The Over The Rhine (OTR) area in Cincinnati has changed immensely. Just a few short years ago, the area was known has the “Most Dangerous Neighborhood in the US,” and cut to present day the OTR has undergone a major facelift. The OTR was historically a working class area, featuring beautiful and ornate architecture built by German immigrants, more than 100 years ago. Now the 360-acre neighborhood has apartments, restaurants and retail space. The OTR has easily become one of my favorite areas in the Queen City. After much research, I was ready to take on this bustling area. One of the most positively reviewed restaurants, according to the Internet, was Bakersfield Taco.
Located on Vine Street, Bakersfield Taco boasts “Mexican street fare and a selection of over 100 types of tequila and whiskey.” Needless to say, I was all in. We wondered in around 2 pm on a Tuesday afternoon hoping to miss most of the lunch crowd, but the place was jumping. The decor was simple, industrial and sleek.
Ponying up to the bar, the drink menu was impressive and featured an array of beer, craft cocktails, margaritas and wine. Naturally, we ordered drinks, he had the Bakersfield Sour and for myself, the Spicy Margarita.
Next up, food! The menu is a dream and we started by ordering chips and queso. The chips and queso was some of the best I’ve ever had. I hold a pretty high standard because of my love of Mexican food and this did not disappoint.
We moved on and ordered an assortment of tacos. As a rule, I like to try a little bit of everything on a menu, we had the Al Pastor, Pollo Rojo, Short Rib and Hongos tacos.
They were very delicious and bursting with flavor. Truly some of the best tacos I’ve ever had.
Overall, the food was top notch. The food and drinks were absolutely amazing, but honestly, we left on a very sour note. We sat at the bar with female customers on either side of us. Both ladies had their waters refilled constantly (without asking) and the woman next to me let’s call her “Anne” received a free beer and the two young ladies that sat next me received a free premium margaritas. Personally, them receiving the free drinks wasn’t an issue, but we couldn’t even get our FREE WATERS refilled.
Granted, we were the only couple sitting at the bar and collectively we had spent more than the young ladies and Anne combined (two margaritas, an appetizer and four tacos), but we were the only ones of color. I want to think that we were overlooked as our original bartender had disappeared, reappeared and disappeared again, but I’m not so sure. It was the sole reason we went to another spot in the area. Would I go again? Maybe…if there was a table available but I wouldn’t sit at the bar. As a foodie and writer, I tend to spend a majority of my budget on food and bad (or in this case no customer service) is a definite no-no in my book.