cross street: 16th St.
Map Visits: 2
Shrug: eggs (7); burstage abatement (7); tortilla (6); meat (6); rice (6); beans (6)
Clang: sauciness (5)
Intangibility bonus: 1 (of 2)
Totally freakin' enormo, man. Like, bigger than Jesus. This AM slab just sat there and dared our panel to finish the entire thing. (Did we? Hmm.) First, the advantages of such a mammoth breakfast: all-melted (if globby) cheese; a fine gang of veggies, including chunky avocado slices and robust pico de gallo; assertive spiciness; a smart ingredient mix; and a near-perfect run of hot bites. Further down the mustache scale, the chorizo/egg scramble was workmanlike at best and unspectacular at worst. And although the tortilla was grilled, it drooped and then drooped some more, a development that made for some real unwieldy eating at times, as well as a whole mess of napkins in the used napkin pile. Vallarta's refried beans didn't add much to the proceedings, and our failure to de-request rice resulted in a breakfast that was burlier than necessary. Middling intangibility and disappointing sauciness sealed the 7.54-mustache deal.
Shrug: rice (7); cheese (7); beans (6); ingredient mix (6)
Clang: no elements clanged
Intangibility bonus: 2 (of 2)
Were it not for a lengthy series of one-mustache downgrades, Taq. Vallarta would have been onto some serious brilliance right out of the gate. Our hunky dunch, delicious as it was, consisted of a bunch of if-only moments: if only the extra-flavorful pork would have been less poorly chopped, or less greasy; if only the nicely grilled tortilla would have been more fragrant; if only the well-melted cheese wouldn’t have been so globby and inconsistently placed; if only the vegetable contingent wouldn’t have included freakin’ lettuce!! As for our panel’s deeper gripes, the meat-heavy / bean-light / rice-sequestering ingredient mix remained a six-mustache foe throughout. On the other hand, spice and intangible charm were equally unassailable elements, while a complete absence of cold bites and automatic rifle-toting assassins alike made for a danger-free (if still somewhat desultory) slab-dining experience.