I love when our Foodie Friday restaurant owners become more than just business acquaintances - they become friends. And every time I walk into Taco Ocho here in Flower Mound and see Owner, Mani Bhushan, I feel like I'm getting to see a good friend. He always checks in on me about my working out and eating healthier (because he saw my very public commitments on Facebook). And he always feeds me super well.
Taco Ocho opened here in Flower Mound about 2 1/2 years ago, their third DFW location, but this one truly felt like home considering Mani and his wife, Gloria, have been residents of Flower Mound since 1997.
Mani first got the idea of opening his own restaurant after working in the corporate world for many years and deciding he wanted to start working somewhere that he could really give back to people. And what better way to give back than through food, right? Taking inspiration from his wife's heritage, Mani sought out recipes and cooking styles from eight Latin American countries (hence the name Taco Ocho).
His menu includes dishes inspired by Peru, Ecuador, Costa Rica, Cuba, Puerto Rico, Venezuela, The Dominican Republic and Mexico. And by blending the distinctive flavors from all of these countries, he successfully created the Taco Ocho style of Latin cuisine.
I love their chips and queso, but it's incredibly addicting, so beware!
If you want something a little on the healthier side, I also love their Mango & Kale Salad. And I'm not even a fan of kale! But the dressing, the sweetness of the kale and the nuttiness of the pepitas is the perfect combination. And it's even better if you top it with their Ancho Shrimp.
For those who love the classic Tex-Mex dishes, their quesadillas and nachos are also excellent choices. And from their taco menu, my personal favorite is the Latin Love with shredded beef, refried black beans, salsa verde, fried plantains, and cotija cheese.
The thing that surprises me the most every time I come to Taco Ocho is how much I love their Tortas! If you've never had a torta before, it's basically a Latin American version of a sandwich. Taco Ocho serves theirs on fresh bolillo bread which is so hearty and soaks up all the delicious juices from the meats. My favorite torta on their menu is the Tripleta, mostly because it comes with three different meats - braised beef, pulled pork and shredded chicken with a chipotle aioli and sliced avocado.
Taco Ocho also has a fantastic breakfast menu where they offer a variety of breakfast tacos as well as a few other breakfast items. And on Saturday and Sundays you can take advantage of their brunch menu until 3:00 pm. Mani told us their most popular brunch item is the Ocho Stack made with crispy corn tortillas, black beans, asadero cheese, and carnitas and is topped with an egg and avocado crema. YUM! They also offer $3.00 mimosas during brunch as well.
I am so happy Mani decided to open a location here in his own backyard a couple of years ago. I absolutely love seeing him. And I know many others in our community do too. If you haven't been to Taco Ocho yet and had the pleasure of meeting Mani, I think Spring Break next week is the perfect opportunity to do so!
*Taco Ocho is located at 3750 Long Prairie Rd #100, Flower Mound TX 75028. Click here to view their full menu and to order online!
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