Happy Cinco de Mayo! Yes, the holiday where all Americans are Mexican, and all Mexicans want nothing to do with Americans. Plus, a great excuse to have some Mexican food! Technically, I was a week early, but I only got around to writing this now.
Midtown Miami used to be known as The Design District, back when you didn’t want to get caught wandering around there without a bulletproof vest. Nowadays, it’s been cleaned up a lot, and is home to a lot of trendy eateries to cater to young businessmen and businesswomen. Among these is Mercadito Midtown, a Mexican taqueria that also boasts a variety of spicy drinks. Given my low tolerance to spice, I passed on those.
We arrived on a Sunday afternoon and were seated immediately. Someone came by and poured us some water and left us the bottle at the table. Our server greeted us and explained the brunch offerings, but we decided to order a la carte. We started with the guacamole. Because, why eat Mexican without it!?
I’d first like to touch on the tortilla chips. It may be hard to make out in the photo, but they were thicker than normal tortilla chips. And extra crunchy! A previous Mexican restaurant that I had gone to had extra-thick tortilla chips, and they felt WRONG. Well, not these. These actually worked. The guacamole, while lacking the abundance of lime and cilantro that I add to my own, was spot on. It tasted like the ingredients had been picked and mashed that same morning. I had to stop myself from eating more before the main course arrived.
The shrimp tacos, served on a corn tortilla, were SPICY! They were cooked in a chipotle adobo sauce. If you don’t know about chipotle, then be warned that it’s not the kind of spice that hits you right away. You’ll taste the savory goodness of the other sauce ingredients first, then BAM! If you’re into spicy, I highly recommend them. While I am not a fan of spicy, I appreciated that the the heat of the chiles did not take away from the flavor of the dish. Plus, the smooth avocado slice helps temper the heat.
Then, same the carne asada tacos. I find it hard to describe these. The pieces of steak were topped with something that resembled a potato hash. It was like eating a steak and hash brown breakfast on a tortilla.
The service at Mercadito Midtown was, by all accounts, fantastic. Within moments of finishing a dish, someone was by to clear your plate. The drink refills were frequent and plentiful, and all restaurant staff were knowledgeable and helpful. I would definitely go back!
**UPDATE 2/27/2016 **
Alas, this place no longer exists.