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Thread: Centro Taco

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    Senior Member Blackford Oakes's Avatar
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    Default Centro Taco

    My quest to find a great Taco experience in Miami is still wanting.

    Many rave about Lime the same people rave Tito's Tacos in Culver City. Both ok, but purely Gringo. I'll still order from the former, the latter I skip for slop at Lucy's next door.

    My Taco binge in CFL is adequate. I happily frequent the stands near the orange groves and establishments that also advertise Western Union to Mexico. I tried about three places on Calle Ocho that nearly make the grade. And only in Miami ( Calle Ocho ) do you find bottles of Tequila under kitchen counters. They'll pour you a shot if you ask.

    For the last few days, I've been hearing chatter on Social Media about Centro Taco. It opens today, but some have partook in their soft openings. I hear it's phenomenal. Though not authentic Mexican, I'm willing to stake a claim at this local downtown establishment if the reviews hold true. Sakayas' attempt to interpret tacos and I'm game.

    Won't be in the 305 till next month. If anyone hits up Centro Taco, please let us know how it went.


    http://www.centrotaco.com/#about

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    Senior Member Marc Middleton's Avatar
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    Default Re: Centro Taco

    Quote Originally Posted by Blackford Oakes View Post
    My quest to find a great Taco experience in Miami is still wanting.

    Many rave about Lime the same people rave Tito's Tacos in Culver City. Both ok, but purely Gringo. I'll still order from the former, the latter I skip for slop at Lucy's next door.


    http://www.centrotaco.com/#about
    The original Lime was the best..the rest are just chains owned by Ruby Tuesday's.

    The Fried Fish taco is excellent in my opinion and Lime itself is better than say Tijuana Flats. I enjoy Salsa Fiesta as well (midtown and Aventura).

    Rocco's Tacos still have some of the best tacos but they've changed a bit over the years. They have one in Orlando now near you off SandLake. In true Rocco's form, it stays packed every night so be prepared to wait. The original place in downtown W Palm was awesome. Very authentic, one of the first to do Tableside Guac, owner would get on the bar and party with you & give out free tequila bottles to girls and b-day people...They too have been bought out by corporate..the 1/2 guac is gone, the all you can eat taco night has gone up a few bucks and they make you leave after 2 hours, etc. But still, the food is great, the chips & guac are the best in Florida and the atmosphere is great whether you are in Las Olas, Downtown W palm or Sandlake in Orlando.

    I have not been to Coyo yet in Wynwood...Bodega in Sobe was good but overly pricey for no reason (except maybe the high rents)..HuaHua's down the street has a fried chicken burrito/taco that is great...But if I want to spend a few bucks, I go to Lime and if I want to spend $20, I'll go to Rocco's. I don't have a Moe's nearby or I'd go there as I think their Ground Beef tacos are better than Lime's. (I don't care for the shredded beef at Chipotle and I don't consider Chipotle a Mexican place). I also like the White Queso at Moe's better than Lime's.
    I have a groupon for Paquito's Cantina in Sobe that I plan to try. I used a groupon for a place in Brickell off 13th st that was ok, but way over priced.
    Paladar at Gulfstream is good. They have a nice taco Tuesday and great happy hour. Its very authentic though its more 'cuban' than mexican. They do Guac in various forms as well and its a nice sit down dinner place vs a quick serve like Lime & Fiesta..

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    Senior Member Blackford Oakes's Avatar
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    Default Re: Centro Taco

    Haven't been to Roco's yet on Sand Lake, but I did try Lime by the interstate. I'll never go back. I'm also familiar with the old school Lime which is a tad above Tito's. Both have strong follow ship among Gringos.

    I prefer authentic hawker like versions. This new place seems to be a stray of that but that's OK. It has the potential to be my go-to place as it's nearby.

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    Editor Matt Meltzer's Avatar
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    Default Re: Centro Taco

    I'll say Coyo is the best tacos I've had in Miami, pretty much hands down. El Taquito on Calle Ocho would be #2, but only the chicken, the beef is straight grease.

