I have been a proponent of local shopping for a few years now. It is not because I watched some documentary on how evil Walmart is, but more so because one day I will be that local business owner who wants customers to like my facebook page and retweet my specials. This particular post is about two of my favorite local establishments in Kent, Ohio.
First off, we start with the fantastic weather, and not being too hungover to get out of bed. That led me to walk to Taco Tantos on a Friday morning. On my way I got a little side tracked by Bent Tree Coffee, and boy am I glad I did. I know one of the owners from the Zephyr Pub just down the street, so I am familiar with their business. Their product is also sold in the market I work at on the KSU campus. The smell of fresh roasted coffee is one that I wish my own kitchen smelled like. I may have purchased a Yankee Candle with the smell, but the real thing is irreplaceable. As I was attempting to refresh myself and slay the little bit of a hangover I did have, I chose the iced Peru Norte. After adding a little bit of simple syrup, I was on my way out the door and couldn’t have been happier with my choice. The bold flavor was enough with out the sugar, but the sweetness brought out a bit of a nutty flavor that was not so overwhelming, but enough to recognize and be happy with. I definitely suggest getting there especially if you are just taking a leisurely stroll for tacos like I was.
So I trek on toward my motivator for the morning, Taco Tantos. Now this day was particularly important since Tantos was introducing their new pork taco….FOR FREE! If free tacos aren’t a reason to get out of bed then I don’t know what is. I ordered my pulled pig taco with lettuce some salsa, and no guac. I am really in the pits when it comes to avocados. Nevertheless my taste buds lead me in the right direction and I ordered two chicken tacos as well. Most of the time I am taco salad kind of person, but today was asking for a change of pace. And wow, that was the biggest chicken taco I have ever eaten. Two was more then enough plus a sample smaller pork taco. I walked down to the Cuyahoga river park area adjacent to downtown and enjoyed my lunch. The new pork taco is promising, but could use a little more of a kick in my opinion. Once it is on the menu full time I will order it again for sure. The fall apart texture of the meat was perfect and not chewy like some pulled pork that you get. The cooking was excellent and the hard shell accommodated it nicely.
Kudos to Tantos and Bent Tree, both some of Kent’s finest. I suggest both places, and couldn’t be more excited for Tantos to open their location in Lakewood for when I move home to Rocky River.