Review: El Taco
Mexican food. It’s one of the cuisines that probably won’t ever find its way to white tablecloth, but that doesn’t mean it’s not appetizing. Tonight I ate at El Taco, a Fifth Group Restaurant (owns my beloved Ecco) whose name is about as authentic as bacon is kosher. While I only tried four dishes, I feel like I have a pretty good read on the place. That is to say, it’s typical Americanized-Mexican fare.
Appetizer was chili-braised short rib in a masa (corn) cup with lettuce and avocado. Short rib was juicy and tender, but like so many Mexican dishes, nothing really stood out or came together. I don’t know why but American-Mexican dishes have a tendency to all taste the same. Maybe it’s because they ALL use the same kind of lettuce and add chunks of avocados…
Entree was better, specifically the grilled chicken tacos (left) served with cilantro, crema, avocado and fried jalapenos in a corn tortilla. The chicken was grilled wonderfully to the point where the it had crunchy, near fried edges. These chicken tacos, I must say, are worth coming back for.
Red chili steak tacos served with crispy onions and tomatillo-lime salsa just didn’t do it for me. It wasn’t horrible or anything but the flavors came together in a very weird way.
So obviously El Taco isn’t the place for authentic Mexican cuisine, and it’s not a restaurant worth driving across town for (very few are anyway). Where its brother restaurant Ecco has a menu full of interesting combinations, El Taco has a menu full of predictable combinations (without the numbering system). Judging by the relaxed, bar-like atmosphere, I hope that the Fifth Group just wanted El Taco to be a regular Americanized taco place with a few improvements here and there. Nothing more.
1186 North Highland Ave.
Atlanta, GA 30306
404 873 4656