I’ve spent the last year working my way through the menu at Caucho. Summer, winter, diets, a Tuesday, it does’t matter what the occasion for my visit, it doesn’t disappoint.
I was excited for Caucho to open before I even tasted their food. Andy & Carrie Schumacher, owners of Cobble Hill, another one of my Cedar Rapids’ favorites, have a passion and an eye for high-quality um, everything. They have a unique ability to make you feel like you are no longer in Cedar Rapids all while being surrounded by art from local artists, and food sourced from local farmers and resources.
When I visit Caucho, I usually kick off each visit the same way, “I’ll take a spicy margarita with smoked chili powder rim, and an order of chicharrones” or sub out “spicy margarita” for “Mexican Ashtray”. The always friendly, obliging waitress know the drill, I’ve made a reputation for myself. Now, I’ll warn you, the Mexican Ashtray is not for everyone. During a visit with three other friends, only two of us were Mexican Ashtray lovers, and the other two loathed the experience of even watching us drink them. Dump them in a “love ’em or hate ’em” puddle in the street, and I will laugh in the face of all of the people standing on the other side all while licking the lime and pepper mix off my fingers, and brushing the chili powder from my nose. I’m traditionally not a tequila person, but their drink menu and margaritas reignited a love for the spirit. These aren’t the only two drinks that are delicious either, keep diving into the menu and you’ll soon find a favorite.
Any of their antojitos (snacks) that you order will be great, I can assure you. While my favorite are the chicharrones, their in-house handmade tortilla chips are awesome. Breaking apart the crispy, small round tortilla give you the opportunity to take a piece a little too big and handing off a small corner to the unsuspecting dining mate. Oops, sorry.
At this point in the ordering, I usually jump ahead and get an order of arroz. This is the only chance you may do something wrong in your visit to Caucho. Missing out on the arroz during your visit is a serious misstep, and I honestly lose a little respect for people when they tell me that they didn’t get it. Statistics show that every time I’ve recommended it, and the person didn’t order it but tasted it when they arrived, they ordered one for them when the waitress walked by the next time. This happened 100% of the time.
Now for the main menu? Pozole Verde, Caucho Enchiladas, and chilaquiles- all top the list, just second to the arroz. And while they are known for their tacos and each one I’ve had has been great, I rarely get them. What?! There are too many other things I love on the menu I barely make it to that section! Lastly, those churros. Don’t leave without a cinnamon-sugary dip of those fried sticks into the complex chocolate sauce.
If you have mental space after being overloaded by the delicious food, sit back and take in the personal touches and artifacts all around you. You’ll find a graffiti mural, a hidden corner of sweet notes, and handmade everything all around you. And if it all doesn’t make you feel like you’re actually at home in Mexico, I’m not sure what will.
Wanna see a short video of the most recent trip? Check out my friends and I finishing our last meal there.