accessAtlanta

City & State or ZIP Tonight, this weekend, May 5th...
City & State or ZIP
City & State or ZIP Tonight, this weekend, May 5th...
City & State or ZIP

30 Restaurants in 30 Days: The Original El Taco

photo-2

Mixed tacos with grilled corn in lime mayo

When the Original El Taco first opened about a year ago, I was eager to try it. I would often drive past the building in Virginia Highland and think that a couple of tacos and a margarita sounded like a fine prospect. 

Problem was, we always decided to go on the spur of the moment (”look, tacos!”) but could never get in.

The hostess would invariably suggest we wait in the bar, which was stuffed like a car full of circus clowns with a noisy singles set drinking “Fro Mos” (frozen mojitos). I saw where this was heading. People would tank up in the bar and then spill over into the dining room to sop up the sweet booze with tacos. I wanted a quick, cheap meal — not a scene.

So, we waited a year, and guess what? 

It looks like the bib and stroller set has moved in.

The night we visit the bar is mostly empty, but families are at just about every table, and parents traipse through the dining room to accompany curious preschoolers to the salsa bar to dress their tacos. 

This process is inexorable, and it always happens to low-key Mexican restaurants. When our kids were younger, we were among the vanguard of parents who family-friendlyized Taqueria del Sol in Decatur. We were good parents, I like to think: we didn’t demand high chairs, let our kids scream or insist it was “cute” if they chose to place their sticky fingers on nearby guests or play underfoot waiters with trays. But we recognized an answer to our weekday prayers (melted cheese, margaritas) at Taqueria, and like every other young family in Decatur, we pounced.

The folks at El Taco seem to have accepted this fate with good grace, judging by the prominently displayed kids’ menu. They even fed costumed tykes for free on Halloween. 

 

Calabaza squash tamale

Calabaza squash tamale

I really don’t mind seeing children in restaurants like this at all. Sure, we are subjected to one ear-piercing shriek as a man holding an adorable, flailing little blonde girl walks by, making soothing shushing sounds as she tries to fling herself violently to the floor. But my wife and I have our tall margaritas — puckery, salty, perfectly balanced — and our inexpensive tacos. We’re copacetic. 

We also have the worst seat in the house at a wobbly table under a too-bright light directly next to the salsa bar. But our excellent waiter manages to dewobble the table with a wad of napkins, all the while giving informed menu recommendations. The service here seems to be far better than you’d ever expect from a $3 taco joint. 

photo-3

"Just-crushed" guac

The food is, you know, fine. Perfectly fine. I’m glad that I got the calabaza squash tamale on the waiter’s recommendation. The chunks of yellow squash are dense and meaty against the fluffy masa. The “just-crushed” guacamole is also good — chunky and well seasoned — though I’m not sure why it isn’t sexier. It’s almost too processed.

My wife gets a couple of grilled chicken tacos with avocado cream and really loves both the flavor and pleasant squish factor. My swordfish taco is too pungent (it smells fishier than it tastes), but a chorizo and yuca taco is one I’d order again and again. 

The salsa bar, by the way, has plenty of salsas and salads, and I returned as often as the 6-year-old at the next table. 

I don’t think I’d drive across town for this restaurant, but I’m definitely putting it on the “when in Va High” radar. Particularly since we were in and out for about $20 a person, tax and tip.

What do you think? Do you like this joint? Do kids drive you crazy — even in fun, casual restaurants like this one?

71 comments Add your comment

angela

November 5th, 2009
8:32 am

I love this joint! We drive from tucker weekly. We have been there late at night, early evening with kids, on the patio, in the bar, in a booth, at a table, spring, summer, fall and winter. Each time we have had delightful service and delicious food. I am a big fan of the fro mo and the key west margarita. We always start with the queso royale—no one in Atlanta has a queso this delicious. It is smoky and full of pieces of onions, jalapenos and chorizo. Their chimchurri beef skewers are amazingly sublime, an enexpected mouth watering experience. We take our well-behaved foodie children and they love it, especially because the wait staff treat them as customers too, unlike most restaurants in Atlanta (hear me Bone Garden?)

