Friday, October 15, 2010

Paco’s Tacos and Tequila

Last week I went to Paco’s Tacos and Tequila for lunch with a friend. This place is nestled in the back corner of by Williams Sonoma in SouthPark. It's owned by the same group who runs Cantina 1511, Big Daddy's and Mama Ricotta's. These places are all pretty good so I was expecting something comparable...

Upon entering, we were seated quickly and brought water and menus. I looked around and it had a bar/Tex-Mex feel with old gas station signs and cowboy decor. We were sitting for about 5-7 minutes still waiting to see our waiter (and noticed that the table near us who were seated after us had chips and salsa already!). I shouldn't have been that excited about chips and salsa but it was lunch time and I was hungry. Finally... our server arrived with the chips and salsa and to take our order. Again, another table near us was told about lunch specials - us, nope - not really.

We ordered the following:

Me: Enchiladas - a full order (3) for $12. I ordered the cheese (with the chile con carne), chicken (with queso) and the beef (which had another 'chili' type sauce)
Friend: Tacos (2) for $10. One beef brisket and one chicken.

Now... to the chips and salsa. Very disappointing. Chips tasted like Tostitos and the salsa was watery and bland. There was no spice or flavor and pretty much tasted like they took a can of tomatoes and pureed them to make a salsa. Where's the spice??

The food came out about 15 minutes later and was warm (not hot...). Both dishes were served with Spanish rice and charro beans. My beans were still smoking but my friend commented that the beans were cold. The Spanish rice was not too good either - very tomato pastey....

Now - on to the main dish:

Beef enchilada: I did not like the sauce. It was overly smokey and was overpowering to the dish. The beef was pretty good but again, I couldn't get a good taste of it due to the sauce.

Chicken enchilada: Not too bad - the second 'best' of the three. The queso I could have made at home with some cheese and Rotel tomatoes. The disappointing part was the chicken. It was just grilled chicken thrown into a corn tortilla. Come on guys... I expect more flavor from you! Especially since you can achieve it at Cantina. I would have expected some spice, flare, flavor, something in the chicken... but no. What about shredding it even and simmering it for a bit??

Cheese enchilada: Surprisingly the best of the three. Yes - the simple cheese enchilada. The chile con carne sauce did it. It was quite tasty and played well with the crunch of the fresh onion.
My friend commented that the beef brisket taco was outstanding but had the same idea about the chicken taco as I did the enchilada.

The server came by once to refill our water and then afterwards we had to waive down servers to get another refill.

Paco's Tacos and Tequila did not meet my expectations - especially when it's in the same group as Cantina, Big Daddy's and Mama's... I give this place two ghosts. Come on, you can do better.

6401 Morrison Blvd
Suite 8A,
Charlotte, NC 28211
(704) 716-8226

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