Pacos Tacos

February 16, 2012

Level 1, 500 Bourke St, Melbourne
It was the day of our final undergraduate exam. It was 30 degrees and sunny and we were high on the taste of summer and freedom (although much like Spike Milligan’s birds in this scene at 5:00, it was a double-edged sword: we were free, but dead tired from study). To celebrate, I took the group on a hike across Melbourne to Pacos Tacos, which has opened up where MoVida Terrazza used to be (also owned by the MoVida group).

It’s a great setting, and I love how they’ve done the place with lots of long benches and a yellow cage providing some shade (before you point out how blonde I am for claiming a metal cage provides shade, please note that it was covered on top!)

The place was hopping when we got there – plenty of corporates from the legal sector hanging round on their lunch break. Fortunately with five of us (that’s ten eyes) we kept a keen watch-out and pounced on the first available free table.

The menu is simple but has potential. All tacos are $6, they also offer nachos, corn on the cob and pig scratchings. It all looked promising. We ordered a selection of tacos, some nachos and one ear of corn.

I was also thrilled to see Jarritos on sale – my favourites are the Gauva and the Grapefruit.

Here, unfortunately, is where my positive sentiment about Pacos Tacos ends. I had the fish and vegetarian tacos, but was horrified to discover that they were dry and generally unflavoursome.

The bottom of my vegetarian taco completely gave way as soon as I picked it up, and when I asked a waitress for a fork to eat it with, she responded in an absent-minded fashion “Um, we don’t have….cutlery”. My response was something along the lines of… They eventually managed to rustle up some sort of disposable spoon, but seriously? I suppose that’s the problem with trying to be good about it by using proper corn* tortillas but not knowing how to warm them properly.

While I’m ranting, who thought it was a good idea to put entire stalks of coriander in there? Maybe they have no kitchen knives either, and the entire kitchen staff is just slowly working their way through all ingredients with disposable spoons. Also $6 for four mouthfuls – I’d be willing to put up with it for excellent tacos, but not for this.

The nachos fared somewhat better, and they’re probably better value too.

Also acceptable was the corn, similar to Mamasita’s version, with cheese and lime.

In all, a disappointing lunch at Pacos Tacos; despite having a good concept, the execution is flawed. Unless they learn how to properly serve fresh flour tacos, improve the patchy service and invest in some freaking eating utensils, I will not be returning. Come on MoVida – get your act together!!

*I had originally posted that they were flour tortillas, but have since been corrected. Apologies.


Pacos Tacos on Urbanspoon

Filed under: Melbourne CBD, Mexican