With a menu low on vegetarian and vegan options, these mushroom-based tacos are a stellar standout that far and away make up for a dearth of other options — with a depth of flavor and texture that even the most devout of carnivores can appreciate.
Originally created in homage to Cleveland’s reputation as the Forest City, these vegan tacos are loaded with a variety of fleshy, flavorful maitake mushrooms. They’re tossed in a blend of olive oil, oregano and rosemary and served alongside caramelized cauliflower florets for a robust filling that’s as hearty as any meat-based protein.
“The texture and flavors of the mushrooms puts them in the realm of a meat substitute,” says sous chef Jeffrey Bohnert.
That earthy filling is smothered in a creamy vegan queso made of butternut squash, soy milk, cashews, miso and nutritional yeast, coming together to lend a nuttiness that only heightens that found-in-the-forest flavor. And the final product is piled high with a handful of hickory tortilla strips for an extra crunch that cuts through the thickness of the other ingredients, bringing a buoyancy to each bite.
“It’s a very multicultural dish,” Bohnert says. “It’s got Asian elements and American elements, and the spices that go into it retain that Mexican influence.”1000 E. Ninth St., Cleveland, 216-737-1000, nuevomodmex.com
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