Review: Fuego Finds A Fan
By Ken DeLaat
It started with a whisper here and there combined with a couple of social media posts delivering lofty praise. Soon, rave reports began to arrive from folks who had somehow found their way to this little island of gastronomic glee nestled in...
... a cozy corner of downtown Grant.
But it was the photo that sold me.
N3 columnist Megan Wirts posted a picture of a tray of tempting tacos recently emerged from the kitchen of Chef Joaquin and, well, I was pretty hungry at the time and Lil was just getting back to N3 World Headquarters and Labrador Lounge and there were no plans for any organized dinner as yet so I tossed out the suggestion of heading to Grant and giving Fuego a try.
It proved to be a most judicious choice as well as an exceptional epicurean encounter.
The experience of Fuego begins when you walk into the petite dining room containing around a dozen tables. From the get-go the place seems to generate a bit of anticipation most likely due to the wonderful aromas emanating from the open kitchen area where one can watch Chef Joaquin spin his magic.
Our server Ethan greeted us warmly and we were guided to our table as he asked if we were first-time customers. We acknowledged our status as novices and he proved to be both knowledgeable and helpful in guiding us through the menu items that intrigued us.
We selected the Cuban Style Sopes to begin our culinary adventure opting for the portabella version rather than the pork chicken or beef alternatives.
The presentation proved to be pleasing and the portions were substantial for a small plate offering and the first bite brought the pleasure of utter enchantment to the taste buds. The mixed greens avocado and pico de gallo combination layered with a pleasing jalapeno puree’ and a crowning blend involving a garlic touch and fresh cilantro was outstanding and the half dozen delicacies were devoured by the two of us without a shred of shame.
Then came the tacos. New Age tacos, according to the menu which is a nice touch since calling these beauties tacos does not come close to doing them justice.
These are feasts for the eyes as they land in front of you in a nicely placed rack with an uber-appealing look to them. The trio of tasty treats was accompanied by a couple of miniature tubs of a light and tasty salsa with both of us opting for the roja instead of verde. While salsa can often dominate a dish when added, this concoction proved to be just the right touch of flavoring and served to merely enhance an already delectable item.
“Good idea?” I said to Lil as I plundered my plate attempting to leave not a single scrap of this heavenly feast.
“Great idea,” she said while continuing to enjoy the Hongos Y Rajas variety in front of her.
There are many things to like about Fuego. Sushi is among them and despite the ravings of several sushi eating acquaintances I have not yet ventured into its direction, however it is definitely on my to-do list in the very near future, given a personal propensity toward epicurean exploration.
And when I do it will be in the dining room of Fuego because plans to make frequent visits to this absolute gem of an eatery were pretty much solidified with our inaugural visit.
After all, there’s a lot of menu territory I want to cover here.
Fuego is located at 21 West Main in downtown Grant. Take-out is available
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