I like to think of myself as a fairly adventurous eater, I’ll try anything at least once. However, as soon as I find something that I really like, I tend to stick to it. When it comes to Mexican cuisine, I’ve decided that I really like tacos, so I order them everywhere I go.
I’ve had quite a few tacos at quite a few places around Atlanta, but have yet to pin down my all-time favorite. A combination of being in the vicinity of Verde Taqueria in Brookhaven while also starving convinced me to start the process of figuring that out. Basically, over the next few weeks, I intend to eat lots of tacos at lots of places around Atlanta, and decide on a favorite. A Taco Tour, if you will.
Like they say, there’s no time like the present…so the process began promptly with a taco lunch at Verde Taqueria.
Verde’s menu offered 14 different taco options, with all kinds of variety – veggie, steak, chicken, beef, fish, you get the point. I’m typically a two-taco kind of eater, but like I said, I was starving…I went with three. Coincidentally (or perhaps subconsciously), I ate them in the order that I ended up liking them.
#1: Short rib. The beef short rib taco was braised and topped with pico de gallo and just a drizzle of cilantro sour cream. The beef itself was flavorful enough to stand on its own, but the sour cream provided a nice acidic balance to the bite. The taco was huge – I almost asked for a fork and a knife, but instead, ended up just asking for a zillion extra napkins.
#2: Fried chicken. I was skeptical after my first bite of the fried chicken taco – it seemed dry. After I got a taste of the chipotle aioli on bite number two, I had a change of heart. The fried chicken was topped with tons (more than I wanted, really) of thick-cut, applewood smoked bacon cubes, diced tomatoes, and greens. Aside from the satisfying taste combination, this was a really bright and beautiful taco.
# 3: Grilled fish. I purposely saved this one for last because I thought it would be my favorite of the three. I was wrong. I didn’t particularly care for this taco at all. The flavorless tilapia tasted far from blackened, the slaw was way too sweet, and it did not come with a side of salsa as the menu suggested. I’d skip this one next time and try out the fried calamari or shrimp as a replacement.
- The tacos themselves were massive – the shells stuffed to the max. I went into the meal convinced that I would clean my plate, only to find myself struggling to take more than two bites of tacos 2 and 3. No problem there – half-eaten tacos tasted pretty good as leftovers.
- Across the board, all the ingredients were super-fresh.
- The a la carte tacos top out at $4, so even the hungriest of eaters aren’t going to break the bank at Verde.
The not-so positives:
- The grilled fish taco. Not a fan.
- The lack of tortilla variety. All tacos were served in a soft, flour tortilla. When given the option, I usually prefer soft corn or whole wheat tortillas. Not a deal breaker, but still worth noting.
- The fried plantains (we ordered these as a side). They were okay – a little too sweet, lacking salt, and not quite crispy enough. I wouldn’t order them again.
The verdict: Although this was only the first stop in my official Taco Tour, I’m not predicting it to be the winner. While I really enjoyed the short rib and fried chicken tacos, I think I can do better elsewhere. Only time (and more tacos) will tell…