After spending two weeks in South Africa, I was in need of some serious Mexican food yesterday, so at lunch time my friend Tim and I ran up he hill to Teocali to take advantage of Taco Tuesday. As I was eating lunch I decided I would write a little restaurant review of the place, since I eat there almost every week, and I love the food. Plus having done without Teocali for 14 days really made me appreciate why I go there so much.
Teocali is a small Mexican restaurant located by the UMKC Dental college just off Holmes at about 27th street. Enrique Gutierrez opened Teocali in the former Firehouse Bar and Grill space He replaced vintage fire hats with aged tequilas and chili dogs for fish tacos and pinto beans. It quietly sits on the West side of the street sandwiched between a law office and a concrete counter top designer. I love the place. No matter how busy they are, the staff is fast and courteous, the food come out quickly and it is never microwaved. One thing that drives me nuts about some Mexican restaurants is food that gets nuked to heat it up quickly. I know they do it to turn the tables and this means more money, but nuked food sucks.
Most of the recipes are traditional and crafted by the hand of Enrique’s mother who runs the kitchen. The Puerto Vallarta tacos, are absolutely amazing. They are probably the best fish tacos I have had in Kansas City hands down. Normally I go for the Tacos Mexicanos, which come in a variety of meat choices. I tend to go for the El Pastor which is a marinated pork that is just amazing. The marinade has just the right amount of spice and a subtle sweetness from the citrus that is used. These tacos are served like traditional street tacos from mexico with cilantro and onion. The chips and salsa are great. The chips are light and all of the hot sauces are made fresh. Be warned though, the hot sauce is made early in the week and by Wednesday it tends to be hotter since the chili peppers have been percolating for a couple of days. I have tried pretty much everything on the menu at this point and I have to say I have yet to have a meal I can say anything negative about. At times the guacamole can be a bit underwhelming but it is an experience that is few and far between. If you go I highly recommend the Taco’s, the Tamales, Carne de Puerco con Chile, and definitely the Fish Tacos. Really anything on the menu is a hit and you can’t go wrong.
Prices range from around 7.99 to 10.99 depending on what you order. The portions are large and the prices are right. They have daily lunch specials and they have a happy hour that runs from 4 to 6:30 Monday through Friday. If you go at lunch time, do not be surprised if you have to wait for a table. There is usually a line but it tends to move rather quickly and it is easy to get in.
2512 Holmes St.
Kansas City, MO 64108
Mon. – Sat: 10:30am to 10pm
Just East of Hallmark in Crown Center and North of Truman Medical Center