The Guatemalan-based tacqueria chain Tacontento had hoped to open on Friday, but alas, a new communal table placed in the dining room necessitated new seating plans (so while the unemployment crisis continues, some 40 workers are sitting around because of Miami Beach's picayune permitting demands). When they were given late word that they couldn't open, the owners invited the workers in to sample the food while the cooks practiced. That's when my wife and I stumbled in, and when I asked if I could shoot a photo of the food for Short Order, GM Jim Jordan and J. Rod Martin graciously gave us permission to do so -- and to eat as well.
We started with drinks -- a horchata, the refreshing Mexican rice beverage
spiked with cinnamon; and an almendra, which I requested because I'd
read it was a specialty of the house. I knew almendra is an almond, but didn't know the drink was a cocktail
made from three parts Amaretto to one part tequila. Not bad once you
have a few sips. The platter of taco meats
that was soon brought to the table (seen in first photo contained
beef, chicken, al pastor pork, roasted pork, chorizo, and sauteed peppers and onions, with melted
cheese in the center dish. Warm, homemade corn tortillas came in a
basket on the side, as did six fixins': pico de gallo; onions
and cilantro; lime wedges; tomatillo salsa; spicier red chile salsa; a
thin avocado-based dip. I didn't pay for any of this, and didn't see
a menu (I blame the almendra for my forgetting to ask to look at one),
so I can't talk value. I will say that the tortillas and fillers were
great -- very flavorful, and kept simple like in Mexico.
We were treated to a cheese-filled, strawberry glazed pair of crisply
fried sweet chimichangas for dessert. The crew -- from managers to bussers --
was very caring and genuine. The decor is bright, clean, and cool. The
cocktails looked bright, clean, and cool too. Judging from our little
illicit sampling, Tacontento is going to be enthusiastically welcomed
by the South Beach community. I know I'll be back.
Tacontento is located in a side street just off the intersection of
Lincoln Road and Meridian Avenue (near Macy's). Opening date is now
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hopefully set for today, but you know how these things work -- check
first by calling 305-673-1552.
715 N. Lincoln Lane, Miami Beach