The new Fuzzys, wait, Pei Wei, wait, no Taco Stand...wait, what is it? What is that new place on the Southside on Magnolia? Its the bastard child of Pei Wei and Fort Worth's very own Fuzzy's. They wont admit it, but even John Edwards will admit who this daddy is (haha, topical humor, haha).
I don't normally post reviews this quickly after a prior review, but this is important. Yucatan Taco Stand opened yesterday and I'm here to provide you with everything you need to know.
First things first. The entrance is in the breezeway on the east side of the restaurant so don't try to crawl over the little sidewalk fence. As you walk in, you'll notice something very familiar. Three mounted menu boards at an angle eerily similar to Pei Wei. Thats because Pei Wei is this baby's mama.
The menu includes appetizers, tacos, burritos, nachos, south american favorites, and others. The prices range from about $3 for a taco to plates up in the $20 range. I'm cheap so I opted for tacos and the yuca fries while the Mrs. opted for the tequile lime chicken nachos.
But, before I get into the food, let me catch you up on the appearance of this place. It's trendy looking. There are tables against the window, tables up against a middle half wall that has giant sheets of material going to the ceiling, and cabana booths on one end. So its sort of a mexican/south american style place but with a layer of sleek on top. It really does look like Pei Wei and Fuzzy's snuck off down to the river one night. And this was born.
Why Fuzzy's you ask? Because the tacos are very similar to Fuzzy's. I had a tempura fish taco and a cabrito taco. Technically, cabrito is spanish for gringo. But here it means lamb. The tacos come out just like Fuzzy's except the tortilla is triple layered and the meat is covered in a roasted garlic sauce. According to a random non-yucatan woman, the sauce is on everything. Think about that next time you sit down there. The tacos are topped with lettuce, tomatoes, feta cheese, red cabbage, red onions, and probably some other stuff. They come in baskets on a piece of parchment paper and foil. Sound familiar? There's also a giant jar of hot sauce on the table.
The tacos are very fresh and tasty. However, the tempura fish tasted soggy (probably because of the garlic sauce) and I couldn't taste/feel much tempura. The cabrito was terrific though. It was a bit spicy and very flavorful. I put some of the green (medium) sauce on my fish taco and I'm not sure I could taste it. There wasn't much spice in those bites and I didn't really taste anything different. Both tacos were good, but the cabrito was the best. I would recommend skipping the tempura.
We also ordered the yuca fries with garlic aioli as an appetizer. These are fried pieces of yuca (I guess) with a sauce. If you remember the prime rule of eating - everything fried is better - then you know that these are good. They were crispy, warm and served with a delicious sauce. I would highly recommend these.
The Mrs. went with the tequila lime chicken nachos and I'm embarrassed to say that she out ordered me. Her plate resembled some Mayan temple, covered in guacamole, lettuce, red onions, red cabbage, chicken, cheese, tomatoes, and roasted garlic sauce. Queso covered Mayans....mmm.... It was great. The flavors all melded well and I think this would be a great item for a table to share.
She also had a margarita and it was terrific. It came in one of those goofy looking wine glasses without a stem, but don't be fooled by that. It's good with a great mixture of tequila and margarita flavor.
So that brings me to my overall opinion of this place. Its a Pei Wei family restaurant, so its a chain. But its the first one...although more are planned. So its technically a chain, on Magnolia, the home of unique Fort Worth restaurants such as Scampi's, Junsuree Thai House, Lili's, Spiral Diner, Paris, and Benitos, just to name a few. It has a very trendy feeling and its definitely different from the other places on Magnolia. It feels like it would fit in perfectly in Montgomery Plaza...oh wait... So I'm not sure how I feel about it being located in the heart of so much uniqueness.
But its also got good food (based on what we ordered) and it seems like a great place to grab some nachos and margaritas or beers and hang out for an evening. I'm sure this will draw new people down to Magnolia, so that's a good thing, but its expensive, compared to some of its competition (Fuzzy's).
I would definitely recommend checking it out. The service is still a bit spotty (they've only been open two days), but with the Pei Wei backing, they know how to run a restaurant so hopefully it will be around for awhile.
Let me know what you think.