Carolina's Mexican Cuisine
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.
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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...