Monday, June 15, 2009

A trailing spouse walks into a bar ...

I walked inside and was greeted by the smell of freshly cut lumber and the sweet lullaby sounds of Kenny G. I asked an employee a question and got a confused face in return. They referred to a spiral notepad before finally telling me what I wanted to know.

Sounds like an average trip to Home Depot, no?

Well, in this case, it wasn't. This was actually the first five minutes of my recent visit to Taqueria Tavern, one of West Hartford's newest Mexican restaurants. 

I've written about TT before. Back when they were still building out the space, I poked fun at their makeshift sign, which reminded me of the cover to an old Berenstain Bears book. Surprisingly, the sign is still up.

And now that the place is up and running, I felt the need to try them on for size. 

The Kenny G music seemed like a bad omen. I mean, who wants to eat a taco while listening to Kenny G? I thought dentists had some kind of stranglehold on the rights to that kind of music? 

But I didn't let it bother me.

Not being much of a drinker, I ended up ordering a beer instead of something more decadent. The group I was with got a few margaritas, which, according to their critiques, were quite good.

As for the food, the menu is fairly simple. I do not know if this is temporary, but entrees pretty much fall into two categories: tacos and burritos (and, what with this place being a taqueria, I wouldn't be surprised if this is how the menu will stay). I found my tacos (I got the carnitas) to be rather good but unfortunately sparse in portions. They weren't entrees as much as lunch portions or bar snacks.

Now, I usually complain about how MUCH food restaurants serve (and we wonder why our country is morbidly obese), but looking down at my plate, I kind of felt a bit ripped off. There was no more than a tablespoon of beans and rice that accompanied the tacos. And the tacos themselves were kind of empty. This isn't to say that the food wasn't enjoyable. It certainly was. But with Los Adobes right across the street offering the same food up for, I assume, slightly less price, I would have thought the folks at Taqueria Tavern would have done something to one-up the competition.

Overall, though, I suppose I can't complain. Our server seemed to get a handle on things after a few minutes and the food was decent. The only problem was that I was still hungry by the time the check came.  

Taqueria Tavern is on Park Road in West Hartford, right next to Plan B Burgers.


Dr Nuffin said...

...and what did you do afterward to overcome that hunger?

Ben said...

Yes, I suppose I should mention that, thanks to the small portions, we were able to consume mass quantities of pie at Effie's Place.

AmyBergquist said...

Do they serve chips and salsa while you wait for the meal?

Ben said...

Yes, there were chips. Warm chips, in fact.

Steve said...

Hm. Sounds like the same problem that plagued Cojones/Mexican Restaurant that inhabited that space prior. (Teensy portions of mediocre food.)

Maybe it's the same owners?

With that new place across the street and the phenomenal Monte Alban a couple miles away, I feel as though I've no need to go here.

the Professor said...

Monte Alban is high on the 'let's go try that' list. Maybe this weekend?

AmyBergquist said...

You should also put Coyote Flaco on your "must visit" list too, if you haven't already been. It's on New Britain Ave. in Hartford.

Steve said...

If you go to Monte Alban, be sure to get something with their housemade mole sauce. I usually go with the Enchiladas Oaxacanos (sic).

I actually eat their rice and beans too, and the little corn cake on the side is an excellent touch.

twogoodhands said...

First, if you're looking for Mexican food go to either Monte Alban on Farmington Ave or Los Adobes across the street from Taqueria Tavern on Park Road.

Second, the owner of Taqueria Tavern thinks that people dying on the U.S. border is a great big funny joke and he's even put up a sign to tell us so:

Ben said...

That's pretty sad. I don't remember there being a fence when we visited, but they had just opened then. I agree, Monte Alban is the place to go. The Professor and I finally ate there recently. Excellent mole sauce. Really good food. And very nice people working there.

I can't imagine Taqueria Tavern will last all that long unless they mix up their offerings a bit. There isn't much there to draw anyone (outside of initial curiosity).