I’ve been on a taco kick lately, and last weekend’s adventures brought me to Pozole in the Virginia Highlands area. The “nuevo Latin y tequila bar” offers a wide array of Latin American dishes, with an emphasis on tacos & tequila – a pretty spot-on focus area, if you ask me. The atmosphere is casual, but lively, and both the patio & bar areas are perfect for margarita-sipping. I’m no tequila connoisseur, but I rarely pass up the opportunity for an ice-cold skinny marg on the rocks.
The margarita was certainly refreshing (which isn’t all that difficult when you’re sitting on a patio in 90-degree weather), but I wouldn’t go as far as to say it was “award-winning”, as the menu boasts. On a side note – do they really give out margarita awards in the first place? Nevertheless, that clearly didn’t stop me from ordering a second round.
Margaritas always taste better with something salty, so we ordered a round of the house chips, complete with a salsa trio of tomato, pineapple, & tomatillo. I wasn’t particularly impressed by any of the salsas (which explains why I forgot to photograph them), but the chips were crunchy, warm, and nicely seasoned.
Unlike most taco establishments in town, Pozole’s tacos are served with rice & beans rather than a la carte. Normally, I would view something like this as an added bonus, but rice and beans don’t do much anything for me, other than clutter the plate.
The menu offers seven “Pozole Tacos” to mix and match (think traditional, chicken, fish, etc.), as well as a few pricier “Specialty Tacos” a la shrimp, lobster, and surf & turf. I stuck to the Pozole menu and went with a slow roasted pork and a grilled chicken taco.
Like the presentation, the tacos were underwhelming. The pork lacked flavor and the texture was an unpleasant combination of grainy and mushy. The grilled chicken taco was equally disappointing. The flavor of the chicken, poblano peppers, and onions were all drowned in a sea of overly-heavy cilantro cream sauce. Had I realized this was going to be the case, I would have gone sans sauce. Both tacos were served in soft corn tortillas, which were pretty delicious on their own. Unfortunately, the tortillas didn’t quite make up for the less-than-delicious flavors found inside.
All in all, the food was mediocre – definitely not a place I would put on my top taco list. However, I haven’t completely ruled out the possibility of returning to give Pozole a second chance, due solely to the fact that they offer $1 tacos and $4 margaritas every Wednesday night. Some deals are just too good to pass up, and others, too good to be true. I guess I’ll find out soon enough…
Taco Tour Score Update:
1. El Taco