While many American restaurants rely on tried-and-true pseudo-ethnic food to appease American appetites, Mexica restaurant bucks this trend. Unlike many of its competitors, Mexica serves authentic Mexican dishes. Americanized Hispanic food, usually called Tex-mex, relies heavily on the use of cheeses and meats in lieu of more traditional ingredients and spices Americans may find unpalatable. This place, on the other hand, brings to the table Mexican seasoned-tacos and items like spoapilla alongside safer dishes like burritos and chimichangas. The hybrid menu brings the best of both worlds; giving you the opportunity to try new things in a relatively safe environment.
This place is a lunch counter exclusively, and so it’s only open from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. That said, there are great deals here to lure you back. From 99 cent tacos to a special discount on certain dishes each day, it’s very easy to get a good meal for cheap. We’re not talking about a knockoff of a chain, either. While there are plenty of tex-mex options like the taco salad or the big burrito, there are plenty of new things to try.
The crunchy and soft tacos are great (and pretty standard) but the traditional taco comes with different herbs and vegetables, downplaying the greasy, cheese heavy American version. It’s outstanding. The crunchy Sopapilla offers a dish I don’t think I’ve really seen done well (if attempted at all) anywhere else. Even if you don’t want these things, the burritos and taco bowls will be outstanding. The ingredients here are just outstanding. They taste fresher and more well seasoned. While the meat is sometimes a little chewy (I like mine more well done than they cook it) I have to say it’s hard to fight the fact that the ingredients are just tastier here. It’s very comfortable for a bite.
The service is decent. Not the most gregarious people, but the restaurant’s walk-up desk minimizes the contact between you and the employees, so this is the kind of place you can eat and be left alone. The atmosphere is comfortable, clean and very pleasant. While there aren’t a lot of distractions (there’s no TV, probably owing to the eat-and-run nature of the clientele) it is an overall pleasant experience to come here for lunch. While I wish it had better hours, I can understand the desire to keep the business afloat by limiting its hours to the most profitable time of the day. Mexica is fast, convenient, and very tasty. I definitely suggest coming here first for Mexican food in downtown Columbus.
- Hours are pretty slim, the place is only open from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. on weekdays. Make sure you anticipate the limited hours.
- The ethnic dishes are outstanding, and this is a very safe place to try some new Mexican cuisine you might not be familiar with.
- Daily deals make this place potentially cheaper than many of the other tex-mex eateries in the area.