The goods: Fun, lively Mexican joint Tacontento is the latest option for casual dining on Lincoln Road. The vibe is Baja but the owners are straight out of Latin America, part of a chain of similar restaurants born from a taco stand in Guatemala City. This is the first American outpost, with plans for other Tacontentos to pop up around South Florida soon. There’s an outdoor patio in the works but for now sidle up to a thick wooden high top tables with vintage leather bar stools and feast on platters of tacos and tequila cocktails.
Ambience: This hot pink and turquoise-colored den of Aztec delicacies is tucked away on Lincoln Lane (in the former Idol’s Gym), and is decked out in festive piñatas, tapestries and cushions made by Guatemalan Indians and terra cotta sculptures. The inviting fuchsia sandstone bar is made with antique wood from Antigua and presided over by a massive “angel sopion” (a trippy angel with big cheeks). There’s a busy open kitchen in the back, where a team of chefs clang away preparing platters of tacos, enchiladas and fresh-made tortillas.
The grub: Down home Mexican cooking. There’s nothing fancy or high-tech about the grub here; it’s fresh, hearty and generous. Prices are inexpensive compared to other trendy Mexican spots; starters are $5-$8, taco platters are $9-$11 and mains average $16.
Dinner starts with a tray of salsas including a tomatillo “verde” variety, an avocado and cilantro puree and pico de gallo. Order a fresh-pounded guacamole which comes with home made corn chips, then move on to tacos like the spicy shrimp or slow cooked pork. All platters come with home made corn tortillas, presented warm in a bamboo basket.
The taco platter for two is a make-your-own taco adventure of beef, chicken, chorizo, marinated pork, quesadillas, mini flautas, guacamole, and queso fundido.
Drinks include massive 21-ounce frozen margaritas and concoctions like the La Fuente de la Juventud (cucumber juice, cilantro, jalapeno and Cazadores Blanco Tequila) and the Manojo de Tres (apple, ginger, strawberry, ginger liqueur, lime and agave nectar).
Verdict: Fun, inexpensive Mexican in a festive spot off Lincoln Road.