Ramona Clef

November 5th, 2009
8:41 am

I am enjoying this series.

Emily R

November 5th, 2009
10:33 am

Even though I don’t have kids, I really don’t mind well behaved kids just about anywhere, even higher end restaurants for special occasions. At the same time I don’t think out of control kids belong anywhere, not even McDonalds, because it isn’t fare to other patrons to end up covered in Coke because parents let their kids run amok. I know that kids are unpredictable, but if things start heading south, you take the kid out, that’s all there is to it.

Darin

November 5th, 2009
11:32 am

Thanks, John, for helping to family-friendlyize Taqueria del Sol. The first time we went to the Howell Mill location with our little boy we were a little freaked out to be the only ones with a kid in a very crowded restaurant with no high chairs. But we found out that 1.) a toddler is actually capable of sitting up in a regular chair and not falling over (who know?) and 2.) TDS and other noisy, casual places are great for kids because the occasional squeal of protest from a young one is pretty well drowned out by the din of the crowd.

There are many quiet, table-service places where we don’t feel comfortable taking our little boy. We like to stick to restaurants where we order at the counter, pay upfront and sit in a noisy room. Luckily, lots of local spots fit that bill in the city: Figo, Fellini’s, Vespucci’s, Tin Drum, Reuben’s Deli, 5th Street Ribs n Blues — my favorite, though, was the late and much lamented Zocalo Taqueria in Grant Park.

VoiceOf Reason

November 5th, 2009
11:33 am

Emily R.

Well said. As a mother of a 3yr old, I try to take her to mostly family friendly places, usually because the noise, bright lights and coloring pages they have will keep her entertained, but this does not give her license to ‘act a fool.’ I pull us out once the situation starts heading south.

imjustduckie

November 5th, 2009
11:36 am

I like it and have taken out-of-towners for a quick bite as well. Service has always been great for me. I like the pizza with the chicken myself, but the pork belly taco was really good too. Everything I have had has been tasty. :)

VaHi Patron

November 5th, 2009
1:36 pm

I like the food, but the place is just so darn loud! You need NASCAR quality ear protection to go in there on a Friday night. The carnitas Mexican pizza and the grilled shrimp salad are two of my favorite dishes.

Restaurant Owner

November 5th, 2009
1:47 pm

I won’t tell you which one I own (since I don’t want my windows to be egged or worse) but my restauarant has NO high chairs, NO booster seats, NO childrens’ menu, NO changing tables in the restrooms, and nothing else to let my patrons think that children are welcome there. We discourage it as much as possible and make it as difficult as possible for those who bring children in, hoping that they never come back with the kids. Sorry, but that is just the way it is – it’s my business – and I have many, VERY satisfied customers who continue to patronize my establishment because of it.

Too Easy

November 5th, 2009
1:52 pm

Restaurant Owner: I beg you to tell us where you are. I’m looking for a place that discourages over-permissive parents (I don’t blame noisy kids).

El Taco Blows

November 5th, 2009
1:58 pm

I LOVE YOU Restaurant Owner…

Mel in Midtown

November 5th, 2009
2:04 pm

I live just down the street from El Taco. Funny, few of the neighbors eat there anymore because the food is consistently mediocre at best. The room is too loud (lots of hard surfaces for the sound to bounce around on), as noted in JK’s review and conversation is almost impossible.

This location seems “snake bit” as a Mexican place. Sala de Sabor, the previous resident, never pulled it off, and El Taco has managed to exist because it changes personalities more than Madonna – from hip hangout to the Mexican version of Osteria, the family-centric Italian place further south on North Highland.

