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It’s Time for Lime!

By Bill Hatfield · October 19th, 2011 · Lunchline
lunchline_column_lime_taquiera_anna_bentley_2Photo by Anna Bentley
In recent years, thanks to a couple of national chains, burritos have become a basic in the American diet. Given that popularity, Chef Gina Puopolo abandoned her fine dining pedigree and opened up Lime Taqueria (522 Main St., 859-360-7420) in Covington’s popular MainStrasse district. Lime lives on the cutting edge of Mexican cuisine, and it’s a fine place to be.

There is nothing subtle about Lime, from the shockingly lime green front door and interior to the unique homemade salsas and organic vegetables and grass-fed meats. Lime has a bright, cheery interior and an inviting front porch or back patio to enjoy your meal. For the same price as you would pay at one of the assembly-line burritos joints, at Lime you experience unique flavor driven creations.

Lime’s menu offers only locally grown and raised products. Therefore, it is only natural that Puopolo would regularly come up with new burrito offerings to showcase seasonal ingredients. She recently premiered her new fall menu. Gone are some of the favorite burritos of the summer, such as the Jerk Chicken burrito. 

The reason? Watermelon is out of season, so she wouldn’t compromise quality and make an inferior watermelon salsa. To show how fresh the ingredients are at this place, Lime has its own hydroponic garden where Puopolo grows tomatoes, cucumbers, romaine and fresh herbs.

This indicates a chef totally consumed with quality, and these are the places that we need to frequent at lunch time, not national chains.

Lime has a small menu currently offering four interesting burritos, all priced at $6.50. I tried the Chili Spiced Ground Beef Burrito, which was absolutely packed with meat. The beef is flavorful but really not very spicy. As opposed to restaurants that serve primarily beans and rice with a little bit of meat, Lime’s burritos are almost all meat simply enhanced by black beans, cilantro lime rice and cheese. In addition, the ground beef burrito has salsa fresca, tomatillo sauce and an amazing horseradish sour cream. 

Another new burrito is the Chicken Mole Burrito containing mango lime salsa and chipotle sour cream. Vegetarians should try the Black Bean Burrito with roasted poblano pepper salsa, ancho spiced baked tofu and chipotle sour cream. Even I, an avowed tofu hater, might be willing to try this one. All burritos can be served as a salad for the same price, and whole wheat tortillas and brown rice are available as substitutions.

In addition to burritos, Lime’s fall menu features Spiced Tilapia Tacos ($6) and Chorizo Tacos ($6.50). The two soft-shelled tilapia tacos are overflowing with shredded tilapia, pickled red onion, cabbage, queso fresco, guacamole and cilantro crema. 

The side dishes are traditional, at least in name. There are chips and salsa ($2.50), chips and guacamole ($3.50) and chips and queso dip ($3). Unfortunately, the chips are not homemade, but the salsa and the guacamole truly stand out. The guacamole is chunky with big visible pieces of avocado, tomato and onion. The twist? Pickled jalapeno in the guac instead of garlic. If you like guacamole as much as I do, you have to try this one!

Finally, Chef Puopolo has started baking individual key lime pies ($2.50). These tart little gems are creamy and addictive. The only problem with them is once you eat one, there is no way that you won’t want another one.

Lime is easy to get to. There is parking readily available in the lot across the street and they are open from 11:30 a.m.-9 p.m. weekdays and 11:30 a.m.-5 p.m. on Saturday. When the burrito urge hits you, there is absolutely no excuse for not going to Lime Taqueria.

CONTACT BILL HATFIELD: letters@citybeat.com



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