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The Weekender: Best Mexican eats on the West Side

The Weekender: Best Mexican eats on the West Side

Alyson Strickler-Vazquez

Full disclosure, I am lying on a beach in Playa Mujeres and currently indulging in way too many tacos, so this week’s article seems appropriate. For everyone back in Columbus, these three must-stops are located on the west side and are close enough to fit into one weekend afternoon. Three dishes, flavorful and craveable, so bring your appetite!

Santiago Supermarket came on my radar with promises of daily house-made empanadas (side note: they are amazing and exactly like the ones I had in Argentina). However, we are here to talk about the chorizo tacos – the absolutely incredible chorizo tacos! Head to the cash register and place your order, wait 10 minutes, and a plate of corn tortillas piled with spicy, aromatic pork chorizo gracefully topped with hand-picked cilantro and white onion arrives at your table. Breakfast, lunch, or dinner, I have honestly had this memorable meal for all three, and you should too.

Must-Try – Santiago has an epic menu of Mexican cuisine, and you need to try it all!


Starliner Diner has THE BEST Chile Relleno – period, hands down, incredible! Starliner begins by stuffing a roasted poblano pepper with Monterey jack cheese and then dredging the pepper in a flour and cornstarch breading before frying. The flour and cornstarch cling to the poblano creating a crispy thin shell that provides crunch and doesn’t overshadow the smoky kick from the poblano. The Relleno is laid atop Starliner’s smoked chile sauce, contributing to the depth of flavor pushing notes of cumin, oregano, and chipotle and jalapeno peppers.

Must-Try – Add an order of Starliner’s house-made Cuban bread (make sure it’s toasted) and black beans to round out your meal!

El Barco Mexican Restaurant is located in a shopping plaza off West Broad Street and specializes in Mexican seafood. Unlike most Mexican restaurants, El Barco starts your meal off with authentic chips and salsa and the unique addition of house-made ceviche. The Mojarra Al Gusto is a heavily seasoned deep-fried whole tilapia that I recommend asking for to be served Nayarit style, showcasing a bold chili sauce. The grand presentation will arrive at your table surrounded by shrimp, sauteed onions and peppers, refried beans, and garlic toast. The joy is in eating the fish with your fingers, gently scooping up the daring Nayarit sauce, and enjoying the flaky flavor-filled experience.     

Grab your friends and satisfy your craving for some of the best Mexican food in Columbus. Add a few margaritas or a cold Corona, and you have the perfect day!

If you like this, read: The Weekender: Craveable Cronuts

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