A turtle shell from Gomez Salsa in Over-the-Rhine? It's the wine me, dine me pick of the week

CINCINNATI - We are pleased to bring you this weekly feature from Julie Niesen Gosdin, the voice behind the food blog wine me, dine me . Julie serves up a "Pick of the Week," when she visits a local eatery and samples a signature menu item.

Turtles at Gomez Salsa

  • Address: 12th and Walnut, Cincinnati (Over-the-Rhine)
  • Taco Window with a twist!
  • Price range $8

Everyone has been talking about turtles. Not the four-legged, kinda cute reptiles, but a delicious dish from Gomez Salsa , recently opened in OTR.

Owner Andrew Gomez says the turtle shell is his take on Taco Bell's Crunch Wrap Supreme: filled with your choice of meat, salsa, beans, rice and cheese, then griddled--for crunch--and topped with Gomez's baja sauce. The menu describes the turtle shell as a "hybrid burrito."

While I've tried the tacos, I thought the turtle might be a little much for me. Everyone raved about them, though, so I had to grab one.

There is a process for ordering the turtle shell at Gomez Salsa. You fill out a form with a pencil (provided) to indicate your fillings and salsas.

I chose chicken, black beans, cheese, slaw, and pineapple salsa. I immediately got what people were talking about: It's incredibly flavorful--even more than the tacos--a little messy, and very indulgent.

Half a turtle shell (does that make it a half-shell?) was plenty for lunch, at least for me. Gomez Salsa is proving popular with construction crews and office workers downtown, as well as those who are out for a night of fun on the weekend.

Bottom line? A turtle is fast, fun, unique and delicious; perfect to share, but I wouldn't blame you if you ate it all yourself. Plus, it's affordable -- $8 for a generous lunch portion.

(Photos by J. Niesen Gosdin)


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