Listen, I don’t like smack talk. Negative vibes aren’t my thing, man. But, as a taco authority, I feel like it is my duty to be honest. As much as I hate to say it: Rreal Tacos, freshly opened in Midtown, misses the mark.
The thing is, I’m not mad; I’m just disappointed. With taglines like “Taco lovers unite,” “Life unlike a taco shouldn’t be taken too seriously” and “Life should be enjoyed just like a taco!” Rreal Tacos’ branding gives the promising impression that they’re coming to the taco biz with an insider’s perspective—that they’re taco fans themselves.
Wrong, my friends.
If you’re like me, the first thing you expect from any self-respecting taco restaurant is a hefty serving of greasy tortilla chips with a side of salsa. That’s a given. Bonus points if they’re free. But I was shocked to find no chips on the menu. “We actually don’t serve chips and salsa,” explained an employee matter-of-factly, as if this wasn’t a complete travesty. “But, I really recommend the salted potatoes.”
I ordered one fish taco, one avocado taco and the goddamn salted potatoes, thinking maybe they’d be like some sort of Mexican-style French fries. Ordering should have been a simple process, but getting across what food I wanted took about three times as long as it should have, due in part to Rreal Tacos’ clunky, customizable menu and the painfully slow service (“Yes, two tacos.” “Yes, housemade tortilla on both.” “Um, no I didn’t say I wanted the beef?” “No, only one avocado”)
Once the food finally arrived, I was a little startled. Mainly because of the potatoes. If you order “salt-crusted potatoes,” you’d expect them to be chopped, seasoned and maybe roasted or pan-fried in olive oil for some flavor, right? Nobody serves straight up whole potatoes, right? Rreal tacos does.
We were presented with three, whole, golf-ball sized potatoes, barely cooked and seasoned with the tiniest pinch of salt. That’s it. Three tiny potatoes, served with some sort of dipping sauce. I tried one bite, and couldn’t salvage my way through the rest.
The tacos aren’t even newsworthy enough to mention, except that my mushed-up-fish taco was bland, the crispy avocado taco was okay (you can’t really screw up avocado) and the salsas that came with them were confusing, since I’m pretty sure they didn’t give me the flavors I’d ordered.
We were so dissatisfied with our meal that afterwards, we walked down the street to Escorpion, where we drowned our taco-sorrows the only way we knew how: with an order of margaritas and (free!) chips and salsa.