    People are raving bout Tacos and Tattoos in Kendall, though that might just be because there's nothing else in Kendall. I haven't been yet.

    HuaHua's is good for "gourmet" tacos, a great meal but not what you'd think of if you like that authentic street version. Didn't think much o the food at Bodega, or the bar really.

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    Senior Member FredTheCatTravels's Avatar
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    Default Re: Centro Taco

    Quote Originally Posted by Marc Middleton View Post
    Rocco's Tacos still have some of the best tacos but they've changed a bit over the years. They have one in Orlando now near you off SandLake. In true Rocco's form, it stays packed every night so be prepared to wait. The original place in downtown W Palm was awesome. Very authentic, one of the first to do Tableside Guac, owner would get on the bar and party with you & give out free tequila bottles to girls and b-day people...They too have been bought out by corporate..the 1/2 guac is gone, the all you can eat taco night has gone up a few bucks and they make you leave after 2 hours, etc. But still, the food is great, the chips & guac are the best in Florida and the atmosphere is great whether you are in Las Olas, Downtown W palm or Sandlake in Orlando.

    ..
    Roccos is still owned by Big Time Restaurants out of Palm Beach, there has been no change in ownership. We were just at Roccos Tacos in Orlando a couple of weeks ago and the food was divine! Not tacos but the seafood Molcajete is one of the best things I've ever eaten. The views and ambiance out back are incredible. Don't be fooled by the strip mall they are located inside of, when you walk out the back you'll see what I mean.

    The joke is they named themselves 'Big Time' because they are small time.

    Rocco still parties on the bar and gives out tequila shots, he just has too many of them now to get around to all of them. They just opened in Brooklyn and are opening soon in Delray.

    My husband works for Big Time is how I know all of this.

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    Senior Member Marc Middleton's Avatar
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    Default Re: Centro Taco

    Quote Originally Posted by FredTheCatTravels View Post
    My husband works for Big Time is how I know all of this.
    Thought your husband worked for Cheesecake factory?

    Anyways, in 2009 it was a single restaurant. SO whether they took on corporate partners, raised money from investors, etc. its different than it was. Even our servers at both Las Olas and Boca have told us that. Plus, all the things I said above are true of the restaurant now a days.

    But I know you like to disagree with me on my posts lately :-)
    FredTheCatTravels likes this.

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    Senior Member FredTheCatTravels's Avatar
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    Default Re: Centro Taco

    No, my husband has never worked for Cheesecake Factory. I was a hostess there for a while.

    Todd Herbst is the principal for Big Time Restaurant group. He funded Roccos and still is and always has been the principal for all of the restaurants. Rocco started as a busser for one of the restaurants, worked his way up through management, left the fold, then came back and started opening Roccos with Todd, Bill Watson, and LB the corporate chef.

    I know your wait people told you what they did but Todd and I had this exact conversation a couple of weeks ago.

    https://www.bigtimerestaurants.com/

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    Editor Matt Meltzer's Avatar
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    Default Re: Centro Taco

    I'll confirm what FredTheCatTravels says here. They've got the same PR firms, etc. All run through one organization but still great.

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    Default Re: Centro Taco

    Will try and hit Centro on my next visit in 2 weeks--about a 5 minute walk from my downtown hotel.

    Chipotle chicken tacos at Matador at Edition Hotel are very good for lunch--nice little spice/kick to them.

  10. #10
    Editor Matt Meltzer's Avatar
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    Default Re: Centro Taco

    I'm just going to throw out that The Taco Spot on Hollywood Beach is probably the best burrito I've had in South Florida. And, you know how much said burrito - table service on the boardwalk with an ocean view - cost WITH a Diet Coke? $11.26.

