I started off day one of Inlander Restaurant Week with a bang, visiting first-time participant Cochinito Taqueria for a filling and tasty three-course meal ($22).
As soon as the counter-service spot was announced as a participant in 2020, I knew it would land on my list. Now with nine days of IRW left, it should be on yours, too.
Cochinito opened two years ago in a central downtown spot near the STA Plaza, serving tacos and other Mexican/Latin fare made using fine-dining techniques by chef Travis Dickinson and team.
For Restaurant Week, Cochinito offers its three-course menu all day (Monday-Thursday from 11 am-9 pm and Friday-Saturday from 11 am-10 pm). Order food and drinks (I definitely recommend the house margarita) at the counter as usual; grab a number and find a table.
My partner and I met after work on Thursday night around 5:30 and were surprised that the place wasn't as packed as we expected it to be, though the night was still young. We had our choice of tables, and our food came out in quick course succession. In total, I think we were there for less than an hour. Staff were also quick to bus newly emptied tables. All of these observations seemed to indicate a careful plan of attack for efficient and thoughtful service from this IRW first-timer.
For course two, we each chose three tacos off Cochinito's regular menu, an option that is almost infinitely customizable. Our favorite, and the only taco we both ordered, was the 20-hour carne asada, with sous-vide cooked tri-tip, grilled corn, onions, peppers, chile-garlic oil and asadero cheese.
At a glance, Cochinito's offerings for IRW may not seem like a lot of food, but we both headed home very full and completely satisfied with every menu choice.