BG EATS: In October drinking horchata

Mercadito Hispano at 204 Woodford Ave. Alyssa Pointer/HERALD

John Greer

Mercadito Hispano is another small Mexican joint worth consideration. 

It is particularly appropriate that this Mexican restaurant sits next to Taqueria Sinai, as the similarities are noticeable.  

Like the taqueria, the restaurant within Mercadito Hispano is connected to a Mexican grocery. A wall separates the two spaces. The interior of the restaurant is small, but there are numerous tables and plenty of room. Ordering takes place at the counter where a menu hangs above. 

The food seems to take a similar approach to Taqueria Sinai. The taco al pastor consisted of chopped seasoned meat enveloped by two soft tortillas. It was topped with a ripe slice of avocado and came with lime and a reddish sauce. The difference-maker here is the avocado. Its clean, fatty flavor acted as a perfect foil for the spicy meat. The sauce tasted almost like a pureed pepper with a noticeable dose of heat. 

Although the chips and salsa were a serviceable combination here, there was definitely room for improvement. The chips lived up to the requisite warm and crunchy expectation, but the salsa did not fulfill its role. It was watery and surprisingly subdued in terms of flavor. There was a pleasant undercurrent of heat in each bite, but the flavor and acidity were nowhere to be found. 

Loads of meat and melted cheese are packed into Mercadito Hispano’s burritos. The result is almost overwhelmingly fatty. The juices from the meat even soaked through parts of the burrito, but it manages to stay together. Flavor-wise, this hits the mark, even if it is relatively one-note. A splash of lime and fiery red sauce add some zip to the mix. 

Horchata is a sweet Mexican drink infused with sugar and cinnamon. Mercadito Hispano’s horchata was served on ice. The lingering cinnamon aftertaste was especially pleasant and left one wanting more after each sip. Unfortunately, the drink quickly became a little too sweet. 

Like Taqueria Sinai, Mercadito Hispano serves modest, unambitious fare that is generally both tasty and filling. The low prices make it even more satisfying. 

After a short tour through Bowling Green’s Mexican restaurants, it is clear that a Mexican cuisine in the city assumes several different forms. Taqueria Sinai’s more traditional offerings emerged as the best out of the restaurants surveyed. They all offer a tasty, hearty meal that makes each a satisfying visit.