My first visit to Blue Corn Tequila & Tacos was after a hot, dusty bike ride. Since the restaurant has a beautiful patio and the weather was cooperative, we thought we’d enjoy a small meal outside. It was one of many excellent choices we made that visit.
Thirsty, we asked for suggestions and were told most of the margaritas use fresh ingredients. The highest rated were the Basil Melon and the Cilantro Pineapple. The freshness and lack of artificial mixes were instantly apparent. We sipped on the margs while munching on a bowl of lightly salted and uber-crisp tortilla chips. The accompanying salsa was fantastic, with noticeable specks of black pepper that walloped our taste buds.
We wanted to start with appetizers and some individual tacos. Without hesitation, our server recommended the Lengua Taco and the Mango Habañero Shrimp Ceviche.
The lengua, or tongue meat, was unbelievably tender with subtle seasoning that allowed the beefiness to shine. Simply dressed, this taco was light and filling.
Ah, the ceviche. So delicate, fresh and lovely with poached shrimp swimming among bites of juicy sweet mango and copious red onion. Peppered throughout were tomato, cilantro and spicy jalapeños with the barest lime juice to pull it all together. My fellow diners and I raved about this airy appetizer.
To complete our snack, I asked for a Cochinita Pibil Taco comprised of slow-cooked pork with achiote seeds topped simply with red onion and habañero. The pork was crimson from the orange-red achiote and fork tender with a punchy, robust flavor. Thick, rustic corn tortillas were ideal for containing the meat of both outstanding tacos.
On another visit to Blue Corn, Flautas were a must. This appetizer was thoroughly stuffed with supple, decadent barbacoa shredded beef. Topped with a buttery green sauce and melted cheese, the accents tamed some of the richness of the fried tortilla shells.
Roasted Chiles Rellenos with plump Sinaloa-style shrimp was a standout entree. Seafood reigns in Sinaloa, a Mexican state along the western coast, and this popular shrimp dish is made with mild and spicy chili peppers, Mexican cream and cheese. The creamy, pale green representation was luscious yet light on the palate. A pyramid of green rice was the perfect vessel for sopping up the velvety sauce, and refried black beans provided a delectable replacement for pinto beans.
Blue Corn Enchiladas were the recommended enchilada choice. The soft corn tortillas were smothered in rustic, mildly hot guajillo chili sauce. Moderate flavors of crema and queso fresco were a welcome change from other Tex-Mex varieties covered in cheese. Accompaniments of thin, juicy carne asada, pickled jalapeños and the requisite lettuce, tomato and avocado allowed our table to supplement each enchilada according to taste. Served with potatoes and carrots flavored by a lamination of chili sauce, this was quite a hearty supper.
For me, no Mexican meal is complete without guacamole. Lush with just enough chunks of tomato and avocado to add textural interest, Blue Corn’s version also had a sneaky heat that landed pleasantly in the back of the throat.
Another side worth trying: Nopales Guajillo. It offered charred smokiness coupled with the earthy vegetal qualities of the cactus. Thankfully, there was not even a hint of the slime that can sometimes plague nopales. Pieces of dried guajillo chilies and a sprinkling of cilantro rounded out the dish with soft jabs of warmth and herby flavors.
We were delightfully full and pleased with our dinner when we departed. Halfway home, I realized we had not tried dessert—a perfect reason to return. Well, for that and the margaritas. Who am I kidding? Any excuse to come back for the restaurant’s fresh, interesting and unique cuisine is enough motivation.
The basics: The restaurant opened October 2018 in Ichiban Square, offering an authentic menu that might seem confusing to those looking for typical Tex-Mex fare. Dotting the menu is a variety of ceviches, enchiladas in mole negras, pork in a green tomatillo and pumpkin seed sauce and more. Rest assured, there are also plenty of fajitas and margaritas.
What’s a must: Mango Habañero Shrimp Ceviche for a crowd-pleasing appetizer. Blue Corn Enchiladas with a side of thin, juicy carne asada for an entree. And if you’re still in need of tasty snacks, go for the Lengua Taco—yes, it’s tongue meat, but it’s also super tender and well seasoned.
Eat at Blue Corn
7673 Perkins Road
Monday-Thursday, 11 a.m.-9:30 p.m.
Friday-Saturday, 11 a.m.-10:30 p.m.
Sunday, 11 a.m.-9 p.m.
Our food critic’s name may be false, but the credentials are not. This gastronome has studied the history, cultivation, preparation, science and technology of food for more than 30 years.
This article was originally published in the September 2019 issue of 225 Magazine.