Thursday, July 29, 2010
Company I won't be keeping again
About ten years ago, a friend of mine embarked on an ill-fated adventure as a bar-owner on Nashville's 2nd Avenue. I him do some work on the interior of the bar when it was in its "opening soon" phase, most of which was gratis (with hopes that I'd be able to drink gratis once the place got up and running). He did, however, treat me to lunch several times, and one of the places in which we regularly ate was San Antonio Taco Co. on Commerce Street.
I didn't really remember much about my dining experiences at San Antonio Taco Co. (or "Satco" to the hipster doofi set), but I must have been thoroughly underwhelmed by the place 'cause it took me a long time to go back. Well, I did go back; and I must say that I don't care if it takes me another ten years to go back to a restaurant that serves tacos that're only marginally better than the tacos served at Taco Bell (I'll have more to say about Taco Bell at a later date).
Prior to a recent Bluegrass show at the Ryman Auditorium, a friend and I visited the ducked into the Commerce Street San Antonio Taco Co. for a quick pre-concert meal. I'd forgotten that you don't just walk up to the counter and place orders. You write down your order on a little slip of paper, and then you walk five feet and hand said slip of paper to an employee who was just scratching his ass while you searched for the one pencil - out of 50 on hand - that will actually write. Now, while the f'ed-up ordering system at San Antonio Taco Co. is pretty bad, the food is even worse.
First of all, I made the mistake of ordering some chips and guacamole as an "appetizer." They chips-'n'-guac consisted of a small tray containing about 2 lbs. of chips and 2 ounces of guacamole. The guac was pretty good, but the chips were coated with enough salt to line the rims of about four-dozen margarita glasses. I think my systolic went up by 20 after about four chips. Then came the tacos.
It's pretty difficult to mess up a taco ... but messed up tacos seems to be all San Antonio Taco Co. serves. There was hardly any beef in the beef tacos I ordered, or any chicken in the chicken tacos served to my friend. That was strike one. The tortillas were cold, like they'd just been taken out of the refrigerator, and they didn't taste like they were "homemade," as TheSatco.com says they are (maybe "homemade" is Satcospeak for "storebought"). That was strike two. And my friend and I stated several times that we would've been better off stopping at Taco Bell for cheaper tacos with just as meat in 'em as the ones we were eating. That was strike three and four.
They only good thing about my visit to San Antonio Taco Co. -- and, yes, I was able to find something good there -- was the salsa and pico de gallo served on the fixin's bar. Both the salsa and pico tasted very fresh, and both were loaded with cilantro (always a plus for me). If not for the heaps of salsa and pico I loaded on to my tacos, which you can see in the picture below, I doubt if I'd have been able to finish my meal.
I'm sure there are some folks who really enjoy the San Antonio Taco Co.'s food. Actually, I know people enjoy it because the place was packed when I went there. How anyone can eat that dreck, though, is totally beyond me. Needless to say, someone will have to literally drag me into the place if I ever find myself inside the San Antonio Taco Co. again.