Nashville Restaurants and Food
3798 Nolensville Road
Have you ever had one of those days when you probably just ordered the wrong thing for lunch? That’s how I felt leaving Los Arcos. There was enough really good about the restaurant to convince me that I just hit a dud menu item.
Los Arcos has one of the nicer interiors for a Nashville Mexican joint. The tile floors, pleasant arches, fountain and bar stocked with a wide variety of tequilas speak to an ownership that cares about appearances. They also seem to care about quality. The salsa had a nice, fresh zing. The homemade guacamole was made with ripe avocados. They even kept replacing the hot chips, with more hot chips, in fact before we were even half done with the basket. They really believe in hot chips.
I know I should have ordered seafood. Seafood is a major theme at Los Arcos, right down to the heavy nautical theme chairs. They do have a large seafood menu with ceviches and plenty of shrimp choices. Other folks have said quite positive things about the seafood. I just didn’t feel like seafood. Ah well, next time.
I ordered the burrito especial. It came drenched in a flood of red enchilada sauce which left the burrito kinda soggy. The beef inside wasn’t much to write home about either. I ordered tacos to get a sampling and thankfully looked closely at the menu. Some items at Los Arcos are the Americanized version, like the crunchy corn shell tacos. If you look closer you might see another version, more in traditional Mexican mode. I ordered Al Pastor and Carnitas. The Al Pastor was quite good. You squeeze a bit of lime and put a little fresh avocado on top. It’s taqueria food in nicer surroundings. The carnitas was a bit dry, but both versions were better than the average fare, although not as good as at many taquerias in town.
Veggie Eater: So perhaps you’ve noticed a theme…it feels like we are forever on a quest for great, down home Mexican food. When we lived in Milwaukee, the place that fit the bill was El Pavo Real. Its name conjures up for us phenomenal food (including mole), great prices and a wonderful atmosphere. There was no mariachi music there, and barely any English spoken by wait staff or customers. With the stick set so high, it’s not hard to imagine that everything else has fallen a bit short since that time. In any case, our quest continued at Los Arcos. Still not El Pavo Real, but at least a good meal. What I really enjoyed were the sides and sauces; they all had subtle flavors. The guac was fresh. The salsa for the chips had lots of cilantro and just a hint of heat after the fact. They served some sort of fresh hot sauce with the meal; it had a slightly oily texture and was a bit hotter than the salsa. The rice had a decidedly smoked flavor and incorporated both corn and peas. The main items were not that interesting, but as anyone who reads this blog regularly knows, I don’t order interesting things. Part of it is comfort; part of it is limited options when you are a vegetarian. In any case the cheese enchilada was ok. The relleno was large, generously stuffed with cheese and appeared to have been freshly battered and fried. I had more than enough food for lunch the next day. Will I rush down there for another meal? Probably not. Did it satisfy me at the time? Absolutely.
Meat Eater: Service was top-notch and the manager came out to check on us, and other diners, personally. It would be fun to hit the bar on a Friday night for some tequila sampling before dinner. Our total was $33 with tax and tip.
Tuesday, February 26, 2008
Nashville Restaurants and Food