When my husband, Bobby, and I went to Fairlawn, Ohio a couple of weeks ago, we were trying to decide where to eat lunch. We ended up at The Melt Bar and Grilled, which you can read about here, but had tossed around the idea of going to Bomba Tacos & Rum. We had never been there, but it sounded interesting. So when my niece, Ashley, and I were in Fairlawn the next week, Bobby suggested we try Bomba’s without him. While I rely on Bobby to get pictures, I agreed to do my best.
After we were led to our table, our server, Eric, came by to welcome us and get our drink orders. Eric was very pleasant and patient with us. We explained we had never been there before, so he gave us an overview of the menu. He said the dishes were inspired by the Caribbean with all of its different flavors. He then began to explain to us about the different rums available, but I told him that was unnecessary, as I don’t drink and Ashley is currently with child. He skipped the alcohol, but did say they also had non alcoholic drinks if we were interested. In the end we settled for water.
Eric shared that in addition to being able to have customized guacamole, there were a few salsa and hot dips that are served with a blend of plantain, corn and malanga chips. Under his advisement, we ordered the roasted corn dip. This is a hot dip with roasted red peppers, pickled jicama, chihuahua cheese and cilantro. It sounded interesting. It was and also very spicy.
Ashley really enjoyed the dip. She tends to like spicy things. I think Bobby would have really liked it, too. For me, well, it was tasty, but a little too spicy. We found the chip blend variety to be an adventure into a different world. Neither Ashley nor I would have thought to use plantain chips for a savory dip. And we had never heard of malanga chips before. (Eric told us that it is a root vegetable from the Caribbean.)
Bomba offers appetizers, soups, salads, sandwiches and entrees, but their specialty is tacos (the name should give that away!). Again, because Eric explained most people order between 2-4 tacos to make a meal, Ashley got two tacos. One was the seasonal Jerk Chicken taco and one of the BBQ pork taco.
I decided I wasn’t as adventurous as I thought so I ordered just one classic beef taco and an appetizer of jerk chicken skewers.
Ashley enjoyed the BBQ pork taco, after she took off the Salvadoran Coleslaw. She said the flavor was a bit strong. The jerk chicken was just a little too complex for her palate. I think we were both expecting tacos that weren’t so far from our comfort zone.
That is probably why I stuck to the classic taco. It had a nice flavor and the toppings, which included, lettuce, cheese and Pico gallo were very fresh. The jerk chicken appetizer was OK, but probably more along the line of what Bobby would enjoy.
One of the managers, Aaron, stopped by to check on us. We admitted that our taste buds weren’t prepared for all the flavors of the Caribbean. (Even though Bobby and I went to Jamaica several years ago, the resort where we stayed catered to the American palate.) Aaron was very nice about it and explained that even he had to get used to some of the spiciness of the Caribbean flavors.
While I may not go back to Bomba Tacos & Rum on my own (I think Bobby will want to try it), it is not because the food is bad. In fact, the quality of the food is very good. Everything is fresh and well prepared with great plate presentation, too. It just isn’t my cup of tea. However, if you like spicy food or just want to expand your palate into flavors not common here in the US, then this might be the place for you.