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'Cutthroat Kitchen' champion opens West Palm Beach restaurant

'Cutthroat Kitchen' champion @claysote opens Cholo Soy Cocina, in West Palm Beach.


Cholo Soy Cocina

3715 S. Dixie Highway, West Palm Beach, 561-619-7018,

This summer's "Cutthroat Kitchen" champion, Clay Carnes, has launched a takeout-centric taqueria on Antique Row.

The royal blue walls are decorated with masks from Ecuador, where Carnes worked.

"I absolutely loved discovering quinoa there before it was a trend here," he says. "I also love the availability of the tropical fruits like passion fruit."

Carnes uses quinoa in specials and passion fruit in his Salsa Chola mixed with chili mayo. The foundation for his seasonal offerings is organic white corn Andean-American tortillas and local produce, as well as herbs and vegetables from Cholo's patio.

Taco highlights on the concise menu include the Chanco with pork and pickled pineapple peppers ($7) and the Cacheton with smoked beef cheek, pickled scallion, aji and queso ($6). Ceviche and quesadillas are market-priced specials. Beer and wine are available.

Carnes designed the laidback setting with his father, using subways tiles in the open kitchen, which is fronted with hand-painted tiles. The back patio entices with colorful picnic tables and a fiery mural depicting a hybrid of Marilyn Monroe and the Virgin of Guadalupe.

Dinner is served nightly, except Mondays, with lunch to come in a few months.

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