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Cuco’s: A Columbus Classic

Posted by cmh gourmand on August 21, 2018

These was a time, in a Columbus neither long ago or far away when our choices for Mexican food were Chi Chi’s, Garcia’s or Talita’s. The only plus of that era was that we also had Zantigo. Today, our vibrant Latino population gives us access to phenomenal taco trucks, authentic restaurants, grocery stores and even a tortilla maker. But during the transition of the 1990’s a little place called Cuco’s on Henderson Road came on my radar. It started as a grocery store with a small taqueria in the back. Over time, the grocery space shrank and the square footage of the taqueria grew. Then a patio was added and expanded. Then, because this is Columbus, the food truck capital of the Midwest, a food truck for catering was added too. Throughout this journey to the mainstream Cuco’s has not cut quality and many of the dishes are still authentic to tradition and culture.

Strangely, I have never written about Cuco’s in the history of this web log other than a very brief mention in 2008. How bizarre. I can thank the Grumpy Old Man for leading me to Cuco’s recently. The Grumpy Old Man often views me as the bane to his existence with my constant plying of hipster stouts, fortified Shiraz and challenges to his world view. My one redeeming quality with him is my ability to obtain/purloin old bricks. The three readers of CMH Gourmand that are also Bricks of Ohio Blog fans may know my ability to sniff out old bricks for repurposing is legendary in very small circles. Having recently acquired a large quantity of Hocking Block for his needs, I proposed that he compensate me with lunch. As fate would have it, on the day in question, he was having work done at Midas on Henderson Road so he offered either Neighbors Deli or Cucos since both were within walking distance. What a Sophie’s choice for me. I opted with Cuco’s because it dawned on me it had been at least 18 months since I had been there. We agreed on the destination thus the deal was done!

There are several bonus features at Cuco’s that ad value. My favorite is the salsa bar which offers several choices of self serve salsas as well as pickled carrots, onions and such. Cuco’s was one of the first places in town where one could consume real deal fish tacos. Breakfast is served most days of the week as well. The meals are filling, the melted white cheese is addicting and the prices are a reasonable value. Their chips are always fresh and free. There is a lot to like about Cuco’s.

The Grumpy Old Man has spent a lot of time in Puerto Rico and when he goes he is quick to share the running total of how many pork tacos he has consumed at our favorite taco purveyor in Old San Juan, Charlie’s Taco’s. Both he and I have high standards for Mexican and Latino fare and our standards were not compromised in any way during our lunch. We shared barbacoa tacos and tinga. I had some caldo de res (beef soup) to boot. I also introduced The Grumpy Old Man to the concept of the salsa bar, a feature he had not been aware of….how bizarre. I’ll end my post encouraging you keep am old school Mexican restaurant rotation even through we have added so many great new places over the last decade. I’ll also thank you for keeping an old school blog in the rotation even though we are oversaturated with other medias to choose from, I still think writing and stories trump excessive photos and emoji’s.

Cuco's Taqueria Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

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One Response to “Cuco’s: A Columbus Classic”

  1. Chris said

    Great story! I had no idea you were the Brick Whisperer. Duly noted. Have not enjoyed Cuco’s and now will be making a point of doing so!

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