Playing Hooky in Mexico…almost

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If you’ve never been to Mexico then Taco Tontos is the next best thing.  We loved this place not only because it brought back fond memories of Mexico but the food was off the hook good and the drinks, well, the only way to describe those is MUY bueno.

As soon as we walked in, the place gave off this great vibe that instantly transported us  back to good ole’ Mexico. The music, the murals, the colors and smells take you on an instant trip south of the border.  But if the atmosphere doesn’t instantly draw you in then the food and drinks definitely will. Taco Tontos is known for their fresh, original and non-processed made-to-order food. Their menu includes delectable burritos rolled to perfection and baked until crispy and golden, as well as, mouth watering tostadas and tacos.

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In addition to the delicious cuisine we decided to play hooky from work for a bit longer trying some of their handcrafted cocktails. There was a top shelf bar with homemade mixers. We had a Juan Collins, yes Juan not Tom, which could only mean one thing: tequila. The only bad thing about it was the straw that came with it making it virtually impossible not to suck down instantly.  We also tried a Blackberry Margarita which was just as good and refreshing as it sounds.  Yum!

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The vibe, the music and the drinks were all phenomenal BUT what really left an impression on us was the owner, Jill Crino. She was beyond awesome and not just because she hooked us up with extra tequila in our drinks. Both she and her wonderful staff were more than accommodating in customizing our food and drinks to match our personal tastes.  Talk about customer service!

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Taco Tontos is located in Lakewood on Madison Avenue. The area is on an upswing with several new Mexican restaurants opening up shop in the area.  Ms.Crino says that’s a good thing as she feels that everyone has a different take on Mexican, welcoming the variety of recipes, flavors and, hopefully, the crowds that the new eateries will bring.

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Taco Tontos is located at:

13321 Madison Avenue

Cleveland, OH 44107

Open M-TH 11am – 10pm

Friday-Saturday 11am-1am (Kitchen open until midnight, bar until 1am)

216.221.4479

** Taco Tontos also has a location in Kent, OH with the same delicious food and selection of craft beer.

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Sandwiches Anyone?

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In the mood for sandwiches?  Then La Bodega is a great place to start.  Located on Jefferson Avenue in Tremont it’s not your typical sandwich shop. They have a huge  variety of choices to please any palette including a large selection of the vegetarian sort.

When we say “not your typical sandwich shop” we mean it. Their sandwich and salad creations are unique and embody the freshest ingredients. However, we did have a little red and juicy problem with their take on the Caesar salad. That’s right: tomatoes. Who puts tomatoes on a Caesar salad?  Aside from the tomato surprise, the rest of the food was quite good. Sandwiches are definitely the way to go at La Bodega, no complaints there.

As for the atmosphere of the place, it was pleasant and uneventful.  We did, however, enjoy the people watching, especially the odd couple sitting in the corner:  Were they together, were they brother and sister, was he gay and she straight…?  You get the picture.

Our advice on La Bodega:

Unless you’re an avid tomato lover, don’t go for the Caesar; the sandwiches are a must with a superb selection; and be sure to spend some time taking in the lovely people of Tremont while you nosh.

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La Bodega is located at:

869 Jefferson Avenue

Cleveland, OH 44113

Open M-F 11am – 7pm

Saturday-Sunday 11am – 4pm

216.621.7075