    #EBIB

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    Default Re: Centro Taco

    hit Centro today and enjoyed it very much....artisan Mexican food with high quality, fresh ingredients. Had 2 tacos, with the steak taco being the best and better of the two by far (supposedly their most popular one). The baja fish taco was good, but seemed to lose something after I had finished the white sauce and was left with the fish all by itself. Not bad though. The tortillas were made from scratch, held up well, and were very good. I ordered guacamole and chips--good as well. Complimentary salsas and chopped onions and cilantro. With an iced tea, tax and tip (20%) my lunch bill came to $26--not cheap, but I do not have an issue paying up for quality.....service was very attentive--almost too attentive (they tried clearing my dishes before I was finished and I had to tell them to chill). Definitely better than HuaHua and Tequizatlan. The chef/owner (who also owns Blackbrick Chinese) supposedly spent a month or longer in Mexico picking up the recipes.
    Last edited by elchevere; 08-18-2015 at 06:03 PM.

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    Default Re: Centro Taco

    I ate at Coya (with an a) last night in Brickell....artistically, a beautiful restaurant. Ate in the bar and had a Peruvian beer along with salmon tacos (spicy) that were pretty good and listened to some musical entertainment....passed Coyo on my way to Alter in Wynwood--Coyo was packed and Alter was very god.


    Quote Originally Posted by Matt Meltzer View Post
    I'll say Coyo is the best tacos I've had in Miami, pretty much hands down. El Taquito on Calle Ocho would be #2, but only the chicken, the beef is straight grease.

    People are raving bout Tacos and Tattoos in Kendall, though that might just be because there's nothing else in Kendall. I haven't been yet.

    HuaHua's is good for "gourmet" tacos, a great meal but not what you'd think of if you like that authentic street version. Didn't think much o the food at Bodega, or the bar really.
    Last edited by elchevere; 08-18-2015 at 09:23 PM.

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    Senior Member Marc Middleton's Avatar
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    Default Re: Centro Taco

    Quote Originally Posted by elchevere View Post
    hit Centro today and enjoyed it very much....artisan Mexican food with high quality, fresh ingredients. Had 2 tacos, with the steak taco being the best and better of the two by far (supposedly their most popular one). The baja fish taco was good, but seemed to lose something after I had finished the white sauce and was left with the fish all by itself. Not bad though. The tortillas were made from scratch, held up well, and were very good. I ordered guacamole and chips--good as well. Complimentary salsas and chopped onions and cilantro. With an iced tea, tax and tip (20%) my lunch bill came to $26--not cheap, but I do not have an issue paying up for quality.....service was very attentive--almost too attentive (they tried clearing my dishes before I was finished and I had to tell them to chill). Definitely better than HuaHua and Tequizatlan. The chef/owner (who also owns Blackbrick Chinese) supposedly spent a month or longer in Mexico picking up the recipes.
    So about $20 after tax and before tip..not bad for a higher end taco spot. Can't wait to try Centro and Coyo.

    On Tuesdays, PF Changs is doing Taco Tuesday now so we went there and sat on the patio (N. Miami location). They offer 3 small tacos with either pork or chicken in jicama shells and you get a Patron Margarita. All that for $10..can't really beat it for a nice place. Brickell, N. Miami, and Dolphin Mall locations. Plus with their rewards program now you get 10 points for each $1 and a free entrée after 2000 points w/ 1000 points at sign up. We used our free entrée on their Chilean Sea Bass entrée ($30) this weekend which was excellent.
    Matt Meltzer likes this.

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    Senior Member Marc Middleton's Avatar
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    Default Re: Centro Taco

    Oh and Blackbrick is really good as well. We had their gator entrée which was excellent..not sure if they changed their menu by now or not.

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    Editor Matt Meltzer's Avatar
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    Default Re: Centro Taco

    Touting the benefits of a chain restaurant......well you can take the boy out of Orlando....

    I agree though $20 for a taco meal is absurd. Cmon, elchevere, you're from San Diego. how does this not personally offend you? The Taco Spot on Hollywood Beach is still my #1 pick hands down. I paid half what you did and got a full burrito and a soda, and slightly better food. #EBIB.

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    Senior Member Blackford Oakes's Avatar
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    Default Re: Centro Taco

    Quote Originally Posted by Matt Meltzer View Post
    Touting the benefits of a chain restaurant......well you can take the boy out of Orlando....

