Add Cocina Elvis
(101 W Walnut Ave., 440-289-8504) to the growing list of delicious Mexican restaurants that are worthy of a drive to Painesville. The sit-down shop opened last week in the gas station-adjacent spot that had been home for two years to El Mero Mero.
For those keeping track, the spot joins the barebones and brilliant El Señor's taqueria
tucked inside La Mexicana grocery store, the seasonal, outdoor-only La Casita
at an altogether different Latin grocery less than a mile away, and the upscale-by-comparison El Taco Macho down the road.
On the menu are a variety of street food-style Mexican eats like tacos, quesadillas, tortas and enchiladas, but also harder to find items like gorditas, deep-fried quesadillas, and tacos de canasta. Also known as tacos al vapor (steamed tacos) or tacos sudados (sweaty tacos!), these transportable tacos are filled like normal with ingredients like beans, potatoes, cheese or pork and layered into a basket, hence the canasta, where they steam and grow supple.
Everything is made by hand, not just the corn tortillas but also the flour tortillas and gordita shells.
The restaurant is open Thursday though Sunday.