tacos

Royal Oak: Qdoba

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Taco Salad: Tequila lime chicken, corn salasa, pico de gallo, guacamole, lettuce, black beans, cojita cheese, spicy queso, and sour cream. This is usually my go to because I can go crazy with all the toppings. Fresh, light, and delicious! Totally satisfying and I didn’t feel bad eating it because of all the veggies. The spicy queso packed the heat and I liked that could taste all the different peppers.

Price: 4.5 out of 5 bites

Quality/Taste: 4 out of 5 bites

Service: 4 out of 5 bites

Qdoba is one of the few chain/fast food spots that I enjoy. I really like that you can load up on a ton of veggies and customize your order. They are constantly offering new and exciting menu items and switching things up. Check it out!

Steak Quesadilla: Loaded with sauteed red onions, green peppers, cheese. The steak was tender and flavorful. Salty, spicy, but not overwhelming. Perfect ratio of cheese, veggies, and protein. The green peppers still had a bite to them, but were slightly sauteed. I hate when veggies have been cooked to death that they are so limp and lifeless.

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Knockout Tacos

Gladiator: Grilled steak, bacon, pico de gallo, lettuce, Mexican caesar dressing, cilantro and cotija cheese. The bacon was salty and paired well with the tender steak. I really liked the Mexican Caesar dressing. It was creamy, tangy, with a little kick.

Two timer: Pulled pork, salsa roja, shredded cheese, lettuce, pico de gallo and cotija cheese in a crispy taco, wrapped in a flour tortilla spread with 3-cheese Queso. The queso acted as glue for the second tortilla. It had a “cheesy gordita crunch” vibe, but only better because it was queso! The pulled pork was juicy and the cojita cheese added a hint of salt. The veggies were fresh and balanced out the whole taco. The only thing I didn’t like was that halfway thru, the tortilla started to fall apart so I ended up fork and knifing it.

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My favorite thing about Qdoba is the selection of queso. At any given time, they offer around 3 different types of queso to choose from. The current promo is beer cheese queso and I can’t wait to try it! Each location offers different seasonal items, so be sure to check with your local Qdoba.

Shout out to Sonya at the Northville location. Thanks for the opportunity to try out so many delicious items!

Qdoba Mexican Grill Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Linger

There were a lot of great eats in Denver so its hard to narrow it down to one favorite, but Linger took the cake for many reasons. Number one, their menu is crazy good (read on for more). #2. The restaurant was once the historic Olinger Mortuary (super creepy and cool). Numero Tres, the atmosphere and ambience is different than any other restaurant I have been to. Food is emotional for me and the feeling I got from sharing each dish and experiencing the different layers of flavor was incredible.

How the Menu Works: Its divided up into different regions of the world (tasty and educational) and each dish is served family style and designed for sharing. Works for me, since this is how I usually dine.

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Atmosphere: 4.5 out of 5 bites

Price: 4 out of 5 bites

Quality/Taste: 4.5 out of 5 bites

Service: 4.5 out of 5 bites

Wow Factor: 4 out of 5 bites

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Stem Cider Branch and Bramble: Dry, Raspberry Cider. Very good!

Likes: Local, fruity, not too sweet, crisp.

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Cowboy Popcorn: BBQ flavored popcorn for the table. Smoky, salty, good!

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Devils on Horseback (Europe & Eurasia): Applewood Smoked Bacon, Medjool Dates, Herbed Goat Cheese & Sambal Gastrique . Our server recommended these and they were spot on! The smoky, sweet, and salty bacon was cooked perfectly. The dates were caramelized and went well with the creamy, tangy goat cheese. As soon as I popped one of these in my mouth, it was over. So delicious.

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Michelle’s Pick

Thai Fried Rice (Asia): Poached Egg, Corn, Tomatoes, Charred Pole Beans,  Fried Shallots, Thai Basil, Five Spice Cashews, Coconut & Nam Prik Pao Sauce. I love that this fried rice had corn-not too common. Lots of flavors and spice from the red/green chiles. The yolk from the eggs created a luxurious, rich sauce. The char from the beans added a smokiness and the basil was a nice touch of brightness. The crispy shallots were delicious with the sweetness from the Coconut & Nam Prik Pao sauce.

