Bland Mexican: Nico’s Taco and Tequila Bar

Okay, I know it’s not fair to review a restaurant on its first day, but hopefully it will be more helpful than hurtful. I was sad to see the Birdhouse leave after such a short stint, but happy to see that a Mexican restaurant was swiftly moving in, with an emphasis on “tequila bar”.

We sat down in the new chairs and anticipated the spicy food and special margaritas. As I scanned the menu, I realized that it was probably thrown together very quickly, on account of all the typos. No big deal. It’s their “soft” opening and all the bugs will work themselves out over time. Our server greeted us immediately and talked about some key items on the menu. This attentive, sincere service was not expected, given the fact that this new Mexican venture was owned by Amore Victoria. Even though she pronounced the “lls” in tomatillo, I still thought she was very charming.

We ordered the house margarita and the special blood orange margarita. Our server reassured us that it was a “house-made” sweet and sour mix. It really was quite mediocre. My partner’s blood orange marg tasted like a suped-up lemonade. I’d stick with a safe Sierra Nevada or a more expensive tequila. By the way, most of their tequilas are blanco and cheap, if you know what I mean.

Then came the guacamole in a machine made molcajete. It was simply bland, made with mashed avocados and not so ripe tomatoes. What happened to the serrano chiles and fresh lime juice?! The salsa verde, with chips, was definitely from a jar and the chips had no flavor. I swear there were a few stale ones in there too. We both ordered batter fried cod tacos and shrimp tacos on flour tortillas. Our server must have seen us make a face because she came back immediately with two surprisingly spicy salsas.

I really hope they get it right at Nico’s Taco and Tequila Bar. They have a lot of competition that could very well wipe them out. I’m not sure I would go back for the food until then. For now, I only wish that I could have the same server at a better Mexican restaurant.

One comment

  1. Hi Linda, my name is Jenna Victoria, one of the owners behind Nico’s Taco and Tequila Bar. First and foremost I would like to say thank you for dining with us. The night you dined we opened on a whim for three hours just to get our feet wet, and serve some passerby’s along Hennepin…so you definitely caught us in the rawest of raw!  We have since rolled out our real menu design (in fact the very next day) and our computers arrived!  We thank you for your feedback, and want you to know that we absolutely make all of our salsas from scratch including the salsa verde…this salsa is different than the others in that the ingredients are puréed into a smooth, creamy texture (due to the whipped avocados). It is a very traditional salsa you will find only in the authentic taquerias or in my mother-in-law’s kitchen :). The others are a bit chunkier, and expose the tomatillo in a different way.  We start each morning making all of our salsas by first roasting the tomatillos.  We hope to work out the other kinks you mentioned but thought  it was important to clarify the integrity of our salsa, and really everything we serve.  We would love to give you a tour and show you how we make that salsa, or anything else, anytime!  We do make our own sweet and sour as well, and I think you may have missed the long list of Reposado (aged) tequila we have on our menu, as well as the Anejo (extra aged) selections, which together double the Blanco list.  We do thank you again for dining with us and hope you will visit us again soon now that we’ve had a few more days under our belt.

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