12 W. William St.
Delaware, OH 43015
Delaware, Ohio has been defined by its small town feel for decades, but the times are changing in the fastest growing city in the Midwest. Now Columbus is growing outward, and this small college town in Delaware County has become something of a getaway for the city-dwellers. The bars here are more and more popular with the surging suburbs growing along the I-270 loop to the north, and with that growth, naturally, comes lots of great new food options. 12 West is one of them; this little storefront is the best upscale Mexican cuisine in the little strip of downtown.
The menu is short and sweet, mostly focused on combining staple Mexican dishes with fresh modern ideas.
- Chips and salsa: Not complementary, but still a snack worth munching on. The tortillas are extra thick and dusted with wonderful large-grain salt.
- Shrimp tacos: Served “street style” with red cabbage, cilantro, red onion and a queso sauce. Huge and thick, but the shrimp is crunchy and a little mild.
- Salmon tacos: The toppings are the same but the grilled salmon presents an entirely different texture. It’s mild, so it needs a little more flavor and texture, and it delivers for sure.
- Enchiladas: A pan of mouth-watering deliciousness, these are best with steak, cooked medium rare. Diced tomato, verde sauce, jalapeños, beans, rice and of course queso. A simple delight.
- Margarita: A thinner version of a margarita relative to what other options are out there, but no less strong.
The restaurant is relatively small, but thanks to the small-town feel, you’ll definitely be able to find a seat in a relatively short period of time. Of course there’s a big prominent bar and that makes for a good spot to grab a quick drink. It’s worth noting this restaurant comes from the same mind – David DiStefano – as next-door’s newer addition, the Smokhed Ohio bar. So the burger and some of the other menu items were undoubtedly adapted to that place.
Delaware is a changing place and it’s nice to see a cozy bar pop in that brings something refreshing and different to the city’s core. The place is a nice take on a cuisine that you’d otherwise be hard-pressed to find. So I would say, despite the small size, it’s deserving of the attention it gets. Very cool.
- The chips and salsa are worth a few bucks, they’re a nice addition to munch while you wait for the food.
- There’s some outdoor dining but it’s ultra small! Probably don’t worry too much about trying for the patio space.
- Lunch has some really great specials that are worth it.