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Stacey’s Pick

Colorado Lamb Kabob (Africa & Middle East): Cucumber, Heirloom Cherry Tomatoes, Cilantro,  Chapati Bread (traditional Indian flat bread), Tzatziki, Carrot-Chili Purée & Green Harissa (condiment consisting of jalapeno, parsley, cilantro, chilies, spices). The lamb was tender and juicy. The bread was warm, slightly charred, and acted as the perfect device to soak up the delicious sauces. The tzatziki was creamy and cool and the harissa was fresh and spicy.

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Dave’s Pick

New England Fish Tacos (Americas): Salt & Vinegar Potato Skins, Bibb Lettuce, Dill, Cherry Tomato Relish & Tartar Sauce. Whoever thought of the salt & vinegar potato skins should get a raise. This was a flavor bomb of salty, vinegary, crispy, crunchy, goodness. Of course this paired well with the fresh, flaky fish. The tomato relish and tartar sauce was tangy, yet sweet. Love these!

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My Pick:

Mongolian BBQ Duck Bao Bun (Asia): Scallions & Miso Pickled Cucumbers. Holy Duck! The duck was so tender it was as if it was slow roasted for hours. The sauce was sweet and sticky. The scallions and cucumbers added a nice crunchy brightness. The steamed bun was light and fluffy.

Dave’s Pick

Fried Chicken Bao Bun (Asia):  Togarashi Ranch (spicy Japanese seasoning), Kimchi & Honey Sambal. The fried chicken was juicy on the inside and had a brilliant crunchy exterior. The kimchi was the perfect side kick and went well with the honey sambal (spicy relish).

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My Pick:

Sesame BBQ Tacos (Caribbean): Wagyu Short Rib, Napa Slaw, Radish, Avocado & Lime. The short ribs were super tender, lean, and had a rich and hearty flavor. The slaw and radish lightened up these tacos and added texture. The avocado added color and freshness.

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Service was great and our server did an excellent job of explaining the menu and offering suggestions. Linger has the perfect lighting, low, warm, like eating by candlelight. The décor has an industrial, casual feel, but is still upscale enough for a nice night out. I really liked that the menu was a taste of different areas of the world. It gave us a chance to try different things and it was exciting as each new dish came out one after the other. The menu ingredients explode with flavor and elevate your taste buds to places they haven’t gone before. The menu is very unique and the vision of showcasing different cultures is amazing -where else can you get both Cricket Empanda’s and Egplant Soup on the same menu?  Linger has an additional rooftop dining area, happy hour and brunch menus, and offers 3 course dining every Tuesday.  They use local ingredients and suppliers and also offer gluten free and vegan options. If you haven’t checked out Linger, you need to.

Linger Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

The Coronado

By far, my favorite spot on my Phoenix, Arizona adventure was the Coronado located in Midtown

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The Coronado is a vegan/vegetarian meets coffee shop/bakery meets craft cocktail fusion that I fell in love with. The menu has a lot of South of the Border influence which was fitting in AZ, only it’s done with such seamless uniqueness that it’s bound to make you forget how you previously enjoyed these classics. They also serve jackfruit which was my first introduction to the fruit coming from the fig and mulberry family. I didn’t order it this trip, but it was exploding all over Phoenix menu’s. It’s texture makes it the perfect meat substitute because it shreds similar to chicken or pork. How cool! See how they ranked.

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Atmosphere: 4.5 out of 5 bites

Price: 4.5 out of 5 bites

Quality/Taste: 4.5 out of 5 bites

Service: 4.5 out of 5 bites

Wow Factor: 4.5 out of 5 bites

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Lauren was in the mood for a nightcap

Tequila, Cointreau, simple syrup, fresh muddled lime, jalapeno. Spicy! Major points for muddling and mixing up a craft cocktail just like that. Fresh ingredients really make any cocktail taste that much better. The salt/pepper rim added another layer of spice and flavor.

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Star of the show is the…. (drum roll please)

Cauliflower Tacos: 3 masa battered cauliflower tacos w/ guacamole, spinach, pepitas & creamy avocado dressing. These were the best tacos I have ever had! The cauliflower was tender, yet crispy, and so satisfying. I did not miss the meat whatsoever. The creamy avocado dressing was light, the pepitas added crunch and the spinach contributed freshness. These tacos were recommended and now I see why they are the best thing on the menu.

