The biggest of perk of having to travel to DC for work is that I can schedule my trip to allow me to visit Richmond from time to time. I desperately needed this trip. I hadn’t had but one chance to hang out with somebody outside of my family since being in Tampa, and for the sanity of Mrs. Marinara, I needed socialization. I flew into Richmond late Monday morning, and by lunchtime I was hanging out with friends at Pasture, where sous chef extraordinaire Joe Sparatta with a wonderful grilled chicken and ratatouille to fix my strict diet.
I worked the afternoon, and I spent the evening grilling and conversing with some more wonderful friends. An early breakfast at City Diner with Richmond’s nicest servers, and I was on the train to DC. The two days in DC were jam packed, but I was able to squeeze in meals at Brasserie Beck , Rays the Steaks, and Hill Country BBQ.
I was back home by Wednesday night and ready to get back into my rhythms.
Since my trip wad filled with copious amounts of meat, I was ready for a plethora of veggies and some home cooked food. It wasn’t until Saturday that we made it out for some restaurant dining.
I had planned on going to Mazzaro’s Italian Market for some supplies, but of course, I drove all the way to St. Pete only to find out that they were closed due to a summer vacation and / or renovations. I had two grumpy kids (low sugar or bad genes?) and TacoSon was the closest restaurant.
I would not normally write about TacoSon, but since it was my only meal out in Tampa this week, I had to honor my commitment and write it up.
Let’s be clear, TacoSon isn’t much more than a utilitarian Mexican joint. The food is produced fast. They are trying to stretch the palate, but putting lengua (tongue) or chicharron (fried pork) on your menu doesn’t make you authentic or artisan. Then again, it does put them slightly ahead of your average Guadalajara.
Due to my detox, I was limited in my selections. Fortunately, they had carnitas on special. There is nothing that says detox like a plate of pork, but it worked. I mean they weren’t spectacular, but they had enough fat to keep them from being dry and there was enough spice to keep them from being too rich.
I was more impressed with the kids tacos. Granted they were served on flour tortillas (fail on Mrs. Marinara’s part for ordering them that way). The chicken looked to be the thigh meat, and so there were plenty of flavors.
The pico de gallo was incredible. Of course it was fresh. That is expected in most Mexican joints. This pico de gallo was heavy on onions and peppers and made for an intense condiment. Not do be outdone was the spicy and the even more spicy salsas served at the table.
The treat of the afternoon was the Sonora Style Hot Dog. The griddled hot dog was served with mayo, mustard, tomatoes, onions, and salsa verde. The bun-less bite I was able to taste was good, but it was spicy fried potatoes that I really left me longing. If I did ever take a return trip here, this would be something I would get.
It was a refreshing week and TacoSon was a pleasant surprise. It’s not worth going 35 minutes out of my way, but if I’m nearby and hungry, I wouldn’t hesitate to go back.