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Do you like tacos? Odds are most Cincy residents have no idea what a real taco even is.

What’s a taco? If someone asked you that question how would you respond? Do you think of big crispy corn hard shell tortillas stuffed with minced meat, lettuce, tomato, cheese, sour cream and hot sauce? If so... your a gringo (and that ain’t a good thing padre).
Our south of the border friends invented the taco so I think they know what a real taco is all about.
An authentic taco consists of two steam grilled corn tortillas, seasoned meat (usually fish), fresh salsa and lots of cilantro (purists serve it with radishes and limes). That’s it.
You may think the American tacos sound better due to the addition of so many extra toppings however, the original taco in it’s purest form far surpasses anything born on this side of the border. Believe me, try one and you’ll see what I mean. When I say original I mean original too. These things date back forever.

Residents of the coastal areas of Mexico have been eating fish tacos for lifetimes. The history of fish tacos goes back thousands of years to when indigenous Aztec people first wrapped their fresh saltwater catch into stone-ground-corn tortillas.
Southern California residents have been hooked on fish tacos since the 80’s. In fact, fish tacos are the fast-food signature dish of San Diego, they’re cheap to buy and fast to make. Fish tacos were popularized in the United States by Ralph Rubio who first tasted them in Baja Mexico. According to the story he tells, there was one Baja vendor he especially liked, Carlos. Carlos ran a homemade taco stand with a 9 foot counter and three stools. Carlos fried fish to order and put it on a warm tortilla, customers added their own condiments.

.Rubio tried talking Carlos into moving to San Diego but Carlos knew what a great thing he had and he refused. He did agree however, to share his recipe. Rubio carefully scribbled it down on an old business card he pulled from his wallet. A short time later Rubio opened his first restaurant in San Diego. “Rubio’s Home of the Fish Taco” was born. Today fish tacos are legendary and are sold in the millions throughout San Diego and the Southwest.
The good news is you don’t have to fly to smoggy San Diego to enjoy one. Our very own Tostado’s Grill proudly serves authentic fish, beef or chicken tacos (that rival any west coast recipe) daily, right here on the Eastside.
Hugo Tostado (Tostado’s Grill owner) was born and raised in Guadalajara Mexico. He was barely thirteen when he started his first business venture in the Mexican culinary arts. Hugo started out making Mexican food. In a short time Hugo’s business was so busy he had to take his high school classes at night. By day his hands were furiously busy making hundreds of dishes his customers demanded. Not bad for a 13 year old huh! Hugo finished high school and even went on to college but his roots were firmly planted in the art of feeding people great Mexican cuisine.
He went on to pursue his love of the flavors he grew up with and eventually planted a new tree here on the Eastside, Tostado’s Grill. Like most Mexican restaurants Hugo serves the traditional American tacos we have all come to know and love. He also serves the authentic version for the discerning tastes that crave this little pocket of peppery perfection. These are the real deal tacos people.
You can order tacos singly or with the unbelievable rice and beans that come with the meal. These two additions to the tacos make for an awesome lunch or dinner. Slow simmered pintos with authentic spices make this bean dish a must try. The rice... well it’s the best we’ve ever had. Hugo claims it’s made just as his grandma made it.
Lest not forget the churros. Hugo has been making them for decades and his are primo. What’s a churro you ask? Just think slender, fluted donuts fried crisp with cinnamon and sugar, served up hot and fresh. Sop up a little chocolate off the plate and you won’t want to share a single morsel.
Hugo has many authentic dishes he doesn’t even put on the menu. Fortunately you can get them on request. Hugo caters to many people who know what the authentic dishes are and also know just where to get them. In fact the customers who most often request the authentic dishes are none other then Reds players... Spanish Reds players. They all call on Hugo for a little taste of home. Now who else can say that? You don’t have to make the millions the Reds players make to afford to dine on your very own plate of authentic homemade Mexican either, just go see Hugo... he’ll feed you right.

