at Nada; which is not what I would consider a traditional Mexican restaurant, but their sopes are super delicious and I love the concept in general.  So I passed on the tacos and went with the asada sope instead.

The chips and thin green salsa were both great.
The guacamole was probably one of the heartiest I've had and a small order is easily enough for 2 people. I loved the huge chunks of vegetables including tomatoes, green peppers and white onion.  Honestly, the chips, salsa and guac were enough to fill my belly.
Although it looks delicious, the asada sope was a let-down.  This was a terrible mis-order on my part.  When a restaurant is known for their tacos, and you go into that restaurant hoping for an order of tacos in your near future, and then change your order at the last minute, you will likely be let down. As I was.
If you are not familiar with a sope, it is a very thick pancake-like tortilla made with masa harina and then fried in a bit of oil.  The edges get a little bit crispy and it looks just beautiful.  The tortilla part was ok but I wasn't happy with the quality of the asada.  It reminded me of a pound streak that's been floured and fried and then ground very fine and served in a thin brown sauce. The meat simply could not stand up to the thick texture of the sope.  It was just, well, bleh.  I might order the sope again but definitely with a different meat selection.

Overall my experience was great, minus a let-down with my entree choice.  It won't keep me from returning to La Mexicana and I'll be back for tacos later in the tour.

La Mexicana on Urbanspoon

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