What will happen is that families don’t run up bar tabs – where the restaurants’ profit center is. Yes, there is not much food cost in tacos, but you’re gonna need to either raise prices or sell a heck of a lot more to off set the diminished bar profits that come with the family-friendly attitude.

quake

November 5th, 2009
2:05 pm

I’ll take Holy Taco over this place anytime……

Hate Rowdy "Kidz" in Restaurants

November 5th, 2009
2:18 pm

Some people should NOT breed.

“THOSE PEOPLE” are bad parents, and their poorly-raised spawn and future criminalz should not be unleashed on society.

Restaurant Owner

November 5th, 2009
2:57 pm

I hate myself and my childhood sucked. I also had bad parents.

Regina (I will use my real name)

November 5th, 2009
2:58 pm

I love you restaurant owner! I hate going to a restaurant for Adult Beverages, Adult Meals and Adult Conversation and there are children. There is nothing worse than a good time being disrupted by the piercing scream of a child. Not my idea of date night!

JDJ

November 5th, 2009
3:07 pm

We stopped patronizing Moe’s (welcome to Moe’s!!) for the very reason you described — it was an out of control playground minus the sand! We’re old and crabby now — even the grands are past that age so we have completely lost our tolerance for the screamers and the rude parents who turn a deaf ear. It sounds like this is a good place to come!! Thanks for heads- up!!

Fletch

November 5th, 2009
3:13 pm

Fried chicken taco is amazing

Arrogant restaurant owner

November 5th, 2009
3:18 pm

Restaurant Owner: I would bet my @#$ that you are the owner of Taqueria del Sol (the one on Howell Mill). I admit I do like the food, BUT the line is always out the door and if better arrangements were made to manage the restaurant, the customers wouldn’t be put out. The people who run that place are very rude and careless about their customers.

Neighbor

November 5th, 2009
3:24 pm

You must have gone there early. That place is crawling with kids (my two included) from 5:30 to 7:30, but then they are all gone and it turns into an adult place. We sometimes go for dinner, take the kids home to a sitter, and then come back to sit at the bar. Consistently good food, a great staff, and just what the neighborhood needed in that spot.

Renaissance Man

November 5th, 2009
3:24 pm

I have eaten at El Taco many times since it opened and have always had great food, service and experience. The Fro Mos are fantastic and, as Fletch mentions, the fried chicken tacos are delicious. I also think it depends on what time you go as to what crowd you see. If you’re there before 8:00 p.m. you get the families, after 8:00 it’s more of the drinking crowd, but it’s always crowded. My last visit was last Thursday night and we had to wait for a table at 9:00 p.m. Oh well, more time to enjoy the Fro Mos!!!

SSharpe

November 5th, 2009
3:33 pm

AAAaaaaaaah Restaurant owner I love ya! And, the grilled corn w/ lime mayo rocks my world. I think they put crack in it.

reservoirDAWG

November 5th, 2009
3:39 pm

When we take our 2 year old out we take her out of the restaurant until she calms down. She now knows how to properly behave.

Joe

November 5th, 2009
3:43 pm

No.. “Restaurant Owner” owns Bone Garden Cantina and The Vortex. You can read at plenty of places online, yelp.com is one, about how they are very rude to parents who “dare” to bring their kids to Bone Garden, no matter how well they behave.

bbb

November 5th, 2009
3:43 pm

As terrible and uninviting as the restaurant owner sounds, it is his/her perogative to have whatever kind of atmosphere they want. Parents, your child is not cute when they scream and should be reprimanded. People without kids, lighten up. That being said, I do not want to go pay $50 a plate and have crayons and crumbs from goldfish all over the ground.

AJ

November 5th, 2009
3:50 pm

I’ve eaten at Original El Taco around 8 – children free!! Whoo hoo! Anyways, the Mexican Corn (I think that’s what it’s called) is AWESOME. If you go, you must get it!

