La Venadita

Urban design meets historic charm at gourmet taqueria

La Venadita, in the burgeoning Triangle District, welcomes families and hipsters alike with its artisan take on the traditional Mexican taqueria. Housed in a corner building that sat neglected for years, the reincarnation is open and airy, the exposed beams and original brick balanced with oversize windows, bright pink walls and Mexican artwork. A cheerful outdoor patio is dotted with vivid red chairs and tables covered in colorful floral oilcloth.

Photo courtesy La Venadita

Photo courtesy La Venadita

The menu features south-of-the-border favorites such as enchiladas and burritos, but the draw here are the tacos. The carne asada taco was impressive in its simplicity, the flavorful meat offset with the tang of citrus and the punch of red onions. The shrimp taco was equally indulgent, the briny, buttery shrimp cut with the bite of fried jalapeños. By far the hit was the popular vampiro --- chile-infused pork encased in fried cheese. The bar offers a bevy of craft cocktails, including the "a la Juanito" with chile vodka, lemon and bitters, and the "Maria Felix" with Aperol, bourbon and grapefruit bitters. Sunday brunch features dishes such as carnitas hash, menudo and chilaquiles.

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