NoFo's new Mexi Cafe dishes out "Texas-style Mexican cuisine."
For Charlotteans who prefer stiff margaritas and tasty enchiladas to cutesy knickknacks and gewgaws, Mexi Café is a welcome development. The owners of Nofo on Liz, the Southern-lite café on Elizabeth Avenue, cut their gift shop in half to open this Mexican joint, which claims "Texas-style Mexican cuisine."
That's what it is, all right, only with that Nofo touch. When describing most Tex-Mex eateries, the most common adjective used is "slathered." As in slathered with melted cheese or sauce. Not here. Portions are sensible, and dishes like enchiladas and tamales are heavy on filling (such as roasted chicken and beef barbacoa) and light on the slather.
Other items include excellent crispy shrimp and goat cheese empanadas, Hoppin' John nachos with black beans, cheddar, tomatoes, and scallions; a variety of salads and burritos; chimichangas; and the like.
The look is pure Nofo, with colorful mismatched table coverings, folksy tin sculptures, and piñatas. The long entrance corridor and lack of natural light make Mexi Café feel like a secret hideaway, but it's worth finding.
Mexi Café, 1609 Elizabeth Ave. (704-377-5908) $-$$, L (Mon-Fri), D (Mon-Sat), FSB.