December 15, 2011

Taco Escobarr Review

I have a problem, and its name is Taco Escobarr.

Have you seen my shit list? It's a piece of paper that says 'Taco Escobarr?'

Photo by Dawn Hagin

Sigh.  I'm thinking, on one hand, it's not *that* bad, and if you write a strongly worded review, you may come to regret it for many reasons. Maybe I'm just crabby because it's raining heavily, I didn't bring lunch (or a raincoat), I'm wearing cute flats and tights, and I parked alllll the way in the back of the lot.

None of these things, however, excuse the greasy, declining taco experiences I've had at Taco Escobarr.

Photo by Dawn Hagin

I've eaten at Taco Escobarr, the newish, hip taco joint, opened by the Nosh Kitchen Bar guys, 7 times now.  I've eaten at the bar, at the hightop tables; by myself, with loud groups, on a date; I've ordered burritos, all kinds of combinations of taco fillings, shells, and salsa. The only thing I haven't tried are the sides and desserts.

At first, I was enamored. The tacos are cheapish (3 for $8 or 3 fish tacos for $10), the salsa are nice and spicy, and the bar environment is fun. They have Miller High Life, Busch, and Maine Beer Co. on tap (not a complete list).

Photo by Dawn Hagin

I had good experiences with the puffy tacos, which are deep-fried soft shells that puff up and crackle wonderfully when you bite into them. I was into the picadillo or ground beef filling.  So far we're firing on all cylinders for a taco joint.

But then around my 5th visit, the puffy taco shell was greasy. And not very crispy. I thought, are they making these ahead? Sure enough, I peered into the open kitchen (past the not-to-busy-cooks, I might add) and saw a stack of pre-fried puffy tacos. That explains why my food came so very fast.

My most recent nail-in-the-coffin visit saw a very long wait for our food (30 minutes), withering treatment from our server (including a scraping off of toppings when J. pointed out that she requested her tacos plain), and the dreaded combination of greasy, soggy puffy shells and dried out pork filling.

However, most importantly (and infuriatingly), I will continue to eat there.  

The taco bar is centrally located when you're out for First Friday or other Arts District partying (and have temporarily OD'ed on Otto pizza). The tacos are cheap, better quality than $.99 tacos at Amigo's, and a crowd-pleaser if you're out with a group. Plus, there's an element of 'chasing the dragon,' in that I am hoping that their tacos will sing as they did on our first few encounters.

I know this is going to be controversial, so let's hear it.  What say you of Taco Escobarr?