Every time I head over to Market Street to pick up some fresh produce for our office (because I’m eating much healthier now in case you haven’t seen some of my recent Facebook posts), I get more and more excited for Taco Ocho to open their doors in September! Located in the same strip as Market Street in Flower Mound, Taco Ocho is going to bring a must-needed take on fast casual food to our area – authentic, healthy and fresh Latin cuisine featuring complex and unique flavors.
We were so anxious to find out what kind of delicious food they’re going to bring to Flower Mound that we actually headed out to their Frisco location this week to meet owner, Mani Bhushan.
Mani is a lot of fun and we had a great lunch laughing and chatting away with him. So, I’m definitely excited for him to come back to Flower Mound and spend some quality time in his own town.
We asked Mani why he decided to open Taco Ocho and he told us that after spending years in the corporate world, he wanted to start a business where he could give back to people – to enrich their lives and to give them healthy, delicious food options. So, with the help of 8 influential women and recipes from 8 different Latin countries (get it now? Taco Ocho…?), Mani finally opened the first Taco Ocho location in Richardson.
And what makes Taco Ocho different than your typical Mexican restaurant is the combination and flavors from countries all over Latin America; from Peru, Ecuador, Costa Rica, Cuba, Puerto Rico, Venezuela, The Dominican Republic and Mexico. So, in blending distinctive flavors from all of these countries, they’ve successfully created their own style of Latin cuisine – the Taco Ocho Style.
Mani gave us some great suggestions of menu items to try and in true Foodie Friday fashion, we sampled items from all areas of the menu to give you a nice well-rounded perspective of what they offer.
We started out with some of their chips and queso. The queso was absolutely scrumptious with its blend of cheeses, fresh corn and green chiles mixed into it.
As I mentioned earlier in the post, I’m making some changes in my personal eating habits, so from now on, you’ll always see “Jay’s Healthy Option” in all of our Foodie Friday posts. This week’s healthy option is one of Taco Ocho’s vegetarian tostadas – The Puebla – topped with roasted garbanzo hummus, shredded cabbage, corn pico, queso fresco and chipotle ranch. I LOVED this tostada! All of the flavors melded together perfectly and it was filling without being too heavy. But it was so delicious I could have easily eaten 10 more.
We also tried out one of their tortas which are essentially Mexican sandwiches. The one we ordered was the Cusco which is a Peruvian-inspired torta made with Peruvian stir-fried steak, potatoes, sauteed red onions, fresh cilantro and a jalapeno aioli which adds a nice little hint of heat on top of it all. The steak was perfectly cooked and had excellent flavor to it. I’m now a fan of Peruvian food I guess!
And, of course, we couldn’t leave without trying some of their best-selling tacos. Mani suggested that we try out their best-sellers including the Jalapeno Pork, the Latin Love and the Cabo Fish. The Jalapeno Pork was my personal favorite but the other two were incredible as well.
The Latin Love is a corn tortilla topped with refried black beans, fried plantains, cotija cheese and shredded beef and has a sweet flavor to it with just a little bit of smoke and heat.
And the Cabo Fish is one they’re incredibly well-known for as well topped with either beer-battered or grilled cod, jicama slaw and a chipotle cream sauce. The fish tasted so fresh and was perfectly flaky. And I loved the crunch from the jicama slaw and the little bit of kick from the sauce.
I’m seriously excited for this place to open its doors next month in Flower Mound. It’ll feature a large, full-service bar and they’re even adding a few additional menu items including a few salads and some quesadillas!
If you’re like we were and you just can’t wait for the Flower Mound location to open, head on out to their Frisco or Richardson locations. But when this place opens in Flower Mound, we definitely encourage you to head on out and show your support for this local restaurant owner and his amazing restaurant.
We met a few of his regular Frisco customers while we were out there this week and they had nothing but wonderful things to say about Mani and his restaurant, so we look forward to him developing a loyal fan base here as well!
Live long and eat well, Foodies!
Jay Marks writes the Foodie Friday column each week. You can read his blog at http://iamjaymarks.wordpress.com