REVIEW: Zapata Tacos and Tequila Bar, Norcross, Gwinnett
We’ve been taking some long lunches lately so I was looking for a place close to our office in Norcross. I drive by Zapata Tacos and Tequila Bar every morning on the way to work and on this morning, I decided “let’s give it a shot!”.
I’d intentionally taken a late lunch so that we could avoid any lunch crowd but Zapata Tacos and Tequila Bar still had quite a few large parties left from lunch. We were seated right away though, met our server and had refreshments quickly.
I really liked the organization of the menu, really though, there was so much that made a great first impression on me. The décor makes you feel like you are in an old-time rustic Mexican cantina. I was waiting for Zorro to pop out at any moment. The retro pictures of Mexican cowboys was over-the-top cool.
Another thing that you couldn’t help but notice (it’s in their name) on the wall were the large certificates from Academia Mexicana del Tequila. It looks like these people really know tequila! If you’re a tequila lover, I’m just betting this would be great for you!
My friend Angel wanted to try the Consume de Pollo (chicken soup) and then chose the Pork Belly Tacos for his entrée , while I had my heart set on the Enchiladas de Mole. I added a Fish Taco to round out the meal. Of course we were served the customary chips and salsa. I found that to be quite tasty – flavorful with just the right amount of kick.
When our server brought Angel his Consume de Pollo soup, she also served me my Fish Taco. I thought this was very thoughtful. You can really tell when people have been serving for some time – they got this down! Angel mentioned that his soup was LOADED with chicken and it was full of a nice rich flavor. I was really digging the fish taco for several reasons – one, it wasn’t fried like most fish tacos are served at other places and two, it was well seasoned without being over the top spicy. Great start to this meal!
When our entrées arrived, we were in full swing. Angel loved his Pork Belly Tacos and I thought the Enchiladas de Mole was over the top. If you’re unfamiliar with mole, its a rich sauce much different from a traditional red or brown sauce served in Americanized Mexican restaurants. In addition to chili peppers, there’s also usually some form of sweetness added such as a small bit of chocolate. It’s an extremely interesting mix of complex flavors that ventures deep into traditional Mexican culture and cuisine.
Served with both of our meals was the Frioles Charros, which is a bean soup with just a little kick. It’s quite good and I really enjoyed the Zapata version of this side dish.
If you’re looking for authentic Mexican food in a really cool setting, you cannot go wrong with Zapata Tacos and Tequila Bar. The food is super, the service was excellent and the whole restaurant just oozes goodness and flavor. Guten appetit!