North Shore’s Taconooga serves authentic fare


Taconooga owner Armando Castro and manager Brenda Poole stand in the new North Shore restaurant.

Chattanooga Sandwich Shop. Urban Spoon. Northshore Lunch.

Frequenters of Frazier Avenue have seen restaurants come and go at street number 207, the space between Art Creations and Delmont Street. But the newly opened Taconooga hopes to stay.

The Mexican restaurant keeps its focus on authenticity, said Armando Castro, who owns the restaurant with his wife, Jenny.

The duo brightened up the spot with blue and orange walls decorated with paintings by local artist Bradley Wilson, who also created the shop’s logo in the front window.

A lime tree, heavy with fruit, even peeks out from a front window, and basil and cilantro plants sit happily in side windows. The fresh herbs are used in the shop’s recipes.

The Castros and their staff make nearly everything on the menu from scratch, said restaurant manager Brenda Poole, including the various salsas, chips, tortillas and more. Not only do they make many menu items from scratch, she added, they make them upon order.

“Oaxaca, Mexico, the place where I come from, we have a lot of traditional dishes there,” said Armando Castro, who grew up with his family’s recipes. “I’ve been working in the restaurant business for 13 or 14 years and I wanted to do something different by bringing authentic Mexican food.”

Taconooga just opened its doors in late March, but already, reviews online have been very favorable, said Poole.

“It’s been busy every day,” she said.

Poole said a customer favorite so far is the Taconooga, the shop’s namesake taco made with grilled steak topped with Mexican corn and smothered in melted cheese. Then there’s the pescado taco with grilled tilapia and pico de gallo.

Chorizo, lengua and grilled chicken tacos round out the menu, as do fried cactus, Mexican street corn and tamales. On weekends, a special menu boasts sopas, tostadas and more with shrimp, octopus and other mariscos, or seafood.

“Come try us,” Armando Castro encouraged new customers. “You will like it. I know it.”