Totopos is an amazing new Mexican place that opened in Cary a few months ago. After hearing a ton of buzz about it, I started doing my own research. I perused their menu online and scoured the Totopos Facebook page photos. decided to head out for my anniversary date with my husband and check it out. I can’t say enough wonderful things about this place and will DEFINITELY be back. I’ve already recommended it to friends and family.
I should start by saying that Totopos does take reservations. We were there on a Thursday night and didn’t really need them though. I can imagine weekends are a little different… and I really feel like the more popular this place gets, reservations might become more important.
Totopos is nestled down in a little spot near the corner of Kildaire and Cary Parkway. You can think of it as being across the street from Trader Joe’s. (If you’ve been in the area awhile, YEARS ago this was a Chilis.) There is plenty of parking which is always a plus and the place is pretty easy to find. You’ll know you’re there when you see the Christmas lights wrapped around the bottom of some trees.
Once inside, you’ll find an a warm and inviting atmosphere. The space isn’t cramped and there are several different table styles to accommodate different group sizes. Since we were sans kids, we asked to sit in the bar area. (Usually if we don’t have kids, we try to sit at whatever table style can’t be done with them. High tops, bar area, super small… you get the idea…)
Now is when I can really get excited about our experience at Totopos. The service, the food, and the drinks were AMAZING. I had already done my research when the bartender headed on over to our table for drink orders. Their specialty menu isn’t ginormous, but everything is artfully created behind the bar. I opted for the Blackberry Sangria. Not too sweet with a nice fresh fruit flavor. This is one of those drinks that could definitely be dangerous if you know what I mean.
Most Mexican restaurants bring out chips and salsa, but the salsa at Totopos is fantastic. Full of chunky tomatoes, bold tomato flavor, and a little bit of a kick: I was a huge fan. What would chips (or “totopos” in case you didn’t know…) be without a little queso? I don’t know, that’s why we went with my buddy the bartender’s recommendation and tried the queso. Very good.
Dinner was tough… everything on the menu sounded good. My husband had the Carne Asada ($14.95). I was impressed when he was able to order them cooked to a specific temperature (med. rare). When his plate came out, it was gorgeous. Most of the tacos come on organic blue corn tortillas, but the carne asada comes on flour (which is what he prefers). Loaded with fresh guacamole and meat full of flavor and incredibly tender… my mouth is watering just thinking about them. Even the sides of rice and beans were the best I’ve had. In fact, the black beans were so good, I’m planning to try their black bean soup my next time in.
Now onto my dinner. I’m one of those people who ask servers for recommendations. I’m so glad I do because my dinner that night was incredible thanks to my bartender/server. It is called Chilaquiles ($13.50). This dish is like nothing I have ever had before. Corn chips mixed up with grilled chicken and a creamy sauce is the base. Don’t think of it like nachos, the chips are actually covered and mixed in with the chicken. cheese, onions, and creamy sauce. Mmmm…. it was SO. GOOD.
The prices were fair especially for the high-caliber of the ingredients and the presentation. The atmosphere makes this a great place for so many different occasions: date night, girls’ night, family (with kids)… it all fits here. When I say that I’ll be heading back, I’m not kidding or just saying that for fluff. I REALLY liked this place and highly recommend it. If you go, please let me know what you think.