Taco might just be the most beautiful word in the dictionary.
In college, my friends and I ate Taqueria del Sol like it was our job. Their fish tacos may or may not be my One True Love.
What I'm getting at here is that I am addicted to tacos.
Now that Kristin—my roomie and fellow taco connoisseur—and I are officially Atlantans, we’ve been scouring the city for the best place to treat ourselves to a few tacos, margs and tortilla chips.
We realized that we both love writing and that we both love tacos.
Enter Taco Tuesday.
The concept is simple: Each Tuesday, we’ll alternate posting a review of a local taco restaurant. We’re on a quest for the best place in town. (Currently sitting comfortably in the top spot is Taqueria del Sol. Admittedly, this will probably always hold the lead).
The criteria for a good taco restaurant is as follows:
1. Margs. Strength, flavor and price are the three main qualities here. A nice balance of the three is preferable.
2. Chips and Salsa. It’s always a plus if these come free. Bland, ketchup–y salsa will not be tolerated.
3. Atmosphere. Cute, Pinterest-worthy décor and outdoor seating are ideal. Bonus points for year-round Christmas lights.
4. Tacos. The most important factor. I pretty much always order fish, and Kristin pretty much always orders chicken. As far as fish tacos go, the secret to deliciousness is very simple: it’s all in the sauce. Also, if the fish is too fried, the tacos just taste like a cheap heart attack. And if they’re too bland, the whole thing might as well be a soggy napkin. We need a nice balance here.
We’ve begun our first Taco Tuesday with gusto: To commemorate the special occasion, we’re featuring two reviews this week. Here, I’ll be discussing Red Pepper Taqueria, while Kristin has weighed in on Escorpión over on her blog.
taco tuesday: red pepper taqueria
Red Pepper Taqueria gets three things right: 1) They have strong margs, 2) It's walking distance from my apartment, and 3) Their slogan, "Addicted to Tacos," speaks to my soul,
But that's about all Red Pepper has going for it. The chips were most definitely not free and tasted suspiciously like Tostitos. I tried to add hot sauce to salvage the tomato soup that was supposed to pass for salsa, but nothing could be done to remedy the dreaded ketchup-y consistency.
I ordered one fish taco (as usual) and one shrimp & kale taco (a new adventure!). It saddens me to say that the fish was a huge disappointment; it was tasteless, textureless and colorless. I couldn't even finish it. The shrimp was better, but still not great. It had a tiny bit of seasoning and avocado cream, so compared to the fish it was downright flavorful.
The margs weren't tasty per se, but they were strong and affordable. Ambience-wise, Red Pepper is a bright, fun and stereotypically Tex-Mex chain, boasting an outdoor patio, spacious bar and colorful wall art.
I’m much more partial to taquerias of the eclectic variety, preferably those with kickass fish tacos and handmade chips, but I have to give Red Pepper partial credit for convenience. If it wasn’t literally a hop, skip and a jump away from home, I’d probably never return. But having my next margs & tortilla chip fix a five-minute walk away is just too good to ignore. But maybe next time, I’ll go the queso + alcohol route and skip the tacos.