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Issue Date: January 2013

Feisty Fiesta

Kim Schneider

Taco Tonto’s // Some of us were once wild and crazy college kids at Kent State University. And that time in our lives included late-night stops at Taco Tonto’s, a locally owned Mexican spot conveniently located in the heart of the town’s bar scene. Those of us who have graduated to adulthood and Cleveland’s West Side can get a taste of those days (and the accompanying burritos, tacos, tostadas, and chips and salsa) thanks to a new Lakewood outpost that opened in October. Setting up shop in the former Bela Dubby’s space, the colorful and intimate dining room is a perfect fit for the menu’s fiesta of flavors. The sweet potato burrito ($4.75 for regulata; $5.75 for el biggo — their words, not ours) is packed full of sweet potato and a healthy dose of black beans, cheese, onions and lettuce, which melt together into one hearty bite after another. The beef and bean combination tostada ($5.25) was as big as the plate it came on and had just the right cheese-to-beef ratio. The tacos here are affordable ($3 for hard shell, $3.75 for soft shell) and the largest we’ve seen around. If you can’t decide between hard or soft tortillas, go with the two-layer taco ($4.50) joined together by your choice of sour cream or pinto beans. It’s the best of both worlds.

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