PJ

November 5th, 2009
3:58 pm

Some places are kid-appropriate and some are not. For those with a preference, choose accordingly. I’m not offended in the least that some places aren’t kid-friendly. Seriously, must have plenty of choices for going out without the kids! Really, most people with young children fill in that critical 5-7 p.m. time when most of the “scene” people who run up bar tabs haven’t even decided where to eat. Maybe we’re not running up a bar tab, but the restaurant is open at 5:30 and we are among the few there spending any money. Nothing wrong with restaurants catering to both kinds of crowds. El Taco is yummy with plenty to please the whole family.

SJ

November 5th, 2009
4:02 pm

We take our 3 elementary-school aged kids to Original El Taco all the time – no problem. The kids are big enough to act like decent human beings, and the staff is nice to them. The restaurant is smart: we parents spend the big bucks on the nice dinner and drinks while our kids color on paper place mats. Oh, and kids get free ice cream for dessert.

Sorka

November 5th, 2009
4:02 pm

I like the Original El Taco, and the times I have been there, I have not noticed many young children, but perhaps I (a singleton) go there a bit later than the diaper bag set. I enjoy the habanero salsa very much, and I think their tacos are quite generous for the price. I do not think every restaurant is required to be “child-friendly,” and some restaurants seem overrun with young kids, which can be off-putting if you are without kids. But I am OK with sitting near families with well-behaved young children. If the place is loud and the kid is loud, whatever, but I do not care for parents who allow their young children to run around unattended in the restaurant as if it were a daycare playroom – that is dangerous and, sorry, annoying.

Sorka

November 5th, 2009
4:04 pm

John, I think you have hit on a nerve for a lengthier column about families with little kids vs. singletons at restaurants!

K10

November 5th, 2009
4:07 pm

PLEASE Restaurant Owner – I beg of you! Reveal thyself! Nothing ruins a dinner anywhere faster than a screaming child who should be at home eating chicken nuggets and Kraft Mac-n-Cheese. Not the poor dear’s fault, mind you. I’d like to take a switch to their selfish parents – if you can afford to eat out, you can afford a babysitter.

Restaurant Owner

November 5th, 2009
4:14 pm

Hint: near JCT

sab

November 5th, 2009
4:14 pm

I really like paying over $150.00 a year for the news paper. I was excited about his reviews of the restaurants, then it said go to ajc.com. Why do I buy the newspaper? Because I like to relax and read the paper not sit at a computer. So if I don’t have access to a computer, to bad.

Mel

November 5th, 2009
4:14 pm

I have the same feeling – it’s OK if I’m close by, but nothing special. and I live in Virginia-Highland! I like TDS and Holy Taco better. Have noticed the same dual personality for El Taco – kids early; singles (older kids) later. So I know when to go depending on which atmosphere suits the moment. Restaurant Owner above certainly has the right to restrict who patronizes his/her establishment. And I have the right not to spend my money there because of that attitude – whether my kid (now 12) is w/ me or not. Which is why I haven’t been to the Vortex in many, many years.

Jason

November 5th, 2009
4:15 pm

We’re a fan of the The Original el Taco, and make the drive there every couple of weeks (yes, with the 4 year old and 8 year old in tow). The service is always excellent and the food is, if not “great”, very well done. My kids love the fish tacos and I love the fried chicken one. The margaritas and FroMo’s are a favorite of my wife. Is it that load there? I don’t think it’s any louder than any comparable place.

Darin

November 5th, 2009
4:16 pm

I agree with PJ — though I love going to appropriate places with our son, there’s a special place in my heart for for no-kids places too. When those wonderful parents-only nights come around and we have a babysitter, we make a bee line for one of our favorite intown spots where we can be reasonably assured that there are no kids and truly take a break from the parenting life.

There are many cool restaurants intown where there are no kids at night, and not just high-end places or smoking places. Here are some of our faves for those of you looking for a restaurant without kids: Top Flr, Social, Tap, Cypress Street Pint & Plate, Holeman & Finch, La Pietra Cucina, Ri Ra Irish Pub.

Some Other Mike

November 5th, 2009
4:19 pm

Hilarious…the only knock I have against the menu is that the items seem designed for pairing with margaritas. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing; particularly since that quality makes for a good ‘pregame’ spot for the club and pub sets. The hourly “Wheel of Taco” has to go, however.

