vatos urban tacos, south beach quarter.

Thursday, April 14, 2016 0 Comments A+ a-

vatos urban tacos has been filed away on my to-try list for ages, but i have so many places on my to-try list that i clean forgot about this place. korean-mexican sounded like a good fit for my dinner with X, so finally! i get to try it!

it being a wednesday night, i didn't think that we'd need a reservation (though i usually just make reservations in case- don't know what i was thinking that day. probably feeling lazy). man, was i wrong. we reached at about seven-thirty, and the place was PACKED. the guy at the counter told us that it was fully reserved (!) and we were looking at a wait of about one to one and half hours. ridiculous really. since it was raining, we decided to just stay put, wait and try our luck. also managed to snag a copy of the menu to peruse, and the more we looked, the more tempted we were. so i guess it was lucky that we managed to get a table after about twenty minutes, even if it was a (makeshift looking) table outside the restaurant. reminder to self: make a reservation next time.

while waiting, we'd already half-decided what to eat, so we didn't take long to place our orders. i got one of the signature burrito bowls, the fat bastard ($21) while X got the galbi short rib tacos ($12 for 2). because i was feeling greedy, we got the spicy chicken quesadillas ($16) to share. X also got the passionfruit makgeolita ($25) which came in a seriously HUGE glass, taking both of us by surprise. (luckily X has a separate stomach for liquids... and she was determined to prove it to me.)

we got complimentary tortilla chips with dips as starters (necessary, given that our mains took quite a long while to appear).

the quesadillas came first, toasty and cheesy. i was halfway through my first slice when i realised that, strangely enough, the meat inside was brown and totally looked unlike chicken. upon closer inspection i realised that it was actually beef. to be honest, i liked the beef, and didn't really mind that they'd served us wrongly, but X was adamant on getting the chicken one (because she wanted to try the chicken) so we sent it back. a new plate came slightly later- tasted more or less the same, but i liked the beef more, though X didn't agree. i found the chicken bland, overpowered by the abundance of cheese, so all i could taste was cheese. the beef, on the other hand, held its own against the cheese. oh well- at least we got to try both, i guess.

the tacos came slightly later (why do they not serve everything at one go?!). for some reason, X was expecting pork (even though the menu very clearly showed a picture of a cow next to the item...), so she was taken by surprise when she realised it was actually beef. given that she doesn't usually like beef, it was a rude shock. so i decided to trade half my burrito bowl with her, in exchange for one taco. i ended up really liking the taco, actually! after picking out the raw onion bits, that is. the freshness of the slaw combined with the well marinated short rib and soft tortilla was good, though a messy eat- i think there's no way to eat a taco glamourously. the next time i come by, i'd want to get the tacos.

the burrito bowl was way easier to eat. it was full of toppings- steak, pulled pork, grilled fajita vegetables, guacamole, beans and salsa atop mexican rice. it also came with two tortilla chips, which X practically inhaled. it was pretty yummy, but way too much rice (i think that's just me, though).

i quite liked the food, though not the wait. i'd come back, but with a reservation next time.

vatos urban tacos
36 beach road

reading menus is one of my hobbies.