So I’m majorly in the mood for Mexican food for
second dinner tonight. (Un)fortunately, it’s 12:30 in Princeton, NJ thereafter this hr there is no Mexican food to be found for sale anywhere. What I did find though was a partially completed post about a wonderful Mexican joint that I recently got to check out. While I was visiting my best marathon running buddy Dr. Annabelle we also had a most gluttonous fantastic dinner at Tacuba’s taco bar In Branford, CT. This little place is a nondescript hole in the wall with a menu full of wonderful.
So we went for dinner with big appetites and were welcomed by a beautiful selection of appetizers and entrée options. We totally wanted to try everything!
Between the three of us (Yes, I can count. Unfortunately the waiter who took the photo of all three of us was dderrrunnnkkeerrr than we were and the result more closely resembled a lesser known work by Degas than a
good mediocre picture of us. Thank you Mike for stepping up to the plate and showing him how it’s done.) we ordered a shit load of the menu and there wasn’t so much as one complaint. We decided to start with an appetizer of guacamole and damn. Now the guac was good, damn good, but it also came with fresh, warm, sea salted chips and three different dipping sauces (hot, mild and pineapple). Taken together I couldn’t have asked for more!
Next we shared the lobster arepa. WOW! There were big, tender lumps of lobster in a rich tomato cream sauce topped with avocado , sour cream, oaxaca cheese and served with a fresh grilled sweet corn cake. I have dreams about the lobster arepa. One word of warning is that it is damn rich, but this makes it a great dish for sharing. Three good eaters had a few bites during dinner, were satisfied and brought the rest home to enjoy later.
Then, we each ordered a taco platos. I got two vegetarian tacos and one fish taco. Our waitress was seriously talking up the vegetarian taco, how it was the absolute best item on the menu. Now, this isn’t a complaint but of all things that this place serves, the vegetarian taco is nothing to write home about. I don’t know what the hell she had eaten, but it was not the same thing I was served. Like I said, don’t take this the wrong way, it was fine, it was more than fine (especially considering it’s just sheet of smashed corn and binder filled with some veggies) but the fish taco — O.M.G. Now this is something that I will write, call and smoke signal home about. The fish was fantastic, lightly breaded and fried lumps with avocado, lettuce, sour cream and a special sauce. It’s the fish taco that’s the best item on the menu! The taco plates were served with rice and beans that complemented perfectly.
Finally, our arms were twisted into splitting the tres leches cake for dessert. Served with ice cream and banana it was the perfect way to end the meal.
Aside from our waitress having a difficult time identifying the best item on the menu, the staff was great. Our waitress(es) were excellent. It seemed like more of a casual group effort by the wait-staff than normal and this made it a really nice dining environment.
Walking inside it was like entering a little restaurant somewhere far from Branford, CT. It was dark (in a good way) and quaint and cozy and friendly and chatty and bustling. We sat at a table with chairs on one side and a bench along the wall on the other, right across from the bar and kitchen window. It was fun to be in the middle of the action yet we still had enough space to enjoy good conversation and company. I’d imagine kids would love it…and the wiser generation should pack their strongest cheaters and double-check their batteries (well worth it though ;-).
Pricing was what I expected more or less. Not exactly the dollar menu, but very reasonable for a small business serving niche food in a great environment. Excellent quality and appropriate portions all around. We each spent ~$50 on a dinner that included a butt-load of different fantastic dishes and cocktails.