Finding good Mexican food in Slovakia is a hit and (usually] miss affair. But for those seeking a Mexican fix, Tacos Reastaurant in Rača serves up some of the spiciest fare in town.
photo: Ján Svrček
Address: Námestie hrdinov, Rača
Open hours: Sun-Thurs 11:00-24:00, Fri-Sat 11:00-2:00
Rating: 8 out of 10
I wanted to go to Tacos Restaurant with a friend from California, because they say California has the best Mexican food in the States. He was to be my advisor in writing this review, but he cancelled at the last minute. I went with two Slovaks instead.
Slovaks are not the best people to take to Mexican restaurants. As a whole - with many exceptions - they don't like spicy foods, and they don't like their foods mixed, as in a taco. "I can't keep track of what I'm eating," said one, with a mouth full of sour cream, vegetables, beef and guacamole.
The more they complained, the more I liked Tacos Restaurant, especially for its bold seasoning. It's not easy finding food in Slovakia that induces sweating. My sweating started with a scorching vegetable soup and continued with a burning, hearty chilli con carne. Our waiter added fire to the fire by producing a bottle of Tabasco and plate of Jalapeno peppers.
To go with the chilli con carne, we ordered ensalada tacos and enchiladas tacos, two dishes with ground beef. One of my friends was irritated that the beef in each had similar taste and texture. I was impressed that a chef cooking a 60-entree menu would spice and grind his beef differently - albeit slightly - for every dish.
The Slovaks and I were in agreement on the toreras - a fluffy cake tasting of honey and nuts and served warm with whip cream which was marvellous. We also praised Tacos Restaurant's atmosphere for being typically Mexican without going kitsch. We ate our meals from colourful ceramic dishwear, while peppy Mexican brass raced around our tables and heads. A lone sombrero hung proudly from attractive turquoise, green and red walls.
Prices at Tacos Restaurant are similar to those in Bratislava's city centre, but watch out for the exotic drinks: a corona with lemon costs 80 crowns and Mexican cocktails such as the pina colada and margarita cost over 100 crowns each. The bill for the three of us, one of whom drank a corona, was just over 800 crowns.
Service throughout the meal was cordial and prompt.
When our newspaper last reviewed a Mexican restaurant, we received a letter that made this point: Mexican food in Europe is really just a copy of Mexican food in America. I was hoping to avoid this issue by writing an unremittingly critical review. When something is bad, it is enough to say it is bad.
I enjoyed the food at Tacos restaurant very much. It was the best Mexican food I've had in Slovakia, on a par with most Mexican food in New York State, and not as good as the Mexican food in California.
Is the food really Mexican? What do I know? I've never been to Mexico.