Fresh eatery in New Albany: El Rico Taco is now open in Destinations Booksellers.

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I’d already eaten the starter soup. 

El Rico Taco is open for business at 604 East Spring Street, taking over the cafe space in the rear where Taco Steve formerly operated.

But pay heed: El Rico Taco is a different cut of cloth.

It’s a mom ‘n’ son eatery — Xochitl “Sochi” Tonis and her son Moises Tonis — dedicated to homemade fresh Mexican food, and my lunch there yesterday was a reasonable portion and quite good at $8.99. The price includes a homemade “ade” of the day; on Monday it was freshly squeezed “lime water” with a touch of sugar, simple and quenching.

That Monday lunch special is pictured above: mildly spicy meatballs in chipotle sauce accompanied by a cup of soup (tomato-based noddles, potatoes and carrots), refried beans, rice and tortillas.

I was encouraged to dice my banana and mix it with the rice, and this struck me as both sensible and tasty. Two condiments were available: a mid-range spicy green salsa and a light avocado salsa, both fresh and tasty.

Tacos, burros and tortas are on the menu every day, with the lunch special rotating on a daily basis.

Sochi and Moses told me that for breakfast they’ll be doing a signature burro and torta, but you can also ask for bacon and two eggs if that’s your wish.

They were cooking enchiladas yesterday and offered me one. It was delicious, with the green salsa and queso fresco (cheese) standing out. I’ve also heard the tamales are authentic and addictive. Ask them for vegetarian versions of these dishes, and know the entire menu is available for carry-out.

Current hours are 7:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m., Monday through Friday, and 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. on Saturday (closed Sunday), although Moses cautioned that the hours might change. He’s gradually getting the El Rico Taco page at Facebook up to speed, so that’s the best source.

For now it’s just the two of them, and they’ve only just started. If you’re wondering about the sort of food you’d be served if a Mexican family just nailed a shingle to the door of their home and invited paying guests inside, this is it, albeit with lots of books and an ambiance that will evolve over time.

I liked what I’ve tasted so far, so please give them a shot.

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