3051 Northwest Blvd.
Upper Arlington, OH 43221
this concept appeared in a few different Columbus neighborhoods a few years ago with an idea to add a little bit of a modern edge to your classic Tex-Mex joint. The menu has a couple of favorites with interesting takes, like tacos filled with Philly cheesesteak or chipotle mac & cheese in an attempt to really do something new. It’s for that reason I really like the place, a little bit refreshing and a little bit homey.
The menu is old fashioned Tex Mex with an interesting twist here and there. Everything comes with a set of Some of the things I like:
- Chips & Salsa: The salsa is the wonderfully fresh kinds heavy on cilantro. A good appetizer, though not free.
- Guacamole: Lots of avocado, lots of lime, that’s what this needs. Good to dip in just about anything. Mashed, but not too mashed for freshness. Eat it fast.
- Mahi Mahi Taco: A spicy jalapeno slaw offers the right kinda counterpoint to the mild fish, and then a cilantro lime crema kind of moderates the spicy of the jalapeno.
- Philly Cheese Taco: A mix of rib eye, grilled onions, peppers, mushrooms, and queso. What’s a cheesesteak like without the bread, and with a sharper cheese? Well it’s pretty good, actually.
- Chimichanga: Thick and super crunchy, stuffed with meat and grilled veggies.
- Yabo’s Queso Mac: Rotini mac smothered with queso and Cajun seasoning. Best with a little extra protein, I recommend the grilled chicken because the seasoning kicks it.
- Raspberry Margarita: The marg comes on the rocks but don’t let the size of a tall one fool you, this drink is very strong. The rim is salted but I recommend sugar instead, gives it a more mellow complement to the fruit.
The bar has kind of an easygoing vibe to it, happy hours often mean cheap drinks and it’s not unusual to see a pretty low key crowd hanging out during the week, the spot kind of benefits from being a sports bar-like feel with an extra added friendliness for both happy hour crowds and families so it’s pretty well rounded.
The concept is kind of a fun family family and a vibe that’s memorable. Yabo’s has set itself up in family-heavy neighborhoods for good reason and it’s been built with a business model to scale. I wouldn’t be surprised to see this one outside Columbus soon.
- There are table hot sauces that add a ton of extra to the tacos. I recommend the Lip Smackin’ Chipotle if you like the sweet and smoky. The Sissy Sauce isn’t too bad for mild heat, but the Serrano Lime is what’s the best.
- Happy hours offer very cheap beers and bottles, but early during the week. Go for it.
- The tacos are really amazing, go for two or three but make sure you get different ones.