I've eaten at Zocalo three times since the soft opening and in general I'm impressed both with how together they were at the opening and how they've improved on any initial qualms I had. The addition of Steve Davidson (sp?) in the kitchen is noticeable. The interior decor is very adult and terrific for an evening out with friends. The patio, Like JoshL725 pointed out, is going to be awesome this summer! I look forward to them adding more in the non-meat realm but it is already pretty damn good.
Great lunch but limited menu. all taco options are meat. it would be nice if they had fish taco's and shrimp taco's on there. the patio is HUGE! this place will be rocking by summer time!
Pathetic.. one word to describe their fish tacos. The mahi fish that was in the taco was the size of my middle finger.. ONE little 1" x 4" piece.. less than an ounce of fish, nice lettuce though. The tortilla was gummy like it had been nuked in the microwave. I ate there a few months after they opened and there was at least 3 pieces of mahi fish in one taco then. What happened?? The marguerita I ordered, paying for quality tequila, was very scant on the tequila ... I had 2, so it was no mistake that it was light. Too bad mini-bottles are gone, at least you knew you were getting what you paid for. I love the outdoor space but come on, if you want dinner to be flour tortillas and chips and salsa, you will do well here. The place was packed last night but that should not be an excuse for their quality of food or drink if they want to keep people coming back. MHO.
Anyone who does not make me choose a Sangria or Margarita, but instead puts frozen margarita IN my Sangria, gets my vote. I love the large portion of delicious guacamole - - large enough that I don't resent sharing. The corn on the cob with the spicy sauce is just delicious. And the tacos make my inner foodie very happy.
taco boy blows ! terrible from every stand point !
Two words for anybody thinking of trying Taco Boy..."Taco Bell!!!"
Prices are too high and they changed the chips. The new stylechips are awful and talking to the waiter he confided that many people are complaining but the owners will not change back. Used to go there a couple of times a month, despite the high prices. Now we are going much less as the quality of food is slipping
I was considering going here for dinner this evening based on a colleague's praise, BUT decided to look in City Paper to see if they had any reviews. Boy, am I glad I did.
An expensive Mexican restaurant, in the hood..on Huger Street of all places??
..that sounds like a trap..
no, but seriously, just from reading these reviews, good or bad, they all pretty much say the same thing..the prices are ridiculous, and no free chips and salsa? wow. Im surprised.
Screw ambiance; that's supposed to be a plus.
Wow! I ordered a shrimp PLATTER ($14) and got 8 barely-quarter-sized shrimp that made just 2 tacos with the provided tortillas. That's 2 tacos at $7 each. (For those of you who think that's a deal, I've got a bridge to sell you.) I don't know of these are locally-sourced shrimp or not, but if they are, I didn't expect to be the only person paying for the shrimper to make his living — or maybe it's that Taco Boy doesn't feel the need to make their takeout orders worth it and have their customers return. I'll certainly never go there (or take out) again. [Footnote: I also got rice and black beans with the platter; however, flavor must have been an upgrade option on the menu that I missed seeing when ordering.]
This place is going on 4 years & they are still working hard just like day one!! Trust me... Same hard working, Excellent tasting food, & yummy drinks.
we love barberitos. better than moes - but yet so similar. tuesdays are kids eat free nights - we go often! friendly staff - they always seem to remember us. i always get the steak - whatever seasonings they use, mmmmm! prices are decent, but we will rarely go on a full price night.
Watery, tasteless components in most dishes. Three visits and couldn't find anything worthwhile to travel back. There are so many alternatives (and they can all be healthy if you order that way.) Zia, Santi and looking forward to John Marshall's new spot in Park Circle... Not worth the trip.
Good, but not as good as La Nortena.
caliente's location is out there.. but SO good! the puffy tacos are awesome & the entire menu is reasonably priced. Random- but their fried ice cream is really good too!!
This place isn't bad...the atmosphere is great. The staff (in my experience) are all really nice and accomodating. The food is pretty standard though for a Mexican joint. It's good, don't get me wrong, but it's what I think you would expect from just about any strip-mall type Mexican place. But what do I know?
BEST MEXICAN I HAVE EVER HAD!!! The chicken tostadas were quite tastey. The chicken is juicy and everything else is fresh. At other mexican restaurants is seems like all the dishes are made in the morning and when you order them they just stick the entire dish in a heater and boom...your meal. Definitely not the case at Santi's! Love this place and I've gone back again and again. Great atmosphere and wait staff!
Best "standard" Mexican food in Charleston, hands down. The vegetables and meat seem MUCH more fresh than at La Ha, Senor Tequila, etc. Awesome salsa and MUCH friendlier service than any of these places, as well.
DO NOT EAT AT THIS RESTAURANT! I purchased a restaurant.com coupon on 9-30-10 to eat here. My family and I went there for dinner on 01-15-11. When it got time to pay, I told the waiter I had a $50.00 coupon from restaurant.com. He said that alcohol was excluded. I told him that was not listed in the Terms & Conditions on my gift certificate. He argued with me and came back with a different coupon which stated this. I told him that was all well and good but my certificate was different and did not state that alcohol was excluded. I asked to talk to the manager & was told he was not in, but that I could talk to him on the phone. I explained to the manager what the problem was and all he did was argue with me. At that point, I got so upset and paid the bill but will never go back. I believe that they broke the law by not honoring my coupon. Bottom line is that I cannot believe that a manager of a restaurant would treat a customer this way. I have never been treated so badly in a restaurant in my life. It was extremely embarassing.
