Bob’s yer Uncle

Tio’s - all blurry, but not from drinkingChris mentioned in an email yesterday that a co-worker had gone to Los Chapparros and was raving about it to everyone in the office, and it brought to mind that the former Dixie Grill on Ward had been reformatted to a Mexican restaurant. On a whim, I walked down the block for a late lunch yesterday – nobody was in the office except me until 14:00, and the electricians showed up precisely at lunchtime so I couldn’t lock up and dig.

Pineapple mint iced tea, chips, & salsaThe ownership is still the same – the same group also oversees the Aiea Dixie Grill and Auntie Pasto’s – only the genre is different. Now called “Tio’s Garage and Taco Stand”, the cuisine has gone from Southern BBQ to Tex/Mex. When I arrived, I was greeted by the manager and seated. There was only a skeleton crew working in the weird time between lunch and happy hour. The space is virtually unchanged from the Dixie days, but there is new paint and some different décor – it seems darker. It took a little longer than expected for the server to make first contact, but he was the only other person on the floor other than the manager who was pulling triple-duty as server and hostess also. He brought house-made chips and salsa.  I ordered their pineapple-mint iced-tea ($3 USD bottomless) since I had to go back to work afterwards and couldn’t rightly get a margarita. It took a while for that to arrive and my order to be taken.  The iced tea was wonderous – like a plantation iced tea and a mojito got in bed together and this was their offspring.  It almost tasted Middle Eastern…

“Carnitas” tacosThe server wasn’t sure what meat was in the tamales, so I told him if it was pork then OK, otherwise I’d get the carnitas tacos. The carnitas tacos ($11 USD) arrived quickly (the tamales were beef). There were two heavily-filled tacos served with rice and beans. The filling was not carnitas, but stewed, shredded pork in an orangy sauce – I’m sure there is a name for this style of preparation that I am currently unaware of, but it wasn’t carnitas. The tacos were nonetheless good, but the corn tortillas immediately fell apart, rendering them unhandleable. Skewering the tacos together with a bamboo BBQ stick for presentation didn’t help – that created the stress-riser where the failures originated from. The tacos were flavorful and juicy (are tacos supposed to be juicy?) with a moderately spicy. There was some iceberg lettuce and tomato thrown inside, but no cheese. The side rice was good but on the salty side. The beans were beans.

Overall this was a good meal, maybe a little heavier than I’d normally want for lunch. Volumetrically, it was like getting the “two item combo” at Los Chaps, so the pricing was not outrageous. Definitely better than the “salt-palace” in Market City, and absolutely better than the other area alternative – that nasty “fish taco place”.  Compadres’ over in Ward Center has a larger menu and better food, but the prices are higher.

I’d go again.

Three out of four grinning monkeys

Oh, and I read on the bar menu – house margaritas are $3 USD from 15:00 – 18:00.

0 Responses to “Bob’s yer Uncle”

Comments are currently closed.