Saturday, December 29, 2012

Restaurant Review: Taco Tonto's

A new fixture in Lakewood that is already receiving some hype is Taco Tonto's.  From what I understand this location, on Madison Ave. is their second location in the area with a location in Kent being their first.  I'd heard a few people talk about this place, so when a friend suggested it for a girl's night out I was excited to try it out.

The atmosphere is reminiscent to me of Melt.  IT's a little dark, and a bit more of a bar setting than typical restaurant which is exactly what I think they are going for.  It's small, probably seating about twenty at tables, and another 10-15 at the bar.

You order your food at the bar and give your name and then they bring it out to you.  The staff was friendly. I was surprised that there was such a line on a Thursday night- though to be fair, it is the week between Christmas and New Years where I feel more people have off or are on vacation home.  They specialize in freshly made Mexican food from scratch so I ordered their vegan guacamole and chips (their regular guacamole has sour cream in it) and two beef tacos without cheese.

My order came out quite quickly- in fact they gave me the guar immediately.  That was the best part of my meal.  I'd definitely order it again- lots of avocado and the right amount of onion and other ingredients.  I also appreciated that there was no price difference between the vegan and regular guacamole as I often see places.  My tacos were individually wrapped in foil and were HUGE.  Seriously, the amount of meat on one taco is what I'd probably put on two or three at home.  There was also plenty of lettuce and tomato.  Here is where my disappointment comes in.  I was shocked by the saltiness of the meat.  I like salt, so if I notice something is salty it is SALTY.  There was also another flavor that I still can't put my finger on that I wasn't super fond of but I'm not sure it was bad- just not my preference.  A few of the girls I was with also said theirs was salty but I know people who have gone other times did not have that issue so I'm still willing to give them another chance.  Their prices are super reasonable for the portion sizes.

Their drink menu is unique as well with creative margaritas such as blackberry or grapefruit, and many other drinks and beers.  I had a headache so I didn't drink, but I will say their fountain Coke was good which is a big deal because at some bars it's really not.

Overall I think Taco Tonto's is worth a stop.  It's a hip cool place to grab a bite and a drink and to hang out with friends.  Let me know- were your tacos salty too?

Taco Tonto's on Urbanspoon

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Happy Hour Happenings: Don's Lighthouse

Don's Lighthouse has been one of those places I've passed by for years but never spent much time in.  However recently I've had the pleasure of attending a few happy hours there and thought I should share my insights.

Their happy hour takes place Monday through Friday in their bar area from 3pm- 6:30pm and features several half price appetizers and special drink prices.  There are $5 Skyy Martinis and $1 off Draft Beer, House Wine, and Well Drinks.

From their appetizer menu my personal favorite is the sliders.  They cook them just right and they include a pickle, cheddar cheese (which I have removed) and fried onion straws.  Super tasty and quite filling.  I believe it comes 4 to a plate.  I also like their PEI Mussels- they are a healthy portion and are only $4.50!

For me I end up spending around $12 for a martini and some appetizers.  They're typically great to share so it's a perfect place for a small group to gather.

I have also gone for their Lobster Tail special on Tuesday's where you get a delicious lobster tail served with mashed potatoes and green beans for $15.  If you go before 6:30 and eat in the lounge you can pair this deal with the above happy hour specials making it a super value!  I can't eat the mashed potatoes due to dairy so I have french fries with mine and their fries were absolutely perfect!

Extra bonus, their bread and butter is amazing.  Soft in the middle with a nice crust on the outside.

Don's Lighthouse on Urbanspoon