Bartaco – Atlanta, GA

Earlier this week, when talking about taquerias, someone mentioned how much their son was enjoying Bartaco on the Westside.  I made a mental note and when looking for lunch, I plugged in their address and off we went.  To say that this 

was not what I was expecting was a gross understatement.   It wasn’t sketchy and authentic looking where everyone but us spoke Spanish (man, that’s a good sign for a taco stand).  Rather, it looked like a lobster shack on the Cape.  What the heck?

We took a seat and talked through the menu and I did a quick Google search.  

The reviews on the “press” section of their website frequently referenced “beautiful people dining on tasty tacos” from magazines like Jezebel and Serendipity.   Even the Times (although it was about a CT location, as Atlanta is just getting to the culinary table…).

From the pricy chips (entire tortillas that you break up yourself) and guac to the quaintly bottled sauces, everything about this place literally screams “poser”, but here’s the odd thing – the food is really good.

I started with a pork tamale, that could have spent a little more time in the oven.

The masa on the end wasn’t quite cooked firm, but the bottom of the tamale was quite tasty.  And we ordered an assortment of tacos (two each).

From left to right;

  • Portobello mushroom (this was topped with quest fresco), which was so good that another one was ordered as soon as this was finished);
  • pork pastor, which was the best of my two;
  • chicken and 
  • baja fish, which was almost as good as the mushroom.  

The food was very good.  But here’s the downside:

The service model is off-putting.   You put a card up on your table when you want a server.  Seems kind of lazy to me.  And not well explained, as I waited for water, not knowing I was supposed to flag someone down.  

And the parking is abysmal.   They have no lot of their own and virtually no place to pull your car into for their valet.  And the valet is not very organized.  Couple that with a bunch of impatient car owners, wrapped in white privilege, and you’ve got a meltdown in the making.

Bartaco Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

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