Short Orders: Carolina's Mexican Cuisine

Carolina's Mexican Cuisine
3950 Rosemeade

The not-so-prosperous little shopping strip Carolina Galvan ex-Rodriguez chose for one of her promised slew of new restaurants doesn't scream "I'm gonna crush those Mi Cocina bastards."

You think it would, but it doesn't.

Inside Carolina's flashes some interest, appearing as either a hip industrial lounge or upscale cafeteria, depending upon which direction you happen to look--except for the back patio, which is just pretty damn cool. They stock a bar-length line of beers on tap, brag about their drinks and seem hell bent on achieving a very familiar vibe...only better, perhaps.

Now, it's far too early for a proper review of the place, but Carolina's tacos and margaritas aren't bad. In fact, apart from the funky sweet-starchy flavor of corn tortillas steamed back to life, the combination of meat, salsa verde and the other odds and ends is rather what you want from a beef taco: a little rustic, somewhat fatty with tangy heat and a bitter crunch from pearl white onion. On the other hand, they trot out the same old chips with a forgettable red salsa.

So many of the city's Tex-Mex and Mexican restaurants are guilty of the 'same old' impression they almost run together. Carolina's feels like a Mi Cocina competitor, although that may just be projection. All I can really say for certain is this: After just a couple weeks in business the kitchen is already up to par.

That means they've already crushed those other bastards...

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