El Camino is a Central American Mashup in Mt. Lookout

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Photograph by Jeremy Kramer

In Spanish, El Camino means “the Street,” but in standard American vernacular, El Camino refers to a truckish vehicle produced by the fine folks at Chevrolet until 1977. Mt. Lookout’s El Camino (the restaurant) is a mashup, too. It’s Puerto Rican, Cuban, and Mexican, all rolled into a taco wrapper, best carried out. The big seller is the cubano sandwich. Braised pork shoulder, thin slices of country ham, a generous helping of Swiss, a touch of homemade Havana Gold mustard, and pickles tucked inside crusty bread. The sandwich is then pressed like a panini. It ain’t thick when it comes out, but it’s delectably filling. The PB&J tacos—not for kids!—pair ancho-braised pork belly with marinated jicama, jalapeños, and cilantro aioli. The menu is short, but full of temptation.

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Empanada with tostones

Photograph by Jeremy Kramer

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Cubano sandwich with tostones

Photograph by Jeremy Kramer

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Photograph by Jeremy Kramer

The Puerto Rican pink beans and rice, mac-and-cheese (do I detect a hint of MadTree in that?), tostones with garlic-mayo ketchup, and desserts like bread pudding and coconut flan will leave you struggling to make up your mind. Owner Brad Johnson excels at real food, served fast. Drop by on your way home and he’ll have your order ready in a few minutes. Maybe not as fast as an El Camino running ethyl gas, but pretty darn fast.

1004 Delta Ave., Mt. Lookout, (513) 376-8328, facebook.com/elcaminocincy. Lunch and dinner Tues–Sun.

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