By Robert Bradley
There is bad news and good news on Cuenca’s San Sebastian Plaza. Fortunately, the bad news is brief and the good news goes long into the night.
Casa Azul Galeria Cafe has closed. I understand the closure will be brief, the vibe will be much the same when it reopens, and that the new owners are experienced in food service in Cuenca. We wish them well and welcome them to a neighborhood with a reputation for fine food and a well-seasoned restaurateurs.
Anchored by the San Seabas Cafe, one of a small handful of “go to” breakfast places for gringos on one end, and Jodoco Brew Pub, an establishment of significant drinking renown on the other, the square also attracts a variety of wheelbarrow vendors offering fresh fruit so ripe it will melt right before your eyes. These all join the great variety of foods on the east side of the plaza.
A traditional bakery competes with King’s Smokehouse for aroma sweeping the street, while Pho, French pastries, sandwiches and hot dogs bark for attention, all great additions to the neighborhood.
What was once a very quiet barrio, is becoming a little more lively and for a little bit later in the night. A tienda near the end of the block recently removed the cage separating shoptenders from customers they serve and have expanded their hours.
However, the best news is this. The boys at King’s Smokehouse opened a little taco joint a few doors down the street. Managed by Jules Toribio, the place fits the spot so perfectly that Felix and Co. decided that would be the name: The Little Taco Joint. The second perfect thing they did was sign on to use Robert Gray’s Gran Roca Farm produce. Mexican street food is defined by freshness, and we are all rewarded by Jules commitment to using only the finest organic greens. You can taste the difference in every bite.
I can’t comment on how absolutely mind-blowingly, and fantastically delicious the tacos and burritos are because I am not the food critic — Monsieur begins with that in few days on this site — but, I can say this: If I ever run away from home, look for me at The Little Taco Joint. They are just like mamma used to make.
The Little Taco Joint — Talbot y San Sebastian Plaza — Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner. Open seven days a week – 8: a.m. – 9: p.m. or later cash only — carry out encouraged (picnic on the plaza) — animal-friendly.