Tatts and Tacos
3200 NE 12th Ave., Oakland Park
The former Kelvin 3200 in Oakland Park had flashes of greatness but ultimately, was too inconsistent to make it. Tatts and Tacos in the same space, while far from perfect, is much better, and after a mere month has already become a popular spot with the hipster crowd. That’s no doubt due as much to the atmosphere as it is to the food and the drink. The patio has the look of a typical trailer park yard (complete with a trailer!), a lounge-y area, thumping music from a DJ (at least on weekends) and a menu of micro-brewery beers and craft cocktails to add to the appeal.
The fare is a blend of Mexican-American fare and traditional Mexican street food, such as elotes; corn grilled on the cob, slathered with aioli and sprinkled with cotija cheese and a bit of cayenne (available off the cob if you’re fancy). Listed as a starter for $5 either way, it also comes with burrito bowls and taco platters.
The tacos platters, burrito bowls (served with rice and beans) and salads (served in a crunchy tortilla shell) are available with classic fillings such as grilled chicken, ground beef, carne asada, fish or shrimp (pan-fried or deep fried) and some not as familiar; alambre (steak, bacon, jalapenos and cheese) and cochinita pilli (pulled pork with tangy pickled red onions). Vegetarians will be pleased with three options; grilled portobello, nopales (grilled cactus) and crunchy falafel-like balls of fried quinoa.
Quesadillas, chimichangas, nachos, burritos and tostadas round out the regular menu. Desserts include cinnamon-dusted churros, served with ice cream and drizzles of caramel and chocolate sauce and a cornbread pudding. Among the craft cocktails, the Jerry Apple cooler, a blend of Sailor Jerry rum, apple juice, ginger ale and a splash of lime is unique, the others, offer new takes on classics. Sunday brunch is served from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. and includes Mexican classics such as huevos rancheros, cheese enchiladas topped with two fried eggs, tamales, steak and egg torta and breakfast tacos as well as pancakes, French toast and fruit salad. Be sure to order a side of the candied bacon, drizzled with honey, almonds, brown sugar and nuts.
Service is friendly, but can be overwhelmed; we had to ask three times for a soda and we were charged for a side of the elotes, when we were informed it came with our dish. There are problems in the kitchen, as well. Dishes are presented inconsistently and one of our party didn’t get his entrée until a good 10 minutes after everyone else at the table had been served. Management came over to apologize and comped the dish (as well as dessert) but it still made my friend unwilling to go back.
While Tatts and Tacos offers a hipster vibe, you have other options if you’re looking for something a little more laid back.
2400 Wilton Dr., Wilton Manors
The tiny storefront has a dedicated following among the SFGN staff.
700 N Federal Hwy., Fort Lauderdale
A bit divey, but authentic Mexican fare can be found at this place.
Tequila Sunrise Mexican Grill
4711 N Dixie Hwy., Oakland Park
Fun and friendly, with nightly specials, including fishbowl-sized Margaritas.