April 9, 2009

Nino Taco

I love me some good Mexican food. Or is it Texican? It really doesn't matter to me.

Recently, a couple friends of mine and I went to the Nino Taco in Owings Mills for lunch. The restaurant is located in a stripmall near Stephenson University Owings Mills campus, just off of Owings Mills Boulevard. Also in the same center are Bonefish and Outback Steakhouse.

The restaurant is a bit small. If you arrive late (post-noon) or any time on a Friday, you will have a hard time finding a seat. There are probably only about 30 seats in the entire restaurant.

The d├ęcor is Tex-Americana. There are colorful Spanish tiles and posters of Ravens players.

The menu is limited and printed on a laminated placemat. There are several meal deals, but nothing fancy. You can get meals like tacos, quesadillas, burritos, nachos, and enchiladas. Nothing fancy.

I ordered the chicken fajita quesadillas and a diet drink. One of my friends ordered a diet drink, the 3 tacos, no cheese, and an order of nachos with cheese. Yeah, don't ask. My other friend ordered the burrito, with a side of refried beans and a diet drink. Yes, we're all in our mid-to-late 30's and we think we are fat. We need to get ready for bathing suit weather. Who am I kidding? We're all married and our wives are stuck with us, but I digress.

There were 2 servers working the whole restaurant and perhaps 2 working in the kitchen. Needless to say they were all very busy, especially when you factor in the take-out counter. The drinks were promptly served. The meal took about as long as you would expect during a lunch rush, not extremely quick, but not long enough to get me upset.

The meal is served a-la-picnic style - paper plates and plastic utensils. My meal was hot. And BIG. The quesadillas were fat with chicken and tons of cheese, which I love, and were served with a side of salsa. Too hot to eat with my hands, and perhaps a bit too messy, I cut it up with my fancy plastic knife. The taste was incredible! So good. Just salty enough and the chicken was tender, not dry. The tortilla wrap was just crispy enough, but not to the point where it was flaking apart.

My friends enjoyed their meals, as well. One was eating there for the first time and he was thoroughly impressed. He said he would definitely come back again.

The only downfall of the experience was the time it took to get someone to refill our drinks. We only got one refill, which should be enough for a normal person, but no one ever said I was normal. I would have liked a third serving of the carbonated diet corn syrup. However, based on how quickly the 2 servers were moving, I cannot blame them for poor service. They were plenty busy. The restaurant could use a third server during the busy lunch period.

The fair is fairly priced, ranging about $6 - $15. I think the quesadillas were about $8, are great bargain. Our meal for 3 came to about $30.

I give Nino Taco high praise for their food and look forward to dining there again. Unfortunately they do not have a website, which means there is no online menu. That would be nice.