Ocho Locos: Local Mexican restaurant and cantina offers hearty servings
Local Mexican restaurant and cantina offers hearty servings.
By Andrew Leach
Photos by Andrew Leach
It’s nice that even in a smaller community such as Anthem that there’s quite a bit of variety when it comes to places to eat, although Mexican food seems to dominate the dining scene. Recently, we put this to the test by visiting Ocho Locos.
There’s a festive atmosphere at Ocho Locos. Although not quite authentically Mexican in nature, it’s lively and fun and has plenty of indoor and outdoor seating. The restaurant also features a sizable bar section.
Upon being seated, you’re offered a large bowl of tortilla chips and a cup of salsa. The salsa has a nice flavor and isn’t too spicy. Bonus: the salsa wasn’t overloaded with cilantro, which I’ve noticed seems to be a trend at Mexican restaurants lately.
Our table started with the guacamole dip ($8.50) to have another option besides the salsa to enjoy with the warm chips. Ocho Locos’ guacamole is a nice blend of Mexican spices and flavors with fresh avocado. It’s topped with cheese, tomatoes, scallions, and black olives. It’s a different spin on guacamole, while still delivering the avocado punch that it needs.
We also ordered the spinach con queso dip ($8.95), while we continued to decide on the entrée options. The dip is a mix of special pepper jack cheese sauce that’s mixed with spinach. It’s served with warm puffed tortilla chips for dipping. The puffed chips may remind some of a chicharron in texture, but without the pork flavoring. A word of caution: don’t let the queso sit too long or it’ll start to firm up as it cools.
The first entrée selected was the combination plate number one ($12.25). A large combo plate that comes with a cheese enchilada, green corn tamale, and a beef taco, there’s enough food for two. The plate also comes with a large helping of rice and your choice of black or refried beans. The taco has a crisp shell, and a good amount of toppings. There’s plenty of enchilada sauce, and the corn tamale has a nice sweet flavor to it.
The second combination plate was the number two ($12.25). This plate features two red or green cheese enchiladas. You can add on beef or chicken for an additional charge ($2). We decided on the green enchilada sauce and added chicken. As a combo plate, it also comes with rice and beans. We opted for the refried beans this time. They come served with melted cheese on top. This dish is also very filling but seemed far more manageable than combo number one. The enchilada sauce helped round out the dish and even added some extra flavor to the rice and beans.
The final entrée we ordered on this visit was the Yucatan ($14.75). This dish is a monster. When it’s put down on the table, you’ll be wishing you hadn’t eaten so many tortilla chips prior. A deep-fried beef burrito (you can opt for chicken instead) that’s covered in Ocho Locos’ signature spinach con queso dip, it’s also served with rice and beans, but they struggle for space on the plate. It also comes with a side of either sour cream or cream cheese, in case you dare add any more ingredients to the plate. I tip my cap to anyone who can get more than halfway through this dish.
Ocho Locos also bills themselves as having Anthem’s best happy hour, offered everyday between 3 p.m. and 6 p.m. Enjoy $3 off all appetizers, $2 Coors Light and PBR draft beers, and $1 off bottles and other draft beer, along with $4 wine by the glass. Be prepared and head to Ocho Locos thirsty and with an empty stomach.
3655 W. Anthem Way, Anthem
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