The IttyBittyFoodies have discovered the joy of tortas, the Latin American version of the baguette that is so popular on the streets of Mexico City. We recently lunched at the Latin-inspired Taco Ocho in Richardson where the menu features eight tacos, eight tostadas and eight tortas.
Taco Ocho sits on a strip with other fast casual chains like The Egg & I but we were pleasantly surprised at how nice the decor was for a small operation. The space is airy and modern with a cheery mural depicting the Metropolitan Cathedral in Mexico City. A cluster of Tom Dixon pressed glass lights hovers over a 20 foot long communal table. It’s roominess is perfect for 4 year old Lollo who thinks he’s got “the moves like Jagger” and needs to get up and dance in between bites of the Cubana Torta that he loved so much.
A torta is made with a bolillo bread which is not unlike a baguette where it’s crispy on the outisde and soft on the inside. “It is a very popular street food in Mexico and Central America. You can find these at street corners and larger taquerias awell. Even though you find tortas everywhere in Mexico, the tortas of Mexico City are well known for the amount of ingredients and their complex flavors. We have taken it a step further — our tortas are inspired by Latin flavors, not just Mexican,” says owner, Mani Bhushan.
Along with enlisting the help from his wife, a native of Mexico who shared some of her family’s recipes, Bhushan appointed Executive Rodolfo Cardoso, who previously served as sous banquet chef at The Four Seasons in Mexico City, to help create the menu.
Pikelet’s favorite was the Beef Colorado taco made with braised beef with ancho chilies and beer, jicama slaw and wrapped in a flour tortilla. The beer battered Cabo Fish taco came out crisp and wrapped in a flour tortilla with crunchy jicama slaw. Our plates came with a generous serving of chips, refried beans and hot salsa with a bite!
The chicken fajita taco however, disappointed. Though the flavors of the poblanos, pico de gallo and Oaxaca cheese combined well, the chicken breast was simply too dry to enjoy. We then ordered a second Cubana Torta for the table.
Desserts were a great pick me up. Moist tres leches cakes dripping in sweetness and cheesecake chimichanga which reminded me of an oozy cheesecake fried in a donut. Yum.
For info on opening hours, location, menu and all that good stuff, click on Taco Ocho.
ITTY BITTY INFO:
- Food: Fast, fresh and casual Latin flavors
- Ambiance: Big, airy and modern
- Service: Counter service
- Kid Friendliness:
- Itty Bitty Foodies Tip: Tortas were our favorite
- Parent Foodies Tip: Meals are fast but it’s not fast food and well priced