Restaurant Review: Taco Hass
The new eatery, Taco Hass, has been compared to a taco truck dining experience, a lot. That’s weird. Sure, its menu has tacos, like a taco truck, but
1) Taco Hass is inside a building.
2) It doesn’t move around.
3) It’s powered by a wood fired grill.
Items #1 and #2 might invite comparisons to Taco Bell, but it’s the #3 item that really blows every comparison right out the door. Remember how exciting wood/coal-fired ovens were when they entered the pizza scene? Okay, Taco Hass is that, plus tacos.
Walk in, and it smells like a campfire. The smell itself is something that ought to be edible in this world, but as that is impossible: belly up to the order counter.
But wait: backtrack. Before the order counter, it might be a good idea to do some homework, because the menu that’s stationed over the counter is a little difficult to follow. Sure, the terms “taco” and “burrito” are pretty easy to understand, but the variations on those options are not always clear. It’s hard to know exactly what’s in store for something described with only the words “You will love this!”
There’s a little paper menu at the counter with helpful detailed descriptions. For what it’s worth, ordering blind turned out just fine -and it’s kind of fun to order mysterious stuff.
The base-level burrito would probably be the Burrito Hass ($6.99). It’s a soft flour tortilla that’s plump with rice, beans, a little lettuce, sour cream, pico de gallo, and best of all: meat. It’s a great chance to score some carne asada (beef) that’s been cooked over a wood grill and infused with the smoky flavor. The beef is lean enough and chopped fine. It pollutes the whole burrito with its excellence.
Burritos come in fancier forms too. The Burrito Percheron ($10.99) has the beef, with bacon, onion, mushrooms, and some avocado and chipotle sauces. Bacon might be overused in the restaurant world right now, but it works so well with the smoked beef, it’d be a shame to miss it.
And there are tacos. The Taco Shrimp ($2.99) is binge-worthy. It’s built on a corn tortilla that’s stuffed with plump shrimp and a perky, crisp slaw. The fish version ($2) has the same appeal: together, they make a good meal. For those who prefer land animals (and birds), there are also tacos options with beef, pork and chicken.
. . . And cactus. One doesn’t usually think of cactus as particularly cozy, so the fact that the Taco Verde ($1.75) comes across as comfort food is downright surprising. Potatoes and cheese mix it up with the little green cactus chunks that define the taco. It’s starchy good.
And there’s more comfort food on the menu: Papa Caliente ($9.99) has all the goodness of a diner-style breakfast bowl. An order offers more of that carne asada smoked meat, mixing it up with smashed potatoes, cheese, bacon, soft cooked mushrooms and a little salsa. It’s like a breakfast bowl for anytime.
Taco Hass can be found at 7370 Sawmill Road (just north of the 270 exit). It’s open every day from 11am until 11pm.
More information can be found online at www.facebook.com/Tacos-HASS/.
Photos by Mollie Lyman of www.fornixphotography.com.