Casual Dining reviews

There’s an unwritten food reviewer’s rule against reviewing a restaurant before a certain period of time (roughly three months). I make an exception to the rule when the owner has a thriving business that is more than five years old and has established that the food is paramount alongside the service. I’m breaking that unwritten rule at Tipsy’z Tacos-Urban Cantina in High Point.

This sister restaurant to Tipsy’z Tavern on Westchester Avenue is in the space formerly occupied by Fixin’s Eatery. This little taco joint is fun, flashy and full of good food, good intentions and good service. The staff all seem like seasoned professionals who know their way around the restaurant and the menu. Currently plagued with heavy construction on the corner of Main Street and Lexington Avenue, posted detours will lead you directly to the parking lot of the Time Square shopping center of Uptowne High Point.

The taco menu has an impressive list of 13 tacos, many of them vegetarian and vegan-friendly. While the mixing and matching of tacos isn’t an option at this time, you do get two tacos, a choice of corn or flour tortillas or a lettuce wrap with your choice of a side.

The chimichurri veggie taco has roasted zucchini, squash, Brussels sprouts, queso fresco, toasted pumpkin seeds and a tangy, fresh chimichurri sauce. The Korean BBQ short rib taco has shredded slow-cooked boneless beef ribs with a soy ginger glaze, purple cabbage slaw (which is also available as a side), cilantro, kimchi, sesame seeds and a peanut sauce. Pulled from the Tipsy’z Tavern menu, longtime restaurant guests will be happy to see the original steak taco. Bite-sized pieces of blackened and grilled tenderloin topped with white cheddar, mixed greens, salsa cruda and avocado sauce.

The menu is rounded out with a kids’ menu, salads, burritos and thoughtful sides. Standard rice, chips and salsa stand alongside a few must-eat options. The maple and Cajun roasted sweet potato hash is small diced sweet potatoes drizzled with a spicy maple glaze and garnished with cilantro. The crispy edges of the potatoes give way to a soft, sweet inside and then switches between a bit of spice from the Cajun seasoning and the warm, syrupy sweetness of the maple glaze. The only thing that could make it better is a squeeze of lime to balance out the flavors. The cowgirl beans are pintos cooked down in bacon fat, garnished with queso fresco and fresh jalapeño slices. The beans will not only stick to your ribs, they are the perfect foil to the crisp, crunch of each taco and nacho chip you munch on.

It wouldn’t be a cantina without margaritas, martinis or cocktails, and Tipsy’z is called that for a reason. You can muddle, splash and sip your way around the 13 cocktails listed (perhaps one to pair with each taco on the menu?), and none will leave you disappointed. Fruit forward with a couple of infused liquors, the extensive list includes Jammin’ Berry Rita with a spot of strawberry or blueberry jam shaken in and the house specialty, the Haba-Nother Margarita. The Haba features house-infused habanero tequila, Domaine de Canton, muddled ginger, agave, lime and pineapple juices with a spicy salt rim. If that’s not hot enough for you, the Tipsy’z Heat Martini with house-infused pineapple vodka, lime, mango-habanero syrup and a chipotle spiced rim will get you going.

The menu at Tipsy’z Taco-Urban Cantina is diverse enough to keep you going back to try different combinations of tacos, sides, drinks, and is approachable enough to satisfy vegetable-loving souls, carnivores and everybody in between.

Casual Dining features local restaurants for diners on a budget. It appears the second and fourth Thursday of the month. Contact Nikki Miller-Ka at nicolettemiller.ka@gmail.com.

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