Wednesday, August 17, 2011
Restaurant Review (Paco's Tacos-Hanapepe)
Today, my work took me to Kauai which also meant I had the opportunity to have lunch with a friend who I hardly ever see but shares my love for food. He recommended a fairly new taco stand called Paco's Tacos that I think opened up earlier this year and happened to be only 5 minutes from where I was conducting business for the day (Nice!)
Paco's Tacos is located in the small sleepy town of Hapapepe. Some of you may know this name if you are fans of the Disney movie Lilo & Stitch as the movie takes place in this part of Kauai. The night before, I checked on Yelp to see what I could find about my lunch destination. The reviews were mostly from the locals in the area and all positive so I was apprehensively optimistic.
I ordered three different items (ala carte) to get a good idea of their cooking (Carne Asada taco, Carnitas taco, and a Chile Relleno). The average price for most of the ala carte items range between $3.50 to $5 with plates as high as $14.95.
When I received my tacos they looked really good and I sauced it with a nice roasted chile salsa (which ended up being the highlight of the meal). The tacos, overall, were rather bland and my friend and I both agreed that there was a lack of impact with both types that we ordered. I wondered later, if they actually used salt and pepper prior to cooking their meats because they had a semi-boiled taste to them and was pretty bland. The Chile Relleno unfortunately yielded the same result as the tacos since not only was it bland but the cheese was an obvious 3 cheese blend that I know I've purchased at Safeway before.
Was I surprised at the outcome? I suppose I really wasn't as anyone who knows good Mexican food is aware that it doesn't really exist in Hawaii. I will say that I would like a bottle of the roasted chile salsa to take home if they ever decide to sell it that way. At the end, I did enjoy a Fried Ice Cream that was dipped in a nice batter then rolled in corn flakes.
Other than that, I wouldn't really make the stop and you would be better off just not looking for good Mexican in Hawaii. I hope someday to be proven wrong but it's been a difficult search. Oddly enough, it doesn't really stop me from always looking so I guess I'm an optimist at heart.
Thanks for reading!