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Texas-born taco shop arrives in Columbus

The shredded chicken crispy taco is only one of a variety of options at Fuzzy’s Taco Shop. Courtesy of Fuzzy’s Taco Shop

Texas has made its way to Ohio — in the form of tacos. Fuzzy’s Taco Shop, a Fort Worth-born Mexican joint, opened its first Columbus location downtown at 479 N. High Street on Oct. 16.

The fast-casual restaurant is not your average taco place. Opening at 6:30 a.m. on weekdays and 7 a.m. on weekends, Fuzzy’s serves breakfast all day, operates a full bar and offers an extensive menu including everything from tacos to salads to burritos, and even innovative items such as cheeseburger quesadillas and Oreo churros.

Fuzzy’s field marketing manager Kelsey Vincelette said she believes the lengthy menu is what sets the chain apart from other fast-casual Mexican eateries.

Vincelette said guests can look forward to the Baja tacos, which are served on either a soft or crispy shell and filled with their choice of protein and toppings, including –– but not limited to –– chicken, tempura fish and fajita beef. Toppings include options such as garlic sauce, cilantro, feta and more.

“The freshness, the value, the atmosphere, and our bar [helps as well],” Vincelette said in an e-mail.

Alayna Zuiderweg, a fourth-year in health sciences, became a fan of Fuzzy’s when she stumbled across it during a recent visit to Texas.

“After experiencing Fuzzy’s in Fort Worth, I was more than excited to see one opening in Columbus,” Zuiderweg said. “You can’t go wrong with casual, Baja-style Mexican food — [especially] the brisket nachos covered in their delicious queso.”

While the food is the real seller, Zuiderweg also cited the restaurant’s design as a reason for her Fuzzy’s love.

“The vibrant colors and laid back atmosphere had me more than comfortable and wanting to come back,” Zuiderweg said.

The brightly decorated interior features a wall of Jarritos soda, yellow tables with red chairs, a chandelier made of empty Corona bottles, and even some Buckeye memorabilia. There is also an outdoor patio that will open with warmer weather.

After browsing the never-ending menu, guests place their order at the counter, take a buzzer and find a seat, where they can enjoy drinks like jumbo margaritas and Mexican mules while they wait for an employee to bring their food.

“The employees offered great recommendations,” Zuiderweg said. “[They] always made sure we had what we needed for a satisfying meal.”

After opening its first taco shop back in 2003, Vincelette said the chain now has over 100 locations across the country and has high hopes for the future. With two stores now in the state — the first being Toledo — these plans include Ohio.

“We identified Columbus as a key market for us based on our demographic target,” Vincelette said. “[We] plan to open 10 stores between Columbus, Dayton and Cincinnati.”

The promise of new Fuzzy’s locations is something Vincelette wants customers to be excited about, too.

“This [will mean] no matter where you roam, you’re never far from Baja tacos, guac and chips, and frozen margaritas,” Vincelette said. “Which is reason enough to celebrate, as far as we’re concerned.”

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