Another Look at the Underrated Tex-Mex of Vivo
Have a Mexican martini and then walk to AFS Cinema
The shopping center formerly known as Lincoln Village has gone by a different name (not a symbol) for several years now: the Linc. I don't think I've heard a single person refer to it that way, but you know the place – it's positioned somewhat between Jerry's Artarama and the Galaxy Highland just off I-35 and 290. Anyway, Vivo moved here from its home on Manor Road in 2014 and now calls one of our favorite venues, AFS Cinema, its neighbor. This unassuming-from-the-outside Tex-Mex spot is highly underrated. Especially if you, like me, love Mexican martinis.
The front wall of windows faces the sun (we're not camping – my compass is in storage) and the thick curtains are often drawn, creating a cozy, vibrant space decorated with bright paint colors and art everywhere. The complimentary salsa is delicious, but pretty spicy, and that only exacerbates the desire for a delicious beverage. The house Meximart features 100% agave tequila, fresh-squeezed lime, simple syrup, a splash of fresh-squeezed OJ, and olive juice, and it's the best one I've had recently. For those of you fortunate enough to visit that luscious patio at the old digs, yes, they still have margaritas on the menu, with options for cucumber (try it!), hibiscus, mango, and more. Their happy hour menu, by the way, has some really great deals and also features the light and refreshing zanahoria y pepino – julienned jicama, carrot, and cucumbers, topped with olive oil, lime, and chile. It's so very good.
My recent favorite menu item is Cameron's Choice, which comes with your choice of chalupa and one enchilada. My chicken tinga chalupa, cool with lettuce and queso fresco, was enough to fill me up, which meant I lucked out with leftovers – a tangy tomatillo chicken enchilada and remarkably tasty whole grain brown rice and beans – all for under $12. Other great options include the tortilla soup, vegetarian calabacitas, and puffy tacos.
As if this wasn't enough, Vivo also offers brunch on Sunday and – wait for it – Monday! This is particularly good news for much of the hospitality industry who often have the day off and miss weekend brunch altogether.
Vivo6406 N. I-35 #2343 (at the Linc)
Sun.-Wed., 11am-9pm; Thu., 11am-10pm; Fri.-Sat., 11am-10:30pm