Photography by: Rachel Schlather, CLEfashionista.com
Hate onions? Put ketchup on your ketchup? We all have unique likes and dislikes, so when you hear about a new restaurant, whether it be from a foodie or someone who lives off of toaster pastries, you don’t know if their tastes align with your own. So, instead of reading a review from one source, take it from four members of our team. Even though we are woefully underqualified to review a restaurant, at least one of us will likely share some of your distinct tastes.
For this issue, the PressureLife crew visited Bakersfield Tacos, Tequila, Whiskey to try some tacos, tequila, and corn smut. In the end, they managed to write down some notes between margarita pitchers and share what they thought of the Cincinnati-based chain’s Mexican cuisine.
Liked: To date, this is my favorite taco joint in Cleveland—minus Taco Bell, nothing tops a Cheesy Gordita Crunch. Since our initial visit, I’ve been back twice for the queso with chorizo and jalapenos and the baja shrimp taco. We ordered almost everything on the menu and the other big winners are the short rib tostada, spicy mahi, and the mole tacos.
Disliked: I had a difficult time with the huitlacoche also known as corn smut, which is fungus that grows on corn. Apparently it’s a delicacy but my taste buds were not having it. Another notable pet peeve was the guacamole—the avocado was quartered so it was insanely chunky and hard to scoop. I’m also not a fan of picnic table seating and family style serving for the tacos.
Liked: A good taco place should have a good margarita. The Bakersfield house margarita was a very solid, no-nonsense take on the recipe. I’m a sucker for short ribs, so my taste buds were pleased to try both the short rib tostada and tacos. I approved of both. The tacos were good overall with a only a few exceptions. I particularly enjoyed the baja shrimp tacos and mole tacos. I enjoyed that all of the tacos were served with their own lime wedge. As a lime enthusiast, that’s a big thumbs up for me.
Disliked: I’m happy that I tried the huitlacoche taco since it’s something that you don’t often see around Cleveland, but it was nearly as fun to eat as it is to say. I don’t think it was bad per se, but it’s definitely an acquired taste. I will also join my fellow diners in grumbling about the chunkiness of the guacamole. The pieces of avocado were big enough that they might have sunk the Titanic, which is a shame because the guac itself tasted fine. It’s a minor quibble, but I’ve never been a huge fan of picnic-style bench seating. However there are other places to sit if you are a fan of having a chair with a back like I am.
Liked: I really enjoyed being able to order different types of tacos individually and not having to get several of the same kind per order. It’s a great way to find out what you like and dislike via trial and error. There were quite a few highlights of this meal, but what will keep me coming back is the queso, baja shrimp tacos, anything with short rib in it, and the margaritas—they were perfect, not a hint of sour mix.
Disliked: The huitlacoche and the al pastor tacos were definitely not for me. I found the huitlacoche incredibly salty and unrecognizable in taste/texture and the al pastor sort of reminded me of eating a cup of fruit cocktail. The guacamole might have been good, but it was so chunky that I quickly abandoned it after my chips kept breaking and going for the queso or salsas instead.
Liked: As far as tacos go, I would put this place above many of the “taco” places in Cleveland. The flavors were authentic while still accommodating the more modern palate. There is something about the mole taco that puts a giant smile on my stomach. If you’re looking for a quote, here ya go: “All the hype of Barrio, but the tacos are delicious!”
Disliked: The guacamole, although tasty, was basically a quartered avocado that no chip could penetrate. So many fallen soldiers in that bowl.