Few things are more fun and casual to eat than a taco. And sure, you can find them in plenty of Mexican restaurants. Downtown Greensboro has been graced with Crafted The Art of the Taco, and it is NOT a Mexican restaurant, it’s a TACO JOINT. And you can have just about any custom taco with side combination you desire, but it won’t be served with an enchilada, baby. It WILL be served with another taco…and pico…and maybe a salad and some other really cool stuff. And here’s almost the best part, UNDER 10 bucks.
The foodies really, REALLY have been wanting to go on a date to Crafted The Art of the Taco (we’ll just call it Crafted for a bit). We didn’t think it would be a place where kidlets who only like PBJ and rice and honey dipped bacon would appreciate, but we took them anyway. You’ll see why later :)
These folks know what we are about to learn….
First, the place was PACKED. There was about a half hour wait and that’s usually too long for waiting in a crowded place with hungry kids but we stuck it out. Plus there’s this really neat, long hallway where you wait and can watch the kitchen and it has a chalkboard so your kids can stick their fingers all over it OR draw and write, depending on their inclination.
We chatted with some folks for a bit, snapped a few pics and were seated in what seemed like LESS than 30 minutes. The joint is casual, festive and the decor is very cool with remnants from what looked like old farm houses, like cabinet doors, armoires…just neat and interesting. And the ceiling kind of reminded me of those umbrellas at the Palazzo in Las Vegas.
As for libations, only wine and beer are served here at Crafted and the draft beers (and non-alcoholic bevs) are poured into a mason jar. Our beers came in bottles but we had to be cool like everyone else and asked for jars.
This has inspired me to break out some mason jars at home (I was saving them to make DIY lanterns, yeah right) and pretend I live in the progressive farm house of my dreams. So after much perusing and discussing, Mr. foodie and I decided to order 3 plates of tacos. You can build your own custom taco with your choice of meat like tuna, shrimp ceviche, chicken, pork, beef and even tofu or falafel or scrambled egg with the customary toppings or you can see what Crafted is really all about at dig into some truly mouthwatering options. We chose the 1) FIXIE…Beef brisket, grilled pineapple, sweet chili sauce & coconut aioli…they say it’s “effin’ spicy but it was totally tolerable 2) WAYFARER…Pulled pork, hoisin BBQ glaze, pickled red onion & bok choy slaw and 3) BOW TIE…Beer battered fish, roasted corn salsa & sweet chipotle aioli.
About the flavors. HOLY guacamole! By far, some of the best tacos I’ve ever had. The Fixie was the favorite between the three followed by Wayfarer and Bowtie. I loved the creamy coconut aioli on the Fixie and how it offset any heat (it wasn’t at all a bother) along with crunchy, juicy bits of pineapple. It tasted like vacation. The Wayfarer’s pulled pork and bok choy slaw tasted like an Asian street taco. I think one of the unsung heroes of tacos and nacho fabulousness is pulled pork. Fantastic. And the Bowtie was just what you’d expect from a fish taco. It might have needed a bit of salt is all. You can add that yourself. You get your choice of sides like black beans, sweet potato chips or fresh pico de gallo with homemade chips. These chips are are hot and puffy, crispy on the outside and chewy on the inside and ruined the rest of the dinner for my kids, for whom we ordered a cheese quesadilla (not on the menu…they just helped us out with that). Now the nice folks at Crafted, including owner Rhonda, know how my kids felt about their quesadilla. It could’ve used a little work but they loved those chips. Chips simply come as a side so you don’t fill up on all that gloriousness and be too shamefully full for tacos.
Now Crafted doesn’t offer desserts and if you are like us and get 3 (!) orders of tacos then you might not have room for dessert. I ate as many tacos as my man (3 of 6) without so much as a blink. When we were looking at the appetizers, though, we saw something that could be dessert….a high protein dessert. Yeah, that’s what I told myself. It’s the Mason of Bacon. Applewood bacon, salted caramel, cracked pepper & spicy chocolate (for dipping). Do you think my kidlets liked THAT?
Yes, indeedy. This mason of bacon was gone in like 3.5 seconds. I didn’t even get a chance to see what bacon dipped in chocolate tasted like with a Toasted Coconut Porter.
Crafted the Art of the Taco is a venture by daughter-mother team, Kristina and Rhonda Fuller, who also own sister restaurant, The Bistro at Adams Farm in Greensboro. Chef Fuller participated and made even more of a name for herself at Fire in the Triad last September, part of Competition Dining Series. I must say that this foodie visit has prompted me to make haste to The Bistro soon.
If tacos aren’t your thing (which I can’t fathom), then you can try the nachos, stuffed avocado or a burger. Here’s what I DO wish Crafted had…a taco combo plate…you know one Fixie and one Wayfarer instead of 2 tacos of the same. Maybe for lunch? They have a great selection of craft beers that are local and regional by the bottle or on tap and a small selection of domestics. It’s great fun and so delicious and I know where I’m going the next time I get a craving for a taco. And “dessert” bacon.