by Phillip Pantuso
Friday, July 9, 2010
It’s been a nice World Cup watching spot following its soft opening almost a month ago, but last week new Mexican food cantina Takoba officially opened on the east side. Precisely located at 1411 E. 7th St., Takoba serves up high-quality, family-recipe interior Mexican cuisine from the same folks who have run the El Tacorrido trailer on North Lamar for ten years.
Takoba’s hours are 11am-midnight Monday-Friday, 9am-1am on Saturday and 9am-midnight on Sunday. They’ll have a big bash for the World Cup final this Sunday, and you can learn more about that, keep an eye on specials, and see pics of the full menu at their Facebook page.
The dimly lit interior evokes a sociable-but-relaxed atmosphere, with tables spread out to the far corners, a private event room and higher pub tables up near the bar, while out back you’ll find a sand-and-beach chair patio, a foosball table and an enormous Mexican flag. It’s as nice a date spot as it is a soccer-watching one. Another thing we like: parking on the east side can sometimes be a hassle, but Takoba has its own lot around the corner at 6th and Navasota.
The menu is extensive and unique. Platos de tacos include the de pescado (crispy fried tilapia, diced pineapple, shredded cabbage & carrot escabeche slaw, creamy chipotle mayo), the wonderful vegetarian taco de verduras (grilled zucchini, caramelized sweet potatoes, roasted corn, green chiles, queso fresco, salsa secreta) and the de carnitas estilo don Alberto (slow-braised pork shoulder served with cilantro, lime, frijoles flor de mayo).
Other menu options include enchiladas de mole con pollo, chile rellenos en nogada (roasted poblano, ground beef, dried fruit, walnut cream sauce, pomegranate), soups, salads (try the salad de la casa, with baby spinach, toasted pecans, jicama, oranges and goat cheese with a vinaigrette dressing), appetizers and ceviche.
There are also two fully-stocked bars, with beers like (512) Pecan Porter, Negra Modelo and Dogfish Head 60 Min IPA on draught, amongst others, and a roving cast of bottles which included Quilmes and Xingu when we stopped by. Cocktails include a michelada made with Salsa Valentina and a mango-habañero margarita.