I’m still pleased they removed the bar’s “unibrow” when remodeling after Sala. It’s a testament to the power of space.

Also note: The chatter of 100 cocktail dresses will drown out any known phone ringer technology. So, keep your phones in view if you’re in here at night.

John Kessler

November 5th, 2009
4:39 pm

We probably went around 7:30. I think it’s great El Taco can cater to both crowds…testament to a good service ethic, don’t you think?
Restaurant Owner — If you’d like a space to expand on your thoughts (and I can confirm you actually are a restaurant owner), I’d love to offer you the podium here. Send me an email, if you’d like!

MixtapeAtlanta

November 5th, 2009
5:14 pm

We love this place! Next time you go- you MUST order the grilled scallions, the prok belly taco, & the FroMo the next time you try it out!

Renee

November 5th, 2009
5:20 pm

Restaurant Owner – I love you! Nothing ruins an evening faster than little ones! As for Bone Garden and the Vortez, the policy is shared openly, so you know before you go that your little ones and their poor behavior will not be tolerated. Get over it!

angela

November 5th, 2009
5:30 pm

Renee-
my children are very well behaved and not itty bitty ones. They sat as perfect gentlemen at the table, ordered with “please” and “thank you,” ate neatly and quietly. Our waitress even commended them after she told us “you know, we don’t have a kids menu”–we didn’t ask for one. THEN she said how much her boss hates kids and we should make sure they didn’t do anything out of line. Even the kids thought it was out of line. It was our third and last visit.

jennifer

November 5th, 2009
5:59 pm

Restaurant owner is my new hero. I do occasionally have to dine with my little nieces, and we flock to Osteria and TDS with everyone else. But, when kids swarm a restaurant where they’re not appropriate, it makes everyone miserable.

I eat at Original El Taco occasionally, but for that concept, the food is far superior at Holy Taco, Bone Garden and El Tesoro.

timmah

November 5th, 2009
6:36 pm

the pork belly taco is something I think about whenever I drive by that place. mmmmmm greazy and tasty and perfect..

My Two Cents

November 5th, 2009
6:45 pm

I, too, love you restaurant owner. Yesterday a friend and I went to a Chinese restaurant for lunch and there were 3 women with 2 young children eating. When the kids were through eating they were allowed to run all over the area and immediately started jumping on the padded booth seats. The women just sat there and finally after completing their meal rounded up these two hoodlums and left. I don’t mind well-behaved children but if you don’t keep your children under control it certainly makes a miserable experience for your fellow diners. Please control your rowdy kids or leave ‘em at home.

Tiffany

November 5th, 2009
7:51 pm

I came upon this post completely by accident, and was rather enjoying both sides of this little parents VS. non conversation pertaining to restaurants, with no particular intention on voicing my own opinion. Some people are just not child friendly, as I have never been one to be annoyed by children. I am now a single mother, so of course can look at every situation with empathy where I couldn’t before. I think it’s funny that someone could assume that because a parent may have enough money to eat out, they can find a babysitter. Sure, the affordability may be present, but where exactly should we pull this lovely babysitter from that is so willing to watch a child for the mere fact that you would like to go out and eat somewhere that does not serve chicken nuggets and mac and cheese for a change? Some of us are actually picky about who we leave our children with and only use babysitters when absolutely necessary, there being so many non-child-friendly people in this world.

I suppose though, people who feel this way about children eating out, and assuming that children only like McDonald’s, are the same ones who think that if someone is a single parent who has a hard time finding childcare and has no support system then they should not have children. Those are the same type of people that this wonderful little accident often happens to, and they find themselves in nice little restaurant with their hyper little one (even perhaps chubby little one – from all the chicken nuggets) determined to last through the dinner, as it has been about six months since you have seen the inside of a restaurant with grown ups sitting at tables.

