Although it’s a newer restaurant on the block in Kent, Ohio, Fresco Mexican Grill and Salsa Bar is making waves in a big way already. The Tex-mex cuisine it makes, tacos and salsas with a lot of flair, are definitely at home in the adventurous palettes of the Kent State University student crowd. And even though you might take a look at this assembly-line style restaurant and think it’s something you’ve tried before, you’ll be in for a surprise. “Fresco” of course means “Fresh” and there’s something to be said in that salsa.
Of course to get started you have to give a try to the salsas; there are half a dozen of them, and each has a very distinct personality. My takeaways:
- Salsa picante: The hottest of the bunch, this red confection is made from crushed habanero and it has a forward kick, and a warm finish. Make sure you really like the heat.
- Salsa asada: This dark brown salsa tastes much the part of coming from the marinade and drippings of beef. It’s not quite so, and in fact has some other things inside to make it interesting.
- Fire roasted corn salsa: A little less heat than the picante, but probably my favorite. It’s got a straightforward flavor of spices and almost a creaminess to it. Great!
- Pico de gallo: Chopped veggies and very fresh. There are assertive hints of onion and cilantro that really makes the salsa rock. Great if you want simple and fruity flavor.
The tacos I tried are fantastic. With a touch of barbacoa meat, onions, cilantro and salsa of your choice on a corn tortilla they knock it out of the park. The service is good; you spend a minimal amount of time interacting with the staff, owing to the aforementioned counter-type setup, but I still found the experience worthwhile
I’m picky about Tex-mex cuisine. Because in its original form, the food is meant to be all about the simple, fresh ingredients and too many places sacrifice that. Fresco in Kent, though, really knows how to make good things happen with those simple ingredients. I highly recommend paying a visit to this place, it’s just too good to pass up.
- The salsas are a dish in and of themselves, and I highly try you give three or four a try when you step in for the first time.
- The tacos are exceptional, and I’d recommend them if you’re stumped on what to get first.
- True to the form, almost anything in the menu can be made vegetarian.