Lunch stop touts fresh Costal Mexico flavors
It's the GLOB Master's opinion that you can never have too many Mexican restaurants, cafes, or taco stands. So I was a very happy boy to find out there is another salsa, green peppers, tomatillas, crunchy corn tortilla shop on Archer Rd.
So that makes five Mexican restaurants in what I call the Archer Rd. triangle. Knowing there are 21 Mexican Cafés in the Urban GLOB puts a smile on my face.
To paraphrase an old saying, "The worst Mexican lunch I have ever had was still pretty good." And I will be happy saying, "CARUMBA gringo," with a smile to meet you any time you like even if it were at the local Taco Bell.
Applying the trendy fast casual approach to lunch, Costa Vida provides a friendly, fast, and fun survey of all the spicy-tasting Mexican ingredient options before they become your noon-time meal.
"food is made fresh in each restaurant's kitchen. Each tortilla is hand crafted daily and served hot, ensuring that no customer will ever have to eat a factory-made tortilla pulled from a bag. The sweet pork and shredded beef are perfectly seasoned and slow-cooked for several hours."
Hmmm, interesting they didn't say whether the tortillas were corn or flour. I will check on that.
I hope you know the fast casual lunch line drill by now and Costa Vida has all the Mexican staples available: burritos, tacos, nachos, quesadillas, enchiladas, and salads. Appetizers, desserts, and Horchata soft drinks are available.
The dining area is clean and spacious with tables, booths, and a lunch counter. An 'in-house' feature attraction is a very cool, Disney World-like, framed, moving water display that will easily take a lunch outer into another virtual world.
Costa Vida has six specialty entrees: Fajita Burritos, Enchiladas & Nachos, Mango Chicken Salad, Sweet Shrimp Salad, Sweet Shrimp Tacos & Mahi Mahi Tacos (at select locations). You will also a find different daily special available at different Costa Vida locations, speaking of which, Costa Vida has secured another space in the new building going up on University Avenue and 13th St.
Having a new attitude about eating, I must admit checking out the Costa Vida Healthy Living page of the Costa Vida website was one of my first tasks and I was pleased to find more nutritional information than I could throw a Horchata soda bottle at.
An info-table lists all Costa Vida products and with ingredients of concern to people with allergies who are concerned about sugar or preservatives. There is a also an overview of ingredients and related issues where they describe how Costa Vida deals with such ingredients ... and by the way, there I discovered that information about their tortillas: "Tortillas (Flour, Corn & Whole Wheat) – At Costa Vida we have worked to create the best tortilla simply without the use of lard. Our signature tortillas use only the best quality wheat and corn masa. Our tortillas are 100% vegetarian and made to have the perfect flavor, color and texture."
I was thinking Mexican salad for lunch and with a real 'have-it-my-way' approach I selected black beans, lettuce, pico de gallo, guacamole, tortilla strips, cotija cheese, salsa, and cilantro lime vinaigrette, and I had an additional dollop of guacamole put on top of the salad.
It's funny how some things just work. The salad was served in the familiar aluminum tin bringing back memories of most excellent El Indio lunches. I like the idea of my lunch compacted into a ready-to-heat multi-use container.
My salad was beautiful, with melted cheese complementing the fresh greens and spicy red tomatoes. The salad was also excellent. I was feeling like I was eating a lunch that couldn't be any fresher. The Mexican spices had a calming effect of the GLOB Master as I enjoyed the salsa, guac, and Mexican spice flavors melding in a melodic Latin trio flavor serenade.
I'm OK with the idea of Chuy's, Taco Bell, and Chipotle all within walking distance of each other. In fact meet the GLOB Master here in the Archer Rd. Triangle tomorrow and we can have a progressive Mexican lunch party . . .
The Pluses and Minuses of the Costa Vida:
Costa Vida (+) indicators: Fresh, tasty, true Tex-Mex bliss. There is a second planned for The Standard, the high rise multi-purpose, apartment, and condominium building being constructed on the corner of 13th St. and University Avenue.
Costa vida (-) indicators: Well, it is on Archer road.
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- Phone Number: 352 672- 6301
- Address: 3581 SW Archer Rd
- Urban GLOB Location: Archer Road
- Web Site: Costa Vida
- Latitude: 29.618663
- Longitude: -82.381269