A new restaurant is in town.
It’s a chain, but only kind of.
The Local Taco started alllllll the way in Tennessee (not really), and just opened a location in Greenville! I’ve been there three times now, and I LIKE IT A LOT. Also, I ate leftovers from dinner last weekend yesterday for lunch and I LIKED THEM A LOT.
Seriously. This place is great. A manager, Kris, emailed and asked if we’d like to come write a review and duh, we did. I had already been and wanted to take Jay, so we went for an early dinner last week before we went to see my sister sing the national anthem at a hockey game. Because you care about things like that.
Local Taco is a Mexican-fusian restaurant, if I had to call it anything. Their menus are different at each of their locations based on local favorites. They use local ingredients, too, which I love.
The atmosphere in this joint is super clean and casual. There is a large outdoor seating area that almost doubles the seating capacity of the restaurant, and I think that will be a great addition when the weather warms up a bit. The inside section of the restaurant is split into two sections – regular seating and bar. The bar area is by far my favorite; the other side of the restaurant is louder and, frankly, the service is better on the bar side. Way better. The other two times we have been there we didn’t sit on the bar side, and the service was …. weird. Not even bad, just weird. Example: my friend asked what the special taco was. The server went outside to look at the board, came back in, and said “the same special we’ve had all week.” Um…ok? We don’t eat here every day. Again….not bad, just weird.
First item of business: This place has a sweet happy hour. Their margaritas are house-made, with no mix, and they are GOOD. Plus, they’re a teensy bit more affordable between 4 and 6pm, which is nice for the impoverished diner, like me. Lime juice squeezed in-house makes a big difference, so naturally I have several margs each time I’m there. Whatever.
Guacamole. Also made in-house. It has tomatoes and onions and big chunks of avocado, and I LOVE it. You should try it. Seriously.
Tacos. Duh. There are tons of taco flavors, AND you can order more than one type of taco with your meal. The menu is set up so that you can choose a 2 or 3 taco meal, and each taco can be different. OR, you can order tacos by the piece, which is a nice option as well. On this night we ordered the special taco, which had chicken, fried onions, and zucchini strips. Compared to some of the other tacos on the menu it was a bit bland. Other folks love standard chicken tacos, but for a weekly special we were hoping for something with a bit more oomph.
Jay ordered the monster vegetarian plate, which had rice, beans, tortillas, and sauteed veggies. He loved it, and it was a great affordable option for someone who wanted a lighter meal.
I ordered enchiladas, which, like the tacos, you can mix and match. One steak and one cheese, with two different sauces. YUM. I loved them both, and could have eaten 19 of them. I only ate half my meal and took the rest home because 76 margs and a vat of chips and guac had filled me up. Go figure. The enchiladas came with pickled onions on top, and they were SO good. I’m a big fan of balanced flavors, even in affordable restaurants.
The sides at Local Taco are super fun too. They have something called Mexi-tater tots, which are house-made fried balls of potato with a cumin-y sauce drizzled on top. Jay says they’re bland, I say they’re great. Truthfully, they’re not any feat of culinary genius, but they’re still really good!
OH. And the flan. We weren’t going to order it, because of the marg/chip thing that made us STUFFED, but we love dessert and it was recommended to us by our super cute server, so we went with it. She was right – it was GREAT. All of the desserts are made in-house (seeing a theme here?), and we really enjoyed it!
If there is one thing that we didn’t like at this joint, it’s the short rib taco. It’s Asian-style, and has a lot of good flavor ideas, but is SALTY. Really salty, and in a way that a bit of spice, or more garlic could add flavor but not be so salty. The meat is great, though, and there are always adjustments made at the beginning of the life of a restaurant.
We’re thrilled to have this fun place as a new hangout. We’ve already discussed at length the desire to spend more time heckling the bartenders and eating way too many chips. We’ll be back soon, and have loved Local Taco so far!