FM Fats

November 5th, 2009
8:22 pm

Doesn’t the smoking policy at the Vortex preclude the admission of anyone under 18 anyway?

gary mcgr

November 5th, 2009
10:49 pm

Agreed with everything you said until the very end. TWENTY bucks a pop? I’m a California transplant, and if I spent half that in LA, San Diego, or the Bay Area for the same thing I would feel overcharged. We’re talking tacos, for crying out loud. Even with a good margarita that’s still a pretty stiff bill. May be the norm here in ATL, and a pretty good meal, but please don’t consider it a deal.

[...] Read the original post: 30 Restaurants in 30 Days: The Original El Taco | Food and More … [...]

ML

November 6th, 2009
9:39 am

If only parents would teach their children how to behave in restaurants — bring them some small toys, crayons whatever to keep them occupied. Make them know it’s a rule that you have to stay in your chair. And, if they start running around, you (the parent) have to get up from your drink and conversation and take care of them.
The worse is when a couple families get together and the adults sit at one table and the kids at another — shouldn’t be allowed because the kids are usually out of control.
Mr. Restaurant Owner — tell us where you are

John Kessler

November 6th, 2009
3:20 pm

You could do it for $15, Gary, if you don’t get two appetizers. We overordered a little.

JSC

November 6th, 2009
4:38 pm

I think restaurant owner has been “outed” on this thread further reinforced by his own admission of location.

I proclaim “arrogant” solved the mystery early.

Buckhead Working Mom

November 6th, 2009
4:58 pm

I have a little girl who is 3 and we DO take her here sometimes. I also make sure she is well-behaved. If she is not, we get it to go and we leave. I’m very aware of the other diners around us and consider it rude to ruin their evening.

Also, I love this place. Their margaritas are TDF and the BEST I’ve had in Atlanta. I also love their chicken with mole sauce taco. It is really good mole. The pork belly taco is also SOOOO awesome and the corn is the freaking best corn I’ve ever tasted. What do they do to it? I don’t know but it’s good.

I would highly recommend going and if you don’t like kids, why don’t you try going after 8:00 PM and then you might find most of them have left to go home for bed.

Buckhead Working Mom

November 6th, 2009
5:01 pm

P.S. Restaurant Owner if you are referring to Taqueria, you aren’t nice to any of your patrons, why on earth would you be nice to kids? Ha! I’d still bring mine there just to spite you. Jerk.

Maybe I’ll bring mine there this weekend and let her trash the joint.

jeas3

November 6th, 2009
5:33 pm

I’m not sure about Bone Garden, but the Vortex allows smoking so no one under 18 is allowed in at any time…

Mike

November 6th, 2009
5:52 pm

I love the Original El Taco! The Wheel of Taco must stay! Anyone who doesn’t like the wheel has no sense of humor! http://www.acitydiscount.com/

Aaron

November 7th, 2009
7:02 am

The topic of children in restaurants is always funny to me. It raises such ire among my fellow parents sometimes to thing that a business owner might not cater to their children. I love my daughter, but there are times that Mom and Dad just need a night out. So it’s nice to have a place that won’t be filled with kids on a Friday night.

That being said, it kills me that people are somewhat surprised that a taco joint has become a family restaurant. Anyone who knows about Latin culture knows how important family is.

Of course it’s well understood that well-behaved children are always welcome at most restaurants including some of the more finest in the city. I have seen, with regularity, children at Aria.

Lance

November 7th, 2009
7:23 am

Oh kids aren’t that bad. It’s the parents who just think it’s adorable when, and I LOVE this part, their kids are roaming the entire restaurant unattended while mom and dad are both drinking a pitcher of margaritas, who’s driving home tonight?, and annoying the patrons. Kids are curious and learn behavior so if the kids are brats, the parents were as well. If it becomes a factor, you tell the manager and get them booted. But that being said I remember, though years ago, eating in a packed mall’s food court and one mother and her two children were eating at a table next to me and I was just floored by how well behaved the children, both under 5, were. I even stopped by her table and complimented her and the children as well, which floored her of course. :)

But on the subject of vahi taco spots, give me Pozole any day of the week. The mussels, a margarita and a taco plate always hit the spot.

