Zia Taqueria is one of the unsung heroes of the Asheville Mexican food scene. Don’t let its unassuming location and rather plain looking exterior dissuade you.

To me, one of the best indications of the quality of a Mexican place is its enchilada sauce. And holy cow, Zia’s red sauce is crazy good. So many enchilada sauces are thin and insipid, or too tomato-ey, or are some unholy, hideous gray or tan color. Zia’s sauce is a satisfying, beautifully deep red, like it should be, and has a layered, robust, chili-driven flavor that lovingly coats the palate, then flirtatiously reveals a delightful tingle at the end.

My fave sides are the soulfully prepared black beans and the tangy, refreshing cilantro slaw.

Ample meatless choices earn this restaurant my vegetarian seal of approval.

Service is fast and friendly. I consider Kat to be one of the top servers in our fair city.