Taco Tuesdays Makes Mercadito in Midtown Worth the Trip

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Over the past few years, the Mexican-food market has grown in Miami. Where we could find only non-fast-food tacos at only a handful of places, we now have options available all over the city, from hole-in-the-wall mom-and-pop joints to more upscale, cloth-napkin spots.

One of the local eateries featuring Mexican fare is Mercadito, a restaurant that specializes in Mexican food with a gourmet twist. Although we were told over the phone that the restaurant serves authentic Mexican cuisine, we realized upon dining there that such is not the case.

The food is decent overall, although the regular menu is somewhat overpriced. Ceviches range from $12.50 to $27.50, guacamoles from $10 to $13.50, and entreés between $15.50 and $23.50. Also, don't expect chips and salsa, and if you want salsa for your food, it is considered a side order.

If you're looking for the real deal, you're better off in Homestead or Little Havana, but if you live on the east side of Miami and don't want to travel far, try Mercadito on Taco Tuesdays, when tacos are specially priced. Two of 'em go for $5.50, which is a deal in any context.

Try seven of Mercadito's eight taco options (lobster is the only taco not offered for $5.50), which include seafood, vegetarian, chicken, beef, and pork.

We tried three tacos: the shrimp version, with roasted garlic, avocado, and chipotle mojo; the hongos rendition, with wild mushrooms, tomato sofrito, queso fresco, salsa roja, and crisp potato; and the carne variety, with rosemary-marinated skirt steak, potato poblano rajas, avocado-tomatillo crema, and crisp Manchego cheese.

The shrimp, in its smoky, camarones enchilado-style sauce, was our favorite, and the steak taco came in a close second. All were fresh, cooked properly, and average- to above-average tasting. Martes is the day to head to Mercadito.

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