Friday, June 10, 2011

Under Review: Xolo

A lot of blogs have been talking about how Uptown is "up and coming." The use examples like the 2nd Rudy's space next tp the Fox and the fairly recent addition of SF-envy-worthy bars like Bar Three Fifty-five and Dogwood as evidence, and I can't really disagree, since I love gentrification as much as the next person. That's why I braved the much-buzzed Xolo on a Friday night because, let's be real, how effing good does an upscale bacon-wrapped hot dog sound?

But I didn't get it. I can't explain why, while bacon should always sound good, tacos sounded better. But more on that later. First, requisite description. Walls are painted in blocks of blue and greens, with shelves housing kitschy knick knacks. There are a few dining tables to the right of the register, closer to the door, and what looked like might have been an eating area up some stairs in the back, but could have very well been an employees only kinda set-up. Your order at the counter, and while I assumed shit would be cheap, I somehow managed to rack up close to $20 with three tacos and a beer. I am confounded. M was an amazing sport and sprung for the chips and salsa (not pictured because they are chips and salsa and they all look the same). 

M's burrito. Clearly, I am an awesome picture taker and decided you'd get the best idea of how good it looks still wrapped in the foil. Fail on my part. The pollo came with grilled achiote-marinated chicken thighs, avocado salsa, black beans, rice, cheese, tomatoes, cilantro. It got eaten. I'll assume it was good.

I got three of their tacos. $2.75 each. I went for the vampiro (al pastor, salsa ranchera, red onions, cilantro on a fried cheese tortilla), camarones (batter fried shrimp, arbol aioli, cilantro, cabbage, lime), and hongos (crimini mushrooms, cheese, tomatillo-arbol salsa, pico de gallo, avocado, epazote). My biggest mistake may have been starting with the vampiro, because everything else after that paled in comparison. My least favorite was the hongos, which surprised me because I love me some mushrooms, but nothing I tried was bad, per se. Just some nice fresh tacos in a seedy area of town. While I wouldn't say Xolo was mind-blowing, you could definitely do worse, and I'm excited to see what else crops up in the name of gentrification.

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