Rhonda On The Prowl: Taconooga - A Taste Of Authenticity

Thursday, October 29, 2015 - by Rhonda Tuggle
Flash and I stepped out of Standard Ink on Fraizer Avenue where Flash had just gotten a touch-up on his shoulder tat—the one of the heart with my name, Rhonda, inscribed in its core. It was Wednesday evening and getting chilly out—that time of year again to bring out your leather. Flash, who always gets hungry after being worked on with ink, said he needed to eat something now before he collapsed. 

Now, Flash is a big dude—the heavyweight of men.

And if he collapsed there would be no one to drive him home but me. Have you ever had to ride a Harley with your big, heavy husband on the back? It’s not cool—works much better when Flash rides with me on the back of the bike.

I started scanning our options for food. If you haven’t been, Frazier Avenue is a happening place in North Chattanooga. It’s artsy, it’s scenic, and best of all, it offers some pretty tasty restaurants. “What about Taconooga, Flash?” I asked and pointed up and across the street to the authentic Mexican restaurant. I should have known better than to ask. As hungry as he was, Flash was in no state to make decisions. I grabbed him by the hand—warmed by his fingerless leather gloves—and led him to the gray brick building of Taconooga.

“Please seat yourself,” read the sign on the wall when we first walked in. A Day of the Dead mask hung above the sign. Flash liked that. Being that this was our first time to Taconooga, I sniffed out the place to see what it was about. The inside was small and relaxed, with gray and orange walls and several paintings of animals like crows and dogs wearing bow ties and old-fashioned hats. Latin Pop played from the speaker overhead, and a simple arrangement of tables and chairs filled up the space.

Flash and I sat at the back table by a window that faced Frazier Avenue. The waitress came right away with menus and took our drink order. By the time she returned, Flash and I were ready to order, starting with Mexican Dip as an appetizer, taquitos as the main meal for Flash, and the 3 for $8 tacos for me.

The waitress brought out the appetizer shortly, and good thing she did because Flash was starting to not look so good from his hunger. The Mexican Dip was rich and warm, made with queso, guacamole, beans, and chorizo (Mexican sausage). The dip came with homemade chips that melted in your mouth. When the taquitos and tacos came out, Flash took his fork and dug into his fried flour tortillas stuffed with potatoes and chorizo and topped with cabbage, guacamole, sour cream, and cheese. My three tacos were open-faced on homemade corn tortillas and came with salsa and a lime on the side. I ate the grilled carne asada (steak) taco followed by the seasoned chorizo, and then had a bite of the slow-cooked carnitas (pork tenderloin) taco before I had to call it quits.

Flash couldn’t even finish his taquitos the portion was so generous. But he wasn’t about to give them up. We had the waitress bring us a to-go box along with the check that amounted to $24 with tax. Not bad for dinner for two in a Chattanooga hot spot.

“Next time we come here we’ll have to try the tortas and the nachos,” I said to Flash after we paid. All in all, Taconooga’s laid-back atmosphere, mouthwatering and fair-priced menu, happy and attentive service, and delicious taste of Mexico made this a restaurant we will definitely revisit next time Flash gets a tattoo touch-up.

Not to mention, thanks to Taconooga’s satisfying dishes Flash was as good as new, and I didn’t have to bike him home.

Address: 207 Frazier Ave. , M-Th 11 a.m.-10 p.m., F-S 11 a.m.-10:30 p.m., Sun 11 a.m.-9 p.m.


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