Cincy Vibe Review 2

EV has been highlighting many of the best places on the Eastside to get a great deal on lunch (without breaking down and settling for a Mc something or another). We’ve seen some good grub at great prices but this trip takes the cake.
Tostado’s in East End has a lunch deal you have to see to believe. Monday thru Friday Tostado’s offers a special priced ($6.95) lunch menu that features seven selections. You can choose from a chimichanga (pictured top right) a Reuben sandwich (pictured bottom left) a chicken sandwich, a fish sandwich, chef or taco salads and a burrito. Sandwiches come with fries or chips, soup or salad and a drink. Talk about a combo meal!
My companion thought a Reuben would be a change of pace and ordered it with the homemade chips instead of fries (as per the owners recommendation). He was right, the chips were fresh cut flash fried potato slices and they went great with the spicy mayo we asked to try. The Reuben came complete on grilled rye bread with tender corned beef, sauerkraut and thousand lsland dressing. I also really dug the homemade chicken noodle soup it came with. We gave the Reuben a big thumbs up for the quality as well as the price.
A full menu featuring Mexican, Italian and German is available.
Maybe I’m a sucker for chimi’s and maybe I just love the idea of all that goodness rolled up, fried crisp and smothered in cheese... I really don’t know. What I do know is that
whenever I see a chimi I eat it. I love em’ and with this chimi there was oh so much to love about it. For starters the portion is perfect for those of us who actually have an appetite worthy of taking the “chimi challenge”. I mean this thing is about a pound and a half (or two) of lively lip smack’n’ lunch grub. No matter whether you fill it with chicken, steak or beef it’s still coming out one fat chimi. It’s served flanked on both sides with homemade rice and beans, topped off with sour cream and chives. Your gonna love the chimi that’s for sure. Your gonna want to save half for later... but don’t. Eat it all and savor the wonderful warm feeling you get when you finish a good meal and feel it was well worth the cost. Cost? Like I said $6.95. I know you would rather just pull up to the window and grab a bag of semi-warm classic bbq bacon cheddar triple beef with everything concoction. I realize a “dollar” menu attracts the cheap feeders like blue hairs to a bingo bash. When you have the urge to eat the fried blood and beaks the fast food chains serve up just picture the bloody mixed up meat mush in a huge vat being stirred, squished out and stamped into a flash frozen “all beef” patty. Then picture the teenager who smacks a stack in the machine, slaps the meat on the bun (pre-grill marked side up), squirts it down with the goop they call condiments and sticks it in the warmer window. They usually make as many as they can and rely on some computer generated daily statistic spreadsheet to gauge just how many they’ll need in the next few hours. Crazy talk! I want my food cooked for my order. I want beef that could be sold by a butcher. I want chicken that at least looks like chicken. On second thought I want chicken that is chicken. The only thing “all beef patty” means is that there is no turkey, pork, or whatever meat other than beef. It has no reference to additives, fillers, chemicals, MSG, or whatever else they can come up with. However, any part of a cow is fair game. This ain’t eat’n folks... never has been... never will be.
You can find a decent deal at many local restaurants, if you can’t your either not looking hard enough or not reading EV. Now that you’ve read this article if you happen to be near East End for lunch you have no excuses. Tostado’s is serving it fresh and delicious and still keeping it as cheap as the foul fast food filth. They may not have a “dollar” menu but then again neither does any good restaurant in Cincy. If your lunch destination has a drive-thru... drive on by. Your colon will thank you.
Tostado’s also has a full bar, and karaoke at your disposal. Here’s a fun lunch idea. Take your boss out, drink some mezcal Margarita’s (I recommend at least 2), eat a chimi and sing “Take this job and shove it” on the mic. Bet you can’t have that much fun with a plastic play land and a happy meal!

Cincy Vibe Review 3

Have you ever been faced with the dilemma of she wants Mexican but I want Italian? Do you often miss out on your favorite enchilada dish because no one else ever wants Mexican? Tostado’s International Grill has your answer.
Tostados menu speaks many languages; Italian, Mexican, German and American. Unlike Chinese buffets that throw some Kraft Mac & Cheese in just to be “diverse” Tostados actually makes it all fresh and from scratch. In the effort to be “diverse” my companion chose a Mexican dish, enchiladas $8.99 and I chose Italian lasagna $11.99 Three enchiladas (beef, chicken and cheese) smothered in rich hot and spicy(emphasis on spicy) sauce, served with fresh slow cooked Pinto beans, guacamole, sour cream, and rice. It took 2 dinner plates to serve it in. Mucho delicioso!I stole rice and beans repeatedly while my lasagna cooled. As soon as I could handle the heat I realized this was primo Italian. Sausage and cheese layered between the pasta thoroughly soaked in an excellent homemade sauce. Excellent! I used my breadsticks to wipe my plate clean. I then ate my salad Italian style (after the entree) fresh lettuce, tomato, onion, cheeses and lots of bacon lightly tossed in balsamic vinegarette. Grande finish. I was wondering about the German selections as I waited for the bill. It’s all fresh, it’s all real and it’s all good. After dinner stick around for the “Killer Karaoke” and the cool cocktails.