Tacos Part 1
146 Pewitt Dr., Brentwood, TN
I must say I was underwhelmed at the ho-hum food, a little grossed out at the lack of table cleaning at the Sylvan Park location of Local Taco, and a little bummed out by the who-gives-a-sh!t service. I had not been back since the couple times I went in the 1st few months the Sylvan Park location has been open. BUT, location and chefs are everything, and there is a new/2nd location for the Local Taco. On the day the 2nd Local Taco opened, I happened to be be getting my hair cut just a couple doors down from the Brentwood Local Taco location, and all the hair consultants in the shop were all a-buzz over the new restaurant. They asked if I wanted in on the lunch order, and flatly said NO WAY, I don't like that food. How sad for me because the food at the Brentwood Local Taco is SO GOOD because Deb Paquette, from Zola fame, was helping her buddy start up this location, revamp and add menu items, and actually make good food. I wish that the Sylvan Park location could be this good! When I finally heard that Deb was the menu's creative director, and was actually cooking for the Brentwood location, I made a beeline to the crowded door. So, that first day I went to the new Brentwood Local Taco location, I ordered a bunch of sides, apps and tacos to go, so we could try these things at the house. Oh, everything was so good, and there were some exceptionally delicious foods that made me go back for 3 meals in a row. I didn't go to Brentwood much, but now I look for an excuse to go to Brentwood, and then swing by Local Taco.
Just a note to end this section of the blog post, I heard that Deb has finally left Nashville for warmer Caribbean beaches with her husband Ernie. They had planned to do that after closing Zola, but apparently there was a slight delay between closing Zola and getting to their warm, beautiful, beachy, laidback haven. Thank you delay for allowing the Brentwood Local Taco to be so good. I miss Zola, I will miss Ernie and Deb's cooking, and I wish Deb and Ernie much happiness in their beach paradise. Come visit often Deb and cook more for Nashville!
On the Brentwood Local Taco menu are some creative tacos that Deb designed. Examples include a Mediterranean inspired lamb meatball with feta, onion, cucumber and tomato. There is another one with house smoked salmon, creama, onion and capers, which is one of my favorites. Another favorite is the grilled steak taco which is marinated tender steak strips with tomatoes and onions. These 3 are Deb creations and can only be found at the Brentwood location. As tacos go, these 3 will keep me coming back to Brentwood over and over again.
There are other dishes that show off Deb's solid food style. I tried her Peruvian steak, which is a solid winner because of the the herb and avocado sauce, and the excellent cooking technique. The question I have is that whoever takes over the kitchen, do they know how to cook a steak? For a side dish, the Mexi-Tator-Tots are a solid A+ in my opinion. These tator tots are only available at the Brentwood location, and are so delicious, that I went back 3 days in a row to get an order of these yummies. How I suggest to order the Mexi-Tots are to get the spicy orange sauce on the side, and dip the tots in the sauce. 2 times I got the tots with sauce on the side, and the tots were these perfectly spiced, smooth and chuncky, crispy outside, delicious inside, balls of potato goodness. I dipped the tots in the sauce, and was in heaven with the flavors and texture of this side dish. The 1 time when I got the tots with the sauce on them, the tots got soggy. The tots actually travel well during takeout orders because they kitchen will pack up the tots in a paper container with vents, so steam escapes and the tots stay crunchy on the outside, and the orange sauce is packed in it's own little container perfect for dipping.
The last thing I really like about this place is the bar. There is a full bar for beer, wine, and hard liquor. They also serve up Mexican coke made with sugar and phosphoric acid, not the American coke made with high fructose corn syrup. The Mexican coke has that original crisp taste and fizz that can only come from sugar and phosphoric acid. High fructose corn syrup can never have this quality of a fine soda. The Brentwood location also serves up 2 flavors of Jarrito's soda, there is Mandarina orange, and I think a limon lime. I am not sure how much these soda cost at the Brentwood location, but I heard they cost $5 a pop at the Sylvan Park location. That is a little odd to spend more on a soda than most any menu item at the Sylvan Park location. It is likely the Jarrito's are also now $5 at Brentwood too. If it were me, and I guess it is me when I dine out, I would not buy a Jarrito's soda at Local Taco, when I know I can spend only $1.50 at Central and South American inspired restaurants on Nolensville Rd, and spend even less for a 2 liter bottle at any ethnic market on Nolensville Rd. I really don't need soda with a meal, but it certainly is a nice treat though.