Working In VaHi

November 7th, 2009
10:14 am

I’ve never dined inside because by the time they open, my store is closing up. Then it’s time to make the drive to Lithonia. The food is great. I just wished they would open before five.

Edward

November 7th, 2009
10:15 am

I’m not fond of being in smokey environments, but I do admit that I will patronize a smoking establishment simply because I can tolerate the smoke better than I can the screaming children. Just last evening my friends and I were dining at Gordon Biersch in Midtown, it was 9:30pm, and unruly children were everywhere, screaming at the top of their lungs and simply making the entire dining experience highly unpleasant. From now on I plan to ask the host/hostess if any children are present before I’m seated so I can decide to go elsewhere.

Bonegarden and Vortex ROCK!

BigDaddy

November 7th, 2009
4:19 pm

John, your review doesn’t do this place justice at all. Try going later at night when the stroller set is down – you’re too young for the early bird special anyway. This review is better: http://www.examiner.com/examiner/x-22925-Atlanta-Lunch-Examiner~y2009m11d7-The-Original-El-Taco–Mexican-Street-Food-Done-With-Style

Foodie2.0

November 7th, 2009
10:19 pm

Restaurant owner- love you! There is a place in Roswell that has on their voicemail “we don’t have booster seats or high chairs”, in their passive aggressive way telling folks that lots of other folks don’t want to dine with misbehaved kids. Granted, there is a SMALL group of parents who have trained, yes trained, their children how to behave and they take the brunt of all the others who don’t —especially in this forum.
John- this series is fantastic. Thank you!

kids

November 8th, 2009
12:47 am

Most kiddies have bedtimes that are around 8pm. When kids get tired, they get cranky, unruly, and loud. 9x out of 10, an upset child has nothing to do with “bad parenting”, “training”, or some other parental shortcoming – other than the kid is too tired to be out in public.

If you hate children so much – I suggest going out at 8:30 – you’ll avoid 95% of the kids.

kids or drunk wannabes?

November 8th, 2009
12:54 am

I prefer the kids (who don’t know better) to the drunk wannabes (who should know better)

esa

November 9th, 2009
9:08 am

I got sick thinking about a taco bar where small children are serving themselves. You can’t reuse a plate at a self-service bar but a filthy snot nosed brat can serve itself. If I see a small child serving itself at a food bar, I leave or don’t use the bar.

We went to Europe with some friends and they took their three year-old. We went to dinner and it was a perfect angel. The next night we went out and it projectile vomited just as dinner was served.

Like your child, that one was perfect…until it wasn’t and that was attributed to a rare exception which it wasn’t.

There are 6.5 billion people on earth. We don’t need your spawn. If you feel a need to breed that obvously isn’t there, stay out of restaurants and planes for 12 years and leave the rest of us in peace.

Cubanamama

November 9th, 2009
11:03 am

Wow, Esa– tell us how you REALLY feel!

For my part, I’m on board with most of the posters here: Children who are well-behaved in public are not the problem. Children who are ill-behaved are only part of the problem– it’s their willfully clueless/negligent/spineless/selfish (take your pick) parents who own the lion’s share of the responsibility for the disruption, because they’re the ones with the power to do something about it (e.g., removing the child, etc.) but don’t. There are some situations (like being in an airplane) where, if a child stars acting up, there’s little the parents can do other than try to calm him/her down– but restaurants do not fall into that category. So, parents, have a heart: Your little ones won’t be little forever, so it’s not like you’re forgoing dining out for the rest of your lives (read: it won’t kill you to go home).