    I agree though $20 for a taco meal is absurd. Cmon, elchevere, you're from San Diego. how does this not personally offend you? The Taco Spot on Hollywood Beach is still my #1 pick hands down. I paid half what you did and got a full burrito and a soda, and slightly better food. #EBIB.
    In defense of Eche, he can still pay a $7 toll to wiggle himself through Baja in 45 mins to get to Taco Heaven. and spare going to from Broward. In fact, he can probably drive from SD and get a great Lobster Fest quicker than touted tacos in Broward. for $15.

    Lets keep it simple. SFL has no measurable Mexican community... and thus no awesome tacos nor "great" Mexican food.

    Eche, I passed bye'd Cento Tacos my recent visit. Totally forgot.


    Thanks for your input. Only Californian's understand it's cool to stop at corner and get ambulatory Atoloe., & what a real Taco should taste like. Under optimal circumstances, should never be more that $3, unless you subsidize a lease or a JPL experiment.

    I'll give Centro Taco try, one day soon.

    Fact is, when I grew & where , up tacos and Food trucks are nipple food. Miami is way behind on this ideal and NY Chef's yet can compensate. on simplicity.

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    Default Re: Centro Taco

    Worth it at Centro IMHO...I have been paying $75-120 recently for Baja Mex food from Uber chef Javier Plascenscia recently at his new resto in SD (Rick Bayless ate there last night)--twice smoked albacore, bone marrow sopes with shrimp, caja china lamb, pork chop with mole sauce, and grapefruit panna cotta among other dishes...heck, the even have escamoles on the menu (fried ant larvae)....if it's good I will pay up; if it sucks Im not shy about voicing my opinion....Tacos at Centro good. Not the best I've ever had (best so far in Miami) but good.


    BTW, hit Bodega back room last night...very cool vibe and great live musical entertainment on Wednesday nights...nice mixed age group. Left at 11:30 when it started getting crowded and younger.
    Last edited by elchevere; 08-20-2015 at 03:36 PM.

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    Senior Member Blackford Oakes's Avatar
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    Default Re: Centro Taco

    Echevere, you deluge on food more than I can imagine. Nothing wrong that that, and on occasion, there are occasions divest.

    But it's way simpler that than in Miami. It's a culture that recently got enthralled in graffiti, food trucks and tacos the last decade. Amusing, since I grew up in that realm 50 years ago.

    it's a catch-up game without a chance of winning. I do want to try Centro Taco one day soon. I hear the chefs went to Mexico for a month for inspiration. The question remains: should a trust a Oaxacoan grandma donning an apron or kids thinking they got it in a month traveling within Mexico.

    I'll give Centro Taco a try one day. My 11 year experience in Fl has taught me the best tacos are fetched along-side orange groves - hands down. Better than any chef in big city can imitate.

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    Default Re: Centro Taco

    I think you owe it to yourself to splurge here and see what you think...definitely the real deal and not watered down, Americanized tacos with lard and cheese I've had elsewhere....keep in mind I believe the tacos cost $5 each and consider the size of them (much larger than a $1 street taco in TJ) with much higher quality ingredients including a much higher quality tortilla.
    Last edited by elchevere; 08-20-2015 at 08:16 PM.

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    Senior Member Marc Middleton's Avatar
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    Default Re: Centro Taco

    Quote Originally Posted by Matt Meltzer View Post
    Touting the benefits of a chain restaurant......well you can take the boy out of Orlando....
    I know you are a Foodie & Restaurant Critic...don't be a Millennial and think that only good food comes from whole-in-the-wall locations, food trucks, and 'locally sourced products'...I know they hate Chains but there is a reason they are successful.

    Sure Olive Garden/Red Lobster etc sucks. But some of these places employ some talented chefs...

    So don't knock PF Changs $10 Asian Tacos & Margarita until you've tried them when we're discussing a $20 taco lunch with no alcohol :-)


    If Chipotle/Chick fil A would give me a franchise anywhere in Miami Beach or Midtown, I'd be rich! :-)

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