I can't wait to go back. It was past lunch hour (after 2:00 p.m.), on a rainy Saturday afternoon. I have always believed that a good way to test the mettle of a restaurant is to go there when it’s slow. During the busy lunch/dinner periods, things usually go well, since the restaurant is usually in a rhythm. But when it’s slow – fewer employees, people are beginning to think about the end of the shift and starting to clean up, then things can slip.
When we entered the restaurant we were a little confused about what to do. Do we wait for a hostess? Do we seat ourselves? And then we looked up and saw a small wall menu adjacent to the bar and a sign that told us to order there. There were seats at the bar open and we decided to sit there. It was still confusing. Was someone going to wait on us? We glanced around the restaurant, still uncertain.
Small, not overly themed, with about 30 – 40 seats, plus the bar and an outside patio, light music played in the background.A very quiet atmosphere, but then again, we were hitting it at a rather slow time.
The bartender came to take our order. It surprised me that there were no sparkling bottled water options, so I made due with soda water. I would normally have tried a margarita but we were heading to a Christmas party later that night. We started with a Chile con Queso. Before we could just about blink it was in front of us along with fresh salsa and chips. That was fast!
The Queso was made with pepper jack cheese, red bell pepper, garlic and white wine (I’m stealing this from the menu, as I would never have remembered everything.) We could not wait to dig in. It was by far one of the best Queso dishes I have ever had (I lived in Dallas for many years and there are many great Mexican restaurants there…). Warm, smooth, colorful and it had a light kick to it. Nice.
The only downside of our appetizer was our service at the bar. We never received any silverware, plates, napkins, etc. from our bartender. At this point I was still a little confused as to whether it was self serve or full service at the bar. The lack of service put me off a bit.
We rustled up plates, etc. from a nearby condiment station. The service style continued to be confusing. I finally realized that if you place your order at the register you received a number and your lunch would be brought out to you. If you were seated at one of the high tops in the bar area or at the bar, the bartender would wait on you. No prob, we were too busy enjoying our appetizer.
Although the bartender seemed to know some regulars, she became animated only when she spoke to her colleague that this was the last day-shift (thankfully), that she had until a week from Tuesday. We did ask her how long the restaurant had been opened, (2 yrs.), if she was one of the original hires (yes, there is very little front of the house turnover), and how business was (good, we’re pretty busy, especially during the holidays), but otherwise, she didn’t speak to us. Isn’t she supposed to be paid for her wit and charm?? Guess I'm used to a bit more interaction from bartenders.
Our lunch included a 10+++, super star, unbelievable, can’t-say-enough-about-it sandwich and another item. Here’s the scoop. But first, we had to ask for silverware to begin eating. Urgh.
We ordered the Carne Asada (thinly sliced beef) Tortas Mexicanas. The menu description hardly does this sandwich any justice. It was served on fresh baked telera bread that had been toasted. It is topped with black beans, caramelized onions, lettuce, tomato, avocado and cilantro jalapeno spread (again, a direct steal). PLUS… it is served with a small, grilled corn on the cob topped with melted butter and sprinkled with fresh, grated cheese.
The sandwich is massive, easily the size of a small dinner plate. By the time I went to ask to try the corn, it was gone. All I kept hearing was, “Wow, this is something.” Now, on to what I ordered for lunch.
The carnitas quesadilla’s presentation was just lovely, (ut oh, that's like telling someone they are about to go on a first date with they have a nice personality…), overstuffed and served on a fajita-like cast iron skillet. It was accompanied by “cream” (similar to sour cream only thinner), homemade guacamole and a very spicy jalapeno relish. It looked sensational. But alas, the pork inside the quesadilla was dry and not very warm. The cheese had melted nicely, but having the carnitas just luke warm took away from the meal, especially since it tasted great.
It was however, the type of meal that you know you should stop eating, but just can’t. I only ate ½ of my quesadilla, but it wasn’t for lack of trying. The sandwich was MIA before you knew it.
Every time I have a meal somewhere and plan to write about it, I drop a card that says, “Read our thoughts @diningaroundcharleston.com.” As there have been some hidden gems that we’ve really enjoyed. If the experience was great, I want them to know and hopefully enjoy and share my thoughts with the team, if it wasn’t that great, I hope that they take it to heart and know that I am just being honest in what my experience was like. Hopefully, they can also fix a few things.
Sometimes I get a note from the owner, GM, etc. She/he will explain what happen if we’d hit a speed bump, or thank me for my thoughts and invite me back. I’ve even received an email where the owner was YELLING at me for what I wrote and questioned "Who do you think you are??" (I responded that I was Jane Q. Customer, and I helped to pay his mortgage, staff, keep his lights on and his suppliers happy.) But here’s the interesting part.
Within minutes of leaving, Kevin W. Grant, the owner/chef dropped me an email. He thanked me for dropping the card and visiting the restaurant, hoping that everything was superb. I applaud his pride of ownership and concern about his brand. I would go out of my way to recommend the place (and already have). I can't wait to go back. View more of our comments at http://diningaroundcharleston.com
Zia's is amazing! They often have the pollo verde on special and it is basically shredded, amazingly flavored chicken with I believe a tomatillo sauce. Their margaritas are an exceptional value and they use fresh lime juice. Also, their salsa is the best I have ever had in a restaurant. Just the right amount of spice.... I think I may go there for dinner tonight!
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