Dish of the Week: Tacos from Local Cantina in Columbus, Ohio
On a recent trip to the Buckeye – excuse me, Bobcat – state, I took full advantage of local eats when I had brunch at Local Cantina in Grandview, Ohio.
My friends and I started the meal with a pitcher of the Local Mosa. Made with a spiced passion fruit simple syrup and garnished with a slice of orange and candied jalapeño, this bubbly mimosa had nectar-like sweetness with a slight kick of heat at the end of each sip.
While I was initially craving breakfast food, my mentality changed when I saw the variety of taco options. With 18 total, I narrowed my choices down to a top three: Tempura Shrimp, Crispy Pork Belly and Crunchweezy. “Solid line up,” said the server.
The Tempura Shrimp Taco is the perfect blend of East meets West, or sushi meets taco. The tempura battered shrimp are topped with a sweet chili sauce that packs a flavor punch with each bite. Don’t worry too much about the heat because the taco comes with shredded lettuce and a refreshing queso fresco.
If you’ve been following along with my blog posts, you know my deep (and slightly concerning) obsession with pork belly. Obviously, I couldn’t pass up a Crispy Pork Belly Taco. Local Cantina does crispy pork belly as well as any Chinese restaurant. I got a nice, crackling crust on the top layer, while the rest of the pork belly remained juicy. As if I wasn’t already enamored with this taco, the guajillo crema, pickled onion and candied jalapeño added elements of sweet, spicy and a little acidity.
On the recommendation of my friend Katie, I ordered the Crunchweezy Taco. Do you ever have a hard time choosing between a hard or soft taco? The Crunchweezy eliminates that decision by giving you both. Tender brisket is the main player here, but it is accompanied by rich queso, guacamole, roasted corn salsa, lettuce, queso fresco and chipotle cream. I know, this may sound like a lot. Somehow, each ingredient is showcased while, at the same time, blending to create a knockout taco.
Local Cantina has set my #TacoGoals bar very high. I now have to search Coastal Virginia for a local spot that serves tacos up to Local Cantina’s caliber. Or, I’ll just wait until my next trip to Ohio.