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Fried Guacamole: House made guacamole, breaded & fried, served with fresh made tortilla chips. I didn’t know you could fry guacamole, but you can and it is out of this world delicious. It was crispy , golden, yet still packed with that creamy, fresh guacamole we all love. The corn chips were fresh and still warm. It was topped with a creamy chipotle and avocado sauce which complimented the whole dish. My second favorite dish here!

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Street Corn: Roasted corn on the cob w/ vegan mayo, spices & cotija cheese. Smoky, salty, and sweet. This amped up normal corn on the cob and took it to a whole new level. This is my new way to eat corn.

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Goat Cheese and Jalapeno Marmalade Quesadilla: Sweet, spicy, and creamy. This quesadilla was more sweet than the savory quesadillas I am used to and I liked it. It was different in a good way. The only thing I would improve on was the heavy paprika sprinkled on top. This was a little too much for me, otherwise this was really tasty.

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A lot of the spots in Phoenix are old houses turned restaurants/bars. The Coronado is just like this and has so much character. The restaurant is divided into intimate rooms filled with art and natural wood floors. Now, I am not vegan by any means, but I do like to experience good for you food, and the Coronado is serving up the best. I felt great indulging in the delicious menu items without losing tons of flavor or having to minus off a bunch of toppings.

Shout out to my ladies, Jacki & Lauren for sharing this great experience with me ❤

Coronado PHX Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Bierkeller Tavern

For lunch, Lauren and I decided to try out Bierkeller in Taylor, MI. I will admit that I heard both good and bad so I was nervous to try this spot out. Located on Goddard, Bierkeller brings a taste of Germany to Downriver. With a creative menu, over 30 beers on tap, live music, and food and drink specials, Bierkeller has quickly become part of the neighborhood. See how they ranked.

Atmosphere: 3.5 out of 5 bites

Price: 3.5 out of 5 bites

Quality/Taste: 3.5 out of 5 bites

Service: 3.5 out of 5 bites

Wow Factor: 3 out of 5 bites (creative menu, German theme)

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Of course, I had to start out with a mead.

B. Nektar Zombie Killer Cherry Cyser: Refreshing, light, with a slight sweetness. I first had my first taste of mead about 3 years ago and fell in love. It’s so yummy!

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My pick

German Taco’s: Three flour tortilla’s stuffed with shredded corned beef, red cabbage, and haus sauce served with your choice of side. Delish! The haus sauce was some sort of horseradish aioli concoction and it was very good. It added just enough zip to balance the salty corned beef. The cabbage added a nice crunch. My only disappointment was that the cabbage was seriously juicy and caused the tortilla to get soggy. I also never received my choice of side with this entrée.

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Kellercakes:  Crispy potato pancakes stuffed with bacon and sharp Cheddar cheese. Topped with green onions and served with a side of sour cream and wasabi ranch.  Of course a Polish girl cannot pass up potato pancakes. These were crispy, salty, and cheesy. The wasabi ranch added just enough creamy, cool, spice to send my taste buds into overdrive.

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Lauren’s pick

Bierkeller Burger: Beef patty topped with carved ham, grilled onions, Swiss cheese, spicy brown mustard, served on a pretzel bun. Fat & juicy! The combo of beef and ham never disappoints. The subtle Swiss paired with the sweet onions and spicy, tangy mustard. The fries were cooked perfectly, crispy on the outside and soft on the inside.

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Service was OK and the food was pretty tasty. I do give Bierkeller credit for the unique and creative menu. The German theme brings something different to the area. I liked that the seating is family style with long wooden tables and benches. Stop in for some sauerkraut balls and get a growler of your favorite beer to go.

Lauren, I cannot wait for our AZ adventure!
Bierkeller Tavern & Eatery Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Camino Real

Located on Eureka Rd in Wyandotte, MI is Camino Real. This spot is actually where Ponderosa used to be and opened it’s doors about a year ago. Camino Real uses quality meats and produce and serves authentic Mexican cuisine. They offer food and drink specials. live music, and events. I’ve been meaning to try this restaurant for a while and it seemed perfect to meet Janet here for dinner. See how they ranked.

