Tío Javier

You might call it Tío Javier, or, perhaps, like my in-laws, you prefer Uncle Tío’s. I’ll give them a break on their Spanish in this case because this is their regular Tuesday night place. On a Friday night, however, this is a different place than your typical Tuesday. It was nearly full when we walked in and we were told by the host that there was no room at the inn. When I offered to wait for a table, we were then told that we could actually be seated right away, as long as we didn’t mind sharing a long table with two other people, who were sitting at the far end. Why would we have minded this? It’s not even like we had to eat in a nasty barn like Jesus (that’s how the story goes, right? Jesus ate tacos in a manger? Thought so). Why didn’t the host offer this solution from the get-go? It was kind of weird and left a bad taste in my mouth. Their poor choice in service was saved by another restaurant patron who offered me a box of those new S’mores Girl Scout cookies because he’d bought more than he needed. In this nativity play, he can be all three wise men. I don’t really know what myrrh is, but I’m pretty sure Girl Scout cookies are way better.

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They have great happy hour deals on margaritas, so we all nabbed one. Drinks took a while to arrive which is understandable given that they were slammed and I’m sure everyone else was there for the same reason. They were a good size, strength, and quite delicious. Definitely worth waiting for. It ended up being a two-margarita night for yours truly.

My mother-in-law had nothing but high praise for their street corn but we ended up skipping it. My FIL got three tacos, MIL got a plain cheese quesadilla, Grandma ordered a shrimp diablo quesadilla, and I was all over the carne asada especial del día. My husband couldn’t join us due to returning from a business trip, but I ordered him the special Tío’s meat-on-meat quesadilla to eat when he got back.

Quickly: the taco’s looked quite good and got a big thumb’s up, although I didn’t come close to getting even a taste of them. Here’s a picture so that you, too, can just imagine what they taste like.

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Quick review of all three quesadillas. I say one review because I don’t feel like there’s an important distinction between any of them. The shrimp one had well-cooked shrimp and the special meaty one was definitely packed full of toppings, but they were all pretty bland and reminded me of the plain quesadillas that teenage-me made as a lazy afternoon snack. Totally passable, but ultimately just cheese inside a flour tortilla. Even the shrimp diablo was less diablo and more ángel.

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On the bright side, I was very happy with the carne asada.

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The salad was light with a nice tangy dressing and loads of queso fresco and corn. The meat was cooked perfectly medium the way I ordered it and was incredibly tender given the thin cut. There was so much of it that I brought it home and split it up for two lunches. It was even still delicious after I re-grilled it in the cast-iron skillet.

Price: $25 per person.

Bottom line: Tío Javier is hit-or-miss, but after enough margaritas, maybe the quesadillas taste better.

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