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Patio Loco - Chapel Hill, NC

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Patio Loco - Chapel Hill, NC

Nab | Jun 16, 2006 02:27 PM

I finally was able to make it here for a meal, after talking about it for the past 2 years.

Interesting menu, not your typical El Rodeo-type of place. Problem I had was that you have to commit to a dish and can't order, say, tacos a la carte. This became a problem since the only combo option for tacos was one that offered 1 chicken, 1 steak, and 1 black bean. I wanted 1 al pastor, 1 carne asada.

I got the 3 tacos al pastor plate. At $11.50, this is, I believe, the most I've paid for 3 tacos. No need to get into a hissy-fit about prices and quality and illegal immigrants etc ... I believe we've had that discussion before and I'm not anymore enlightened (gastronomically, that is).

I like to see the al pastor cone when I order these, but this ain't that kind of joint. I'm not even sure they have a cone, to tell you the truth. But a peek at the cone can tell you if you're ordering at the right time of day, or if you need to wait for a better char. These ones had a sub-par char, little caramelization, or crisp for that matter, and mostly a flavor imparted by the marinade. A good flavor nonetheless. Tortillas probably had a better char than the pork. And they were pretty dern chewy. Chips/salsa were not bad, salsa actually quite good, especially on the Scoville side.

I probably wouldn't return, unless I was craving an arepa or some other such item difficult to find. And I'll def'y be staying away from their "Loco Ritas" (not that they were bad, just VERY strong).

Now I want some real al pastor.

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