Atmosphere: 4  out of 5 bites

Price: 4.5 out of 5 bites

Quality/Taste: 4 out of 5 bites

Service: 4 out of 5 bites

Wow Factor: 3 out of 5 bites

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My pick:

There Flour Taco dinner: Al Pastor (marinated pork), Pollo Asado (grilled chicken) and Carne Asada (steak) topped with lettuce, tomato, and cheese served with rice and beans. The meats all had great flavor and were moist. I think my favorite was the al pastor. Slightly sweet and salty pork never disappoints. The rice was perfectly cooked and the beans were delicious. The only thing I didn’t like was that by the time I made it to my third taco, the tortilla was very soggy from all the juice.

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Janet’s Pick

Three Corn Taco dinner: Chorizo (Mexican Sausage), Pollo Asado (grilled chicken) and Carne Asada (steak) topped with cilantro and served with rice and beans. Janet’s taco dinner was a little more authentic than mine and verydelicious. The cilantro was fresh and brightened up the tacos. The chorizo was spicy without being super greasy.

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If you haven’t visited Camino Real yet, get in there. The portion sizes are generous (our tacos were filled to the brim with meat) and service was good. I do want to go back on a weekend when the live music plays.

Janet, let me know when you want to go back!

Camino Real Mexican Grill Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

El Paso Mexican Restaurant

Today on the Bite Tonight: El Paso

It’s no secret that I love Mexican food. So, last night for dinner, Ma and I decided to grab a carryout at a local place. Since I’ve never been to El Paso, I wanted to try it out. El Paso offers the standard Mexican favorites and drinks including horchata  (a milky drink made from ground almonds, tiger nuts, or rice).  See how they ranked.

Atmosphere: 2.5 out of 5 bites (little outdated)

Price: 3 out of 5 bites

Quality/Taste: 2 out of 5 bites

Service: 3 out of 5 bites

Wow Factor: 2 out of 5 bites (salsa bar for dine in guests)

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Beef Enchilada Dinner: Rolled corn tortillas filled with beef  and topped with cheese and sauce.  We actually ordered two beef and one cheese enchilada, but we received all beef. Pretty decent, not as good as Mexican Village or Taco Especial. The enchiladas were a little sloppy, but I blame that on running to the car in order to beat the downpour. I wasn’t a fan of the rice (too plain), but the beans were delicious.

beef enchilada dinner el paso

Chicken and Beef Tacos: El Paso fried the flour tortilla just the way we like it to make it crispy, but by the time we got home, the shell was soggy. The chicken was seasoned well and the tacos were pretty big. The beef could’ve used a little more spice.

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El Paso gets kudos for price and portion, but the food just wasn’t what I’d hoped for. It didn’t satisfy my craving for authentic Mexican and I probably wouldn’t go back. I always thought that Mexican food is a little like cereal with everyone having their own preference and favorite. On the other hand, service was good and they offer a salsa bar if you dine in which I loved. Stop in and check em out!

El Paso Mexican Restaurant on Urbanspoon

Panchos Mexican Restaurant

Today on the Bite Tonight: Panchos

Located on Dix Rd. in Lincoln Park, MI, Panchos is serving up some pretty killer Mexican food. When it comes to Mexican, I know what I like and it’s hard to find that Downriver. Every restaurant has their own style and spin on their cuisine, but my family has come to enjoy Panchos. See how they ranked.

Atmosphere: 3.5 out of 5 bites

Price: 3.5 out of 5 bites

Quality/Taste: 4 out of 5 bites

Service: 3 out of 5 bites

Wow Factor: 2 out of 5 bites

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Taco Dinner:  2 beef and 1 chicken with side of rice and beans. Ma and I love Panchos because they will fry the flour tortillas for us making them crispy. The meat has good flavor, Muenster cheese is my favorite, and the rice and beans are delicious and authentic.

taco dinner

Irony got the best of us because Ma suggested going to Panchos even though they were a few miles further from our house than Taco Especial. Ma wanted to go there because on a Saturday night, she never has to wait and their prices are more reasonable than other local Mexican restaurants. We ended up having to wait about 20 min for a walk-in carry out order. Which isn’t too bad, and for the wait they even threw in an extra taco. Unfortunately, they gave us all beef tacos instead of one chicken taco. I think this was the first time our order was ever compromised and can be forgiven because they were so busy and we scored an extra taco out of it. If you haven’t experienced Panchos, check em out!
Pancho's Mexican on Urbanspoon