For the past two and a half years, Tapatias Taqueria
(12501 Lorain Ave., 216-600-5505) has been attracting Mexican food fans with its broad menu of flavorful options. In addition to tacos, tortas, sopes, tostadas and burritos, the full-service restaurant offers a dozen or so big plates built around items like grilled steak, whole fried fish and grilled shrimp.
With one success under their belt, the operators have decided to expand. Earlier this month, they opened Hacienda Tapatia
(1572 W. 117th St., 216-962-9893), which they describe as a “modern Mexican cantina." Located just a mile and a half away in Lakewood, the eatery assumed the former home of El Torito Taqueria Bar, which closed last year.
The attractive bar and restaurant offers a similar, albeit expanded menu of street tacos, burritos, enchiladas and fajitas, but also more unique, creative and hard-to-find specialties. Alongside popular appetizers like crispy flautas, melty queso and shredded beef nachos are refreshing platters of ceviche, Mexican-style shrimp cocktail and aguachile. Aguachile is similar to shrimp ceviche given the bright citrus marinade, but the dish also includes serious heat thanks to chili peppers.
Other south-of-the-border entrees include Chili Colorado, whole fried tilapia, carne en su jugo (meat cooked in its own juices), and cochinita pibil, which stars marinated and slow-roasted pork. Also on the menu are approachable dishes like Mexican paella, fajita rice bowls and huevos Mexicanos.
Hacienda Tapatia has a full bar serving domestic and imported beers, margaritas and mojitos.
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