Norwood - Meet Mexican. Mexican - Meet Norwood.

In the space next to Frisch's on Montgomery Rd in Norwood there's been a big empty hunk of restaurant just waiting for something to come and fill it up. Finally - someone took the challenge and that someone is Cancun Mexican Bar & Grill.

This space used to be occupied by Wings & Rings but I'm not sure when it closed as I never saw any cars in the lot even when the sign was up...

Inside - it's very "Cincinnati Mexican" - I love the chairs. I would love to buy some for my house...they're so bright and happy.

Of course - we started with chips and salsa. The salsa was a bit tomato-pastey - I didn't like it so much.

Larry got taquitos with beans & rice. They looked pretty decent but I didn't try them...so just a picture show for this one.

I ordered the fajita taco salad. I was a bit disappointed - the picture showed the "bowl" in the taco shape and I got a traditional bowl. No idea why - but I never like the bowl as much. The fillings were fine but nothing stand-out.

Why Should You Go? Well if you live in Norwood and you don't feel like driving - I guess you could go. I didn't love it. I'd rather go to Kenwood Mall and go to El Rancho Grande.

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14 comments

  1. Norwood... ha ha...

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  2. Well this is a poor excuse for a food blog. "Here is photo, but I didn't actually try them." And if you prefer El Rancho Grande and Chipotle for your mexican... I have no words.

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  3. I like it! Have you tried the tunaboat at Taco Casa?

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  4. I felt the same way when I checked it out. I also ordered the fajita taco salad, on the menu it looked so good in the little taco shaped bowl and was disappointed that it can in a regular bowl. I also tried their margaritas...NOT good! They were way to fake mixer syrup-y for my taste buds. Even though I live close to here, I'd still rather drive further to a better Mexican restaurant.

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  5. I love how all the big bold snotty rude comments are from anonymous. Suck it up and put your name!

    Re: why I didn't try larry's food - I don't always steal food from my dinner companions. Sorry - I'll try better next time.

    Re: taco casa - I haven't had it in years - I used to get the taco salad all the time when I moved here - I'll have to revisit!

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  6. The hateful commenters on the Enquirer website must get really bored and drift onto area food blogs to shake things up a bit.

    I'm glad you reviewed this --we kept passing Cancun and thinking we should try it, but never did. Are they related to the other Cancuns in town?

    I want to visit now just to see the chairs and the cool Aztec pyramid. :)

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  7. CB - the logo looks the same as the one in eastgate - so it might be...

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  8. I am an east-sider and would frequently drive to the west side to eat at Cancun. When they came to Norwood I was elated. The food is still great and the margaritas are awesome. Whoever said the margaritas weren't good must have been cheap and didn't get the TOP SHELF margaritas. I love this place! I hope it lasts but if it doesn't, I will still drive to the west side to eats there. BTW, the Rio Grande in Newport has excellent mexican. Crappy margaritas tho.

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  9. Someone tell the Xavier students about this, I don't want it to close. Driving to the west side just to get margaritas is a pain in the ...

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  10. Jeff from MiddletuckyNovember 9, 2010 at 11:38 AM

    If you think El Rancho Grande is tops now when it comes to "authentic" (read: about as authentic as Taco Bell) area Mexican restaurants... well, I kind of don't know what to say. To my taste buds, all of these places sort of swirl together to form one generic, vaguely "ethnic" (the waitstaff usually consists of Latino/a, ESL-ers, after all; and is reliably inconsistent almost to a restaurant) Tex-Mex place, drenched, of course, in the ubiquitous, Elmer's like, gringo-fied (and gringo approved!) white "cheese dip".

    Honestly, the only one of these places that stands out at all is Acapulco's in Fairfield. But even that place, as good as it is (as far as these places go), is nowhere near earth-shattering in it's food, setting, or service.

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  11. Jeff - I never said it was authentic. I just re-read to be sure. It's local chain Mexican. La Mexicana is authentic. But when compared to Don Pablos - I'll take El Rancho any day.

    My point about El Rancho was that I live in Pleasant Ridge and if I'm going somewhere close for mexican - I'll go to Kenwood and get El Rancho vs. Norwood for Cancun.

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  12. Jeff from MiddletuckyNovember 10, 2010 at 9:35 AM

    Heather -

    Sorry, I should have been more clear in my wording. I didn't mean to imply that you claimed these places were authentic, but that they, themselves, do. And many people (myself included until relatively recently) around here accept that claim at face value.

    As far as El Rancho Grande, specifically, goes, I find that of all the locally (and regionally) owned Tex Mex places, the service at its restaurants (and I've tried several different locations over, oh, the last seven or eight years) is the most hair-pullingly inconsistent of the whole bunch. And considering that I'm comparing it to other Tex Mex places, that's saying a LOT.

    Plus, ever since the El Rancho Grande outfit bought up a lot of smaller, more independent Tex Mex places in the area, the menu has, at least to my way of thinking, become blander and more homogenized, and the prices have shot upward.

    But. There's certainly no denying that these places, El Rancho Grande especially, are pretty danged popular. But of course, Olive Garden is, too.

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  13. Jeff - that's cool. In the grand scheme of the world - I still like El Rancho more than Don Pablos. But I also miss my Carlos O'Kellys back home in Iowa (so NOT authentic but the best damn queso ever). I think "authentic" Mexican like La Mexicana is almost a separate genre than say El Rancho - and then Nada is even in another class. But in the end - rice, beans, cheese and tortillas all make my belly happy!

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  14. Cancun and El Rancho Grande are kind of the same to me - good Mexican. Not perfect, not authentic, but good enough to go to when it's close by! Don Pablo's - average but I do love their homemade, fresh tortillas. I could smell them all day - but I'm a food freak like that.

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