Recently, my new hubby Steven and I had the pleasure of venturing over to Taco Bar (2306 E. Oakland Park Blvd., Ft. Lauderdale) a newer restaurant across the street from Target and the Coral Ridge Mall.

When you first enter the intimate restaurant, you see an eat in bar and clean lines throughout. There is a “creative skull-themed décor with eclectic music” and a bunch of different artwork hanging on the walls.  One wall features a bunch of different wine bottles that gives the customer a reminder that they serve an affordable selection of wines. (And beer too.) There is a modern industrial feel to the space.

We were immediately greeted by one of the owners named Peter. He gave us some background about the concept and about how they came up with their tagline. “Taste How Real We Are”, Peter explains. Their motto was conceived to point out that the restaurant fills a much-needed void when it comes to real authentic Mexican cuisine in South Florida.  “This place is a far cry from your stereotypical Mexican/ Tex Mex restaurant.  Taco Bar is the place to go for upscale-gourmet (yet well priced) Mexican fare.  All this plus a very cool attentive staff keeps the mood warm, inviting and lively”, he explained.  I asked Peter what made his restaurant different and he said “First and foremost Taco Bar is a “Taqueria” and the foundation of a well-made taco is the tortilla. Taco Bar’s tortillas are made from a masa (dough) of preservative free nixtamalized corn.  Simply put, this tortilla, when loaded with any of Taco Bar’s large list of genius fillings, will translate into pure deliciousness”.  Our mouths started to water so he told the chefs, who were preparing the food right before our very eyes, to start us off with a traditional order of Guacamole & nacho Chips ($7.95)

You could tell this dip was made with fresh Haas avocados, and it was served with corn tortilla chips.  This was a perfect way to warm up our tummies with warm, salted tortilla chips then perfectly with the creamy avocado, citrus and cilantro flavors.  Next, we had Queso Fundido ($9.99), which is a skillet of bubbling hot melted cheese served with choice of warm corn or flour tortillas on the side, we continued with the corn tortillas as it was easier to pick up the gooey cheese.  There was plenty of cheese to scoop but we made sure we didn’t fill up too much because what was next was the main event and truly where the Taco Bar shines…. The Specialty Tacos (Each 3.99 or any combination of 3 for 9.99).
The first one we tried was Taco de Mole. It is a hot soft corn tortilla loaded with lean pulled pork in a mole Poblano sauce (which contain about 20 ingredients including chili peppers and chocolate).  The chocolate sounds bizarre but works to counteract the heat of the chili peppers and does not dominate, but helps give this yummy sauce its dark color.
The next one we tried was the Taco de Cochinita Pibil.  The menu says this is a traditional pork dish from the Yucatán Peninsula and is of Mayan origin.  A corn tortilla stuffed with slow roasted pulled pork shoulder that has been marinated in achiote paste, spices, orange & lime and wrapped in banana leaf.   The taco is topped with pickled red onions and habanero pepper, it’s the perfect blend of citrus and spice.
Lastly, we tried the Taco de Tinga, which is a dish that originated in the city of Puebla, Mexico.  Stewed shredded chicken breast cooked in a combination of tomatoes, onions, garlic and smoked chipotle peppers is loaded on 3 soft rolled corn tortillas avocado wedges, queso fresco and cilantro.  I love the combination of shredded chicken and the onion and tomato flavors cut by the creamy queso fresco.

We finished the meal off with the dessert of the day, a light almond cream ($4.95) with mint and chocolate cookie garnish.  This was the perfect way to settle our full bellies with a nice light creamy dessert that doesn’t break the calorie bank.

Hip décor, top service and wallet friendly tabs aside, it’s the food that will bring you back for more. Taco Bar’s focus is tacos.  Fresh ingredients are the foundation of the made-from-scratch food that is prepared every day at Taco Bar.  Go see Peter today and find out where he states “Our aim is to consistently provide our guests with the real flavors of Mexico using the highest standards of food quality in a clean, inviting and friendly environment.

Taco Bars Hours are: Monday – Thursday:  11:00 AM – 10:00 PM Friday & Saturday: 11:00 AM – 11:00 PM, check them out and tell them Hotspots sent you!