Around these parts, it seems a Mexican restaurant opens up every week. And our Gringo expectations are pretty stereotypical: a mariachi MP3 playing, a dirt-wall color scheme, margaritas as big as your head, and food served on plates that are “muy hot senõr.” There’s nothing wrong with this. Just don’t kid yourself that it’s authentic. At Dinastia Latina the menu currently has items like fajitas, which are actually an American dish. But you can also get a cow’s tongue taco. (Sometimes authentic ain’t pretty.) At this friendly little hole-in-the-wall you’ll also find torta sandwiches with chorizo, mayo, and avocados. Or ribs in green sauce. Or fish in tomato sauce. Or chipotle shrimp. (Yeah, they fix beef, chicken, and pork a variety of ways too, but they just don’t stand out on the menu like cow part delicacies in a corn tortilla.) Even the cheese is not saucy or shredded. I had a tostada and it was topped with this wonderful mild, crumbled stuff. What I really liked was the friendliness of a staff eager to have you back. If you don’t see something on the menu, ask. Provided they’re not swamped, the cook will be happy to fix up something special that meets dietary needs or your current hankering. I was on the tail end of lunch here recently and when the waitress realized I was a persnickety eater, she smiled and said “You in a hurry?” I told her no and she had the cook get a little creative. You can always expect to get what you weren’t quite expecting here. And I dare say it always seems to be a pleasant surprise.
11277 Reading Rd., Sharonville
Lunch and dinner seven days
Photograph by Joe Budd
Originally published in the November 2011 issue.