Amsterdam Foodie

In search of tacos, part 7: Taqueria Tacobar

Regular readers of this blog will know that I’ve been in search of decent tacos for a long time (the clue is in the title: part 7? That’s a lot of tacos…). And arguably, I found my Taco Mecca when I discovered Orale Taqueria at Hiding in Plain Sight and Best Coast Taqueria at Bar Bra. But these are pop-ups, and while there’s nothing wrong with a pop-up (in fact, there’s often a lot right with them), by definition they’re not open on a regular basis. What’s a girl supposed to do when she needs a taco on a random Sunday evening?

Spicy Margarita "on the rocks"
Spicy Margarita “on the rocks”

So it was with great enthusiasm that I heard about the opening of Taqueria Tacobar, just off the Overtoom in Oud-West. You can’t make a reservation, so two of us tried our luck and arrived early, while the other two members of our group arrived an hour later once we’d secured a table. While we were waiting, we had to taste-test the margaritas (naturally), of which there were several different varieties on the menu. Both the regular and the spicy margaritas were way too sweet for my liking – I want a punchy tequila-lime hit from my ‘rita, not a slightly salty slush puppy. Plus, when I asked for mine on the rocks (as opposed to frozen), the rocks were more like gravel and it was hard to tell the difference between the two. The strawberry margarita, paradoxically, was less sweet and therefore (to my mind) more pleasurable to drink, but we soon afterwards switched to Coronas to avert the inevitable sugar crash.

Tortilla chips seemed like a good way to start our Mexican meal, and they came with guacamole and a small portion of pico de gallo. The guacamole comprised too-large chunks of avocado without a hint of lime and with very little else to flavour it. It would’ve been fine on a food blogger’s Instagram feed spread on a piece of toast for breakfast, but guacamole it was not. Faring better on the avo front were the avocado fries: strips of avocado that had been wrapped in filo pastry and deep fried, served with a refreshing dip. So far, the best dish we ate.

Onto the tacos themselves: I tried the (pulled) pork and the fish tacos, both of which came with slices of cabbage and a rather vegetal-tasting salsa – as if it has been made the day before and had slightly fermented. The pork itself was a little lacking in flavour, while the fish had been breaded and fried on one big piece. The corn tortillas themselves were fine, as was the chipotle cream that dressed the tacos.

Pulled pork taco (foreground) and avocado fries (background)
Pulled pork taco (foreground) and avocado fries (background)

Despite our mixed feelings about the meal thus far, my friends decided to crash on with dessert and ordered a couple of chocolate brownies to share. One came with a shard of plastic that lodged itself in my friend’s gum. Not cool. We raised the issue with our waiter, who gave us each a free little shot of tequila, but no discount on the bill. And in reality I think other tables were getting the free-tequila treatment too… €37 later, and I am still very much in search of a permanent solution to my taco-fix problem.

Note: For those people who’ve commented on previous taco-related posts, I did finally get around to ordering takeaway from Tomatillo while at the house a friend who lives closer by (they don’t deliver as far as the Spaarndammerbuurt). I was sorely disappointed by their tacos: dry, flavourless and falling to pieces. Looks like I’m just going to have to stick to pop-ups!

all the info

Taqueria Tacobar (Mexican)
€€

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