Confession: I am not the biggest Mexican eater. But to my surprise, Tio’s has become my new exception. With a huge array of menu options (and full bar!), Tio’s definitely hits it home. Not gourmet or “fancy” by any means, but perfect for tasty and quick Mexican even the haters will enjoy.
Located right on E. Liberty, Tio’s has become famous for the “Mount Nacheesmo” featured on Man v. Food. (Meaning, naturally, I have to check it out for myself.) Originally, the idea of attempting the challenge sounded intriguing — but, If I’m being real, I do not have the stomach strength to conquer a heaping, 5-pound plate of nachos. We settle for the smaller, regular order of nachos.
But before we even get our nachos we start off our meal with tortilla chips (complementary… bonus!), along with some guacamole, medium-heat salsa and queso dip. The guac is decent — crisp, creamy, refreshing. The salsa has a tangy kick, but I’m not overly impressed with the blend of flavors. The queso blanco, however, is so smooth and creamy, it’s the only part of the pre-meal spread I’m even thinking about. I don’t usually do chips and queso, but when I do, it will undoubtedly be at Tio’s.
Ah, the nachos. These come piled high with chips, beans, cheese, onions, green peppers, black olives, sour cream and a nice helping of guacamole, along with your choice of beef, chicken, pork, rice or mushrooms. The crispy chips are absolutely on par with any nachos I’ve ever had. Tio’s doesn’t skimp on the toppings, and all the flavors combined make for a crunchy, salty, spiced-up dish.
Along with the nachos, our group also chooses to split quesadillas and fajitas. Pretty as a picture, our quesadillas come out looking just as good as they taste. Cheese, onions and Roma tomatoes grilled to a golden brown, stuffed between two flower tortillas — just the way it should be. Nailed it.
The fajitas are a featured entrée on the menu, so I’m expecting big things. The dish arrives on a sizzling plate full of grilled steak and chicken, sautéed onions and peppers — lest I forget the flour tortillas, lettuce, tomatoes and Spanish rice. The meat is super-tender and all of the toppings make for an epic eating experience.
To accompany these Mexican indulgences, Tio’s also has an extremely extensive hot sauce collection (it’s literally lining the walls). Choose one of hundreds to add some zesty flavor to your meal. And if you’re up for a few adult beverages, drinks abound, too. From tequila to sangria, this place has gotcha covered. Tio’s for your next pregame, perhaps?
Address: 401 E. Liberty St., Ann Arbor, MI
Hours: Everyday 11 a.m.- 2 a.m.