Dining review: La Santa’s freshness, scratch cooking updates classic Tex-Mex and Mexican dishes

La Santa opened on Raleigh’s Glenwood Avenue in May. It serves an eclectic mix of Mexican and Tex-Mex fare with an emphasis on scratch cooking and updated presentations. By Greg Cox Originally published 10/19/2017 RALEIGH La Santa, open since late May in the former Tobacco Road Sports Cafe, is owned by a group of partners…

Esmeralda Grill

Esmeralda Grill on East Chatham Street in Cary serves many of the items found on its food truck, such as tacos and burritos, plus other street food-inspired dishes. By Greg Cox Review originally published 2/9/2017 CARY  Late last summer, a sign appeared above the entrance to the strip mall storefront that had over the years…

Food truck: Qspresso

If you’ve seen ‘Chef,’ you’ll want to try Qspresso By Greg Cox Originally published 1/19/17 It’s just a guess, but I’d say most foodies in America have probably seen “Chef,” the Jon Favreau movie about a chef who started a food truck. Among people who work in the food industry, the percentage may well top…

Virgil’s Original Taqueria

A creative approach at Virgil’s Original Taqueria By Greg Cox Review originally published 12/29/2016 Just inside the door, a – well, let’s call it a tapestry – of square artificial turf tiles spans the wall on the right. On the opposite wall, outlined in white on chalkboard-black, is the restaurant’s logo: a running chicken framed…

8 best Triangle “meals in a bowl”

In search of noodle soups and meal-in-a-bowl adventures     Captain Poncho’s Tacos 706 Market St., Chapel Hill 919-697-2237 captainponchos.com Rib-sticking rendition of posole, a spicy Mexican pork and hominy soup.   El Chapin 4600-38 Durham-Chapel Hill Blvd., Durham 919-908-7975 el-chapin.com Caldo de res, a hearty Guatemalan beef soup chockablock with fresh vegetables.   El…

Tonali

Second visit to a local Mexican food standout By Greg Cox Review originally published 7/14/2016 From time to time, I pay return visits to restaurants I haven’t reviewed in a while. This time around, I drop in on a Mexican favorite to see how it’s holding up after a decade. Note: In December 2007, ratings changed…

Food truck review: The 13th Taco

13th Taco is a lucky find for taqueria enthusiasts By Greg Cox Review originally published 6/16/2016 The 13th Taco served its first customer just last month on a Friday the 13th, but David Peraza-Arce insists that’s just a coincidence. Peraza-Arce, who describes himself as “chef/creator/investor” (the “chef” part boasting a resume that includes Mez, Jibarra…