Tacos are deceptively simple. What makes each unique depends on the shell, filling ingredients, specialty sauce and garnish. While traditionally found at Mexican restaurants, local food joints have come up with their own versions.
The Tap House, on Historic Third Street, features traditional tacos. Take your pick of fish, steak, pork or shrimp, served open-faced on the plate. Minus the shells, everything is made from scratch. Flavors are amazing in each of these, which is no surprise, with co-owner Natalie Victoria’s sister-in-law in the kitchen. Rosa was born and raised in Mexico and is staying true to her birth country, using only the purest, classic spices and ingredients in these tacos.
For their fish taco cod is dipped in a house made beer batter and fried. It is then combined with slaw, poblano cream and a bit of chopped jalapeño. This results in a delightful kick against the milder fish. Try what I found to be my favorite: Shrimp Tacos. These are presented in a soft flour tortilla while the other varieties use an authentic corn tortilla. The shrimp is first dusted in “authentic seasoning” before cooking – reminds one a bit of blackened-style shrimp. They are then mixed with cabbage, Pico De Gallo and a chipolte mayo sauce
Crooked Pint, on West Circle Drive, offers five taco varieties including their newest release, a vegetarian taco. Loaded with black beans, onions, green peppers and more, all sautéed with in-house salsa and chipotle pesto, the taco is topped with avocado. All of their sauces are made from scratch in-house.
Can’t wait until lunch/dinner for that taco fix? Then plan on stopping in over the weekend when a brunch menu is offered from 10-2. This includes a Breakfast Taco of scrambled eggs, bacon, hash browns and more, smothered in their chipotle ranch hollandaise sauce.
Casablanca Creative Cuisine, at 1208 7th St. SW, offers four varieties of taco. Three are made with their house Thai infusion (shrimp, lobster or chicken) and one is house buffalo. Inspiration comes from places chef/owner Youness Bojji has lived or traveled. Ingredients are as fresh and local as possible, and presentation is high-class.
There is no skimping on the filling or the flavor, which bursts with every bite. A typical order consists of three tacos. They are presented in a stand holding them upright with the folded side down – mouthwatering picturesque! My personal favorite: the shrimp. With a bowl of soup or side salad one can make a complete meal with any of these.