TRAVERSE CITY — Two new taquerias and a pair of liquor licenses are adding to the region's ethnic dining and drinking options. Here's a look at what's coming — and what recently arrived.
Taqueria T.C. Latino
2749 N. W. Silver Lake Rd., Traverse City
Adolfo Méndez and wife Sandra Rios, owners of T.C. Latino Grocery, have expanded their empire to include a new taqueria. The shop opened in mid-May at the corner of Zimmerman and W. Silver Lake roads in the former Rusty's Pizza and Subs spot. It's open seven days a week for take-out and catering.
What to Expect:
Authentic Mexican food, from tamales for $1, to tostadas for $2, to tortas, a type of sandwich on a crusty white roll, for $5.99. Other traditional dishes include tacos and burritos with a choice of pork, Mexican sausage, steamed beef, skirt steak, beef tongue or beef cheeks. To wash it down with: Jarritos soft drinks from Mexico; strawberry, banana and chocomilk shakes; and aguas frescas or "fresh water" drinks like horchata (made with rice, cinnamon, almonds and other flavorings) and Jamaica (made with hibiscus). For dessert: flan Napolitano; fruit-flavored gelatinas; elote entero, or grilled corn covered with mayo and sprinkled with a grated cheese and chili mix; and pastel de tres leches, a sweet vanilla sponge cake soaked in milk sauce, layered with strawberry and pineapple jelly and finished with whipped topping.
Osorio Tacos Y Salsas
6037 U.S.-31 N., Acme
Customers who lamented the closing of Miguel Osorio and wife Karla Osorio-Franco's S. Airport Road taqueria and Mexican store can rejoice. The couple opened Osorio Tacos Y Salsas at the corner of U.S. 31 and M-72 in late May. The eatery — formerly a Chinese restaurant — is open for lunch and dinner Monday through Saturday, but will expand its hours to include Sunday for July and part of August.
What to Expect:
Authentic Oaxacan-style food, from arroz rojo y frijol negro refrito (red rice and refried black beans) to platillos, tacos, taquiza, quesadillas, tamales and enchiladas. The guacamole is made in-house daily, as are the pico de gallo and chips — with a choice of seven housemade salsas. "Like my mother said, eat good and take care of your body or the consequences will come," said Miguel Osorio.
Prices range from $2 for tamales to $10.99 for platillos, which can be accompanied by Jarritos soft drinks in eight flavors or Mexican ice tea (a combination of tropical fruits). The all-natural salsas are available in bottles for $4.99. Coming by the end of June: chili rellenos, flautas (tortillas that are rolled up around a filling and deep fried) and fish tacos.
Opa! Coney & Grill
1752 South Garfield Ave., Traverse City
Owner Paul Barbas is giving diners at his Greek-style eatery and its sister, The Metro Coney & Grill (753 U.S. 31 S.), something new with which to wash down their coneys and gyros. The restaurants will serve beer (The Metro) and beer and wine (Opa!) by as soon as late June.
What to Expect:
Opa! will offer imported Polish and Greek beers along with full-bodied Greek wines — both red and white — beginning next week or the week after. The libations will complement the restaurant's full-service dining with an empasis on Greek home-style cusine, Polish favorites like pierogi and golabki, and Detroit- and Flint-style Coneys.
Soon to be on tap at The Metro: eight beers, from local and Detroit Brewing Company favorites (in another nod to those Detroit-style Coneys) to national brands. Another 12 to 15 beers will be available in bottles. "We're not looking to be a Seven Monks," said Barbas, who expects to be serving suds at the restaurant near Wuerfel Park by mid-July, in time for peak tourist season and many of the area's most popular festivals.