What People are saying…
“I am from the south and I know Mexican food. I haven’t tasted food this good since I lived in Dallas.”
“I’m on the Atkins diet and thought I couldn’t eat Mexican food, but you have so many delicious, low-carb options that now I eat here about once a week.”
“I came for lunch today and now I brought my wife in for dinner.”
“I eat at Rick Bayless’s place in Chicago all the time. I think that your food is just as good.” (Rick Bayless is the premier gringo authority of Mexican food in the States. He has several books and has won the prestigious James Beard award.)
“This Potato Quesadilla is so good I could swim in it!”
“Mommy, I hope that there’s an Ooba’s in heaven.”
“Unlike lots of other Bellevue lunch places, it’s reasonably priced and has many vegetarian options.”
“They also have a salsa bar with 4-5 types of fresh salsas of varying heat.”
Seattle International — 50 Ways to Love your Multicultural
A bit off the beaten path, but well worth the search, this upscale taqueria is spacious, stylish and downright delicious. Handmade tacos come filled with chipotle-rubbed pork, beer-battered rockfish or grilled shrimp, char-grilled skirt steak fills a bodacious burrito, and flavors at the salsa bar run from smoky to smokin’.
– Nancy Leson, The Seattle Times
Quick Mexican-American fare (like awesome seafood burritos) is served with freshly fried nacho chips and a great salsa bar at this creative eastside trio; with cheap tabs, simple Southwestern decor and a friendly” staff, it’s no wonder they’re crazy busy at lunch.-Food(24) Decor(14)Service(18) Cost($13)
Stylish Mexican Grill has Skirt Steak Worth A Whirl
This stylish taqueria is all swanky colors – negatory on the Mexican tchotchkes. At the kitchen-front counter, I scarfed a skirt steak burrito that made my otherwise burritoed-out heart go pitter-patter, and devoured an ear of grilled, sweet white corn.
-Nancy Leson, The Seattle Times
Cheap Eats: Ooba’s Mexican Grill
Part of the ever-expanding Mexican casual class, Ooba’s has a following for good reason. While many ingredients are classic Mexican – tortillas, queso fresco, salsa fresca – Ooba’s also uses plenty of non-traditional fare, including portabella mushrooms, asparagus and beer battered shrimp, to good effect.
– Kristin Dizon, The Seattle Post-Intelligencer
Ooba’s Stands Apart in Mexican-Food universe with Creative Spark
Food snobs like me think they must venture into some dive in the barrio for great Mexican food, but Ooba’s proves food snobs like me dead wrong…the comfort and ease and friendly welcome of this place turn out to be just the beginning of its charms. Cuisine-wise, it is a far sight more ambitious that you’d expect at these prices, with consistently more admirable – read highly flavorful – results… even the most plebeian items on the menu distinguish themselves with a creative spark, like the burritos, which are crafted of, among other things, minted rice, white beans and chipotle cream. Whatever meat you choose will be freshly grilled and fragrantly redolent of the fire
– Kathy Robinson, The Seattle Times
Ooba’s Mexican Grill
It’s a polished hybrid of the fast-food and full-service genres with booths, tables, a salsa bar and friendly service. But the food’s the thing, more careful and flavorful than you’d expect at these prices, from the usuals (quesadillas, fajitas, terrific fish tacos) to the less predictable (grilled fish and chili-rubbed pork.) Even the burritos offer a creative spark, crafted of minted rice, white beans and extraordinary chipotle cream.
– NWSource: Restaurants, The Seattle Times
Make a Run for the Ooba
Move over, Taco Del Mar. Unlike your dry, overcooked meats and limp cabbage waiting to be dolloped into flour tortillas, Ooba’s knows the definition of “fresh off the grill.” I can smell Ooba’s grill from 2 blocks away, and it smells gooood. Their thick, smoky skirt steak and chicken burritos are oozing with white beans, minted rice, pico de gallo, jack cheese and guacamole, with a side of chips. After several years I still can’t convince myself to try anything else on their menu (chicken scratches on a chalkboard), despite the fact that the portabello mushroom quesadillas, fish tacos, enchiladas, etc, all look, smell, and sound just as appealing. Knowing that you can make unlimited visits to the fresh, homemade salsa bar itself is reason enough to pay a visit. Taco Del Mar doesn’t even give you chips for free.
Not for Tourists (NFT)
Ooba’s Mexican Grill (Eastside)
For fresh Mexican food that is actually made from fresh food, try this place. With meat cooked to order, marinades made from scratch and a salsa bar, if the food doesn’t get you going, then the margaritas and mojitos surely will. Check back each season, because the food changes with ’em.
Inside. Outside. Eastside.
I first started eating at Ooba’s after my freshman year of college. At least once a week, I rode my bicycle from Kirkland to Redmond to meet my sweetheart (who, like me, moved back home to live with his parents for the summer) for a late lunch. We were in love, not only with each other, but also with Ooba’s chunky guacamole and freshly fried tortilla chips. That was nearly a decade ago, and today Ooba’s has expanded from one to three Eastside locations.
It’s no surprise that Ooba’s has become an institution of sorts. Ingredients are fresh and combined in unexpected ways. The popular skirt steak burrito burst with smoky meat, white beans and minted rice. Salmon is marinated in an orange honey sauce, grilled and rested atop sautéed spinach. Pork ribs are rubbed with dry chili, slow roasted, and served with salsa verde and chunky guacamole. Veggies like green beans and asparagus are grilled and served as sides, and portobellos mushrooms make an appearance in a variety of dishes. Of course Ooba’s serves south of the border standards like fajitas and quesadillas. I often order the same thing I ordered during that first summer – shrimp tacos with cabbage and spicy sour cream. But now that I am old enough, I also add one (or two) of the restaurant’s generously poured margaritas.
Seattle Metropolitan – Comfort Food
Ooba’s Mexican Grill
Where an East Coast court ruled that a burrito cannot be called a sandwich – and how gratified Massachusetts taxpayers must be with that pronouncement – nobody has every claimed the same of a quesadills, which is, as everyone know , a grilled cheese sandwich with a lusty Oaxacan accent. At Ooba’s, the Eastside’s best fast-food joint and best-kept secret, quesadillas come in seven guises and they’re all sensational. Our fave is the crispy fatty stuffed with grilled Yukon Gold potatoes, pico de gallo, smoky chipotle cream, and plenty of melted jack. Best enjoyed with chips and a margarita at a tin table next to the salsa bar.
– Kathy Robinson “Comfort Food” , Seattle Metropolitan – February 2007