Oh, and the food: it’s not bad, especially if TDS is closed & you have a jones for a fried chicken taco. Like the salsa bar, but even their spiciest selections aren’t very hot to me.

tasha

November 9th, 2009
12:06 pm

Am I the only one who thinks that $20 a head is a bit much???
The Original El Taco is good…but not that good. Jeez :-/

To the Restaurnt Owner’s place sounds like the Vortex. That’s cool to not allow kids- my husband and I like going to 21+ w/o our brood. We also like to take them to family friendly places like Moe’s. Fortunately for Restaurant Owner and places like their’s- federal law does’nt mandate establishments to provide accomodations for children- like they have to for disabled citizens.

Kids’ behavior in restaurants doesn’t belong on this blog….that’s a whole ‘nother topic and blog within itself. I’d like to stick to the topic please. Some of the comments regarding children has racist overtones as well- and that sucks. :(

That lime mayo is kick a** though!!!

tasha

November 9th, 2009
12:11 pm

Esa- now that I understand. We have five children under the age of 12. We do not allow our children to go to the bar unattended, nor do we allow them to handle the serving utensils at the bar. We also mandate certain behavior from our children- ie no running, no loud talking, always use manners when addressing adults, napkin in lap, etc. We also don’t allow them to go to the bathroom alone. It irks me also when I see other children behaving badly!

I don’t believe in taking the family to places that have bars in them. Those kinds of places are for date nites for the hubby and I!

Place and time for everything.

esa

November 9th, 2009
8:32 pm

No child is well behaved 100% of the time. I assume all the posters here have children that behave perfectly 80% of the time. If you have two children and each misbehaves 20% of the time that means that in five restaurant visits you are going to be the parent with the unruly child 2 out of 5 times. Or maybe their bad behavior will fall on the same day and one out of five times you will have two wretched children annoying others in the restaurant. Your children don’t need to go out and they don’t need to fly. Leave them home.

Craigmack

November 9th, 2009
10:56 pm

This place ain’t half bad, and I don’t mind kids – it’s the parents who sit there while the child screams, whines and ruins everyone else’s dinner – all while they sit there and don’t do anything about it. I have been SO close to saying something to them – but what do you say?

This tops it – My fiance and I were on a flight to SF, this couple changed a DIAPER in the seat next to us. I mean really people.

G

November 11th, 2009
7:13 am

You children haters make me want to find you and sit next you with about 20 2-year olds. I hope you never breed. Your children will hate you.

John Kessler

November 11th, 2009
12:11 pm

We just went to BLT Steak next to a family with a bunch of little kids. One extremely cute little boy kept coming up to our table and staring at us. That was fun for the first three times. But finally I leaned over and gave his mom a smile, and she got the hint. It was a tiny annoyance, but that’s life. He was certainly well behaved and curious. Much better a sweet child than a freind’s dog with a probing nose.

Father AND Foodie

November 11th, 2009
12:54 pm

First, to the child-hater, you are either in the service industry, or you’re not. Taqueria del sol is a good example of a business that is not. If people like the food (which to me clearly demonstrates a serious lack of taste buds and a bent towards masochism), more power to them. However, the owners are litteraly laughing all the way to the bank at the suckers who line up there every day.

Second, it is the service that separates El Taco. They actually care whether or not you have a good experience. They take equally as good care of the stroller set as they do the drinkers–I’ve been both in the same restaurant, and received service that matched the kind of experience I wanted. Kudos to them for this.

And third, food in restaurants is subject to human error. Sometimes it’s good, and sometimes it’s not. El Taco’s is consistently good to great. I would suggest to anyone that has bad food there (or anywhere else) to say something about it. I have, and they fixed the problem in under 2 minutes. Very impressive if you ask me. Tried the same thing at Taqueria once, and got nothing more than a grunt.

So if you want mediocre food served up with attitude, I encourage you to continue going to Bone Garden or Taqueria del Sol. But if you want a kick-ass fried chicken taco with a slap-your-momma-good margarita, served up by someone who actually cares whether you like it or not, I’d steer you towards El Taco. And who knows–you might even win the margarita for free if the Wheel of Taco lands on your number.