Enchiladas Supreme from Tacos Y Tequila in Cape Elizabeth. Photo by Aimsel Ponti

As a Cape Elizabeth resident, I get extra excited when a new restaurant opens in town, because it’s a rare occasion. I felt this excitement a few years back when Bird Dog opened on Route 77 near the turn for Two Lights State Park.

I ate there a number of times during the handful of years it was open and was disappointed when it closed last year. But I knew it would only be a matter of time before someone else moved in; the location is prime, and the building is still in near-new condition.

That day came last month when Tacos Y Tequila opened. Mexican is among my favorite cuisines, so this was extra good news. Just the same, I decided to wait a few weeks before ordering to give them a little time to find their footing. Tacos Y Tequila is owned by Ramiro Bravo, who also owns two other restaurants with the same name in Pennsylvania.

A few days before New Year’s Eve, my spouse and I decided to give the joint a try. It was a Sunday night, and neither of us had any interest in cooking, plus I wanted to get in my Mexican feast while it was still 2020 and before the start of my annual commitment to eat better. To be clear, there are plenty of healthy options when it comes to Mexican cuisine, I just don’t gravitate toward those. Don’t talk to me about salads; talk to me about mountains of cheese and rivers of sour cream.

I made that dairy dream a reality by ordering the enchiladas supreme ($13.75) which was four enchiladas: one chicken, one beef, one cheese and one beans all topped with romaine, pico and sour cream. (Hey, there’s romaine in there, so can’t we call that a side salad?) Tracy ordered the Baja fish tacos ($16.25).

Baja fish tacos from Tacos Y Tequila. Photo by Aimsel Ponti

I’m still not ready for dining in, so takeout was the way to go, and the order was brought out to my car, where I made my payment as well. Easy as tarta (that’s pie in Spanish).

Our order came with a bag of tortilla chips and side of salsa, and I festooned my plate with both things before we sat down with TV trays in the living room, where a roaring fire and season four of “The Crown” served as our dinner backdrop.

Now about those enchiladas. Two words: Absolutely delicious! I tore into it all with a fork and knife and created a shepherd’s pie-like situation on my plate. Each bite was a mini buffet of flavor and textures with the added crunch and flavor from the chips and salsa. Sides of rice and refried beans were also at the party on my plate, and they too were thoroughly enjoyed. I’m never going to be the kind of thoughtful eater who can discern specific flavor notes or spices, because I tend to eat too fast and my palate is more child-like than seasoned foodie, but I will say that every bite was satisfying, and I’d order this dish again for sure.

Tracy, on the other hand, has cooked in restaurants and is a tour de force in our kitchen. The Baja fish tacos were different from the other fish tacos on the menu because the fish was battered and fried instead of grilled. Her order had three good-sized tacos with cabbage slaw and a honey-chipotle sauce. Her initial wariness about the honey was quickly dispelled and made for a great combo with the smoky chipotle. Tracy also appreciated the fresh lime wedges, which she spritzed over the fish, and she gave a positive nod to the cilantro rice, noting that it was plain but perfect because the sauce was bold and plenty flavorful. Tracy also order the pozole, a soup made with hominy, chicken and beans, topped with a cabbage garnish. Overall, Tracy found it to be too salty and not spicy enough, and suggested the restaurant include a side cup of hot sauce for those who miss the kick of chile in their pozole.

We both plan on hitting Tacos Y Tequilas again because there’s a world of tacos to try, including pibil (slow roasted pork), barbacoa (shredded beef), camaron (shrimp) and veggie (mushrooms, onions, peppers, squash and zucchini). The lunchtime menu features build-your-own bowls for $11.50, and there’s an impressive list of proteins, toppings and salsas to choose from.

Tacos Y Tequila also has Sunday Brunch, and the huevos divorciados (tostados, huevos fritos, refried beans, salsa roja, salsa verde and cheese) is calling my name. Welcome to Cape, Tacos Y Tequila.

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