Restaurant Review: Tacoria Mexican Street Kitchen

A friend had heard about a new restaurant and had been talking about it a lot, insisting I go there, so after a while I said we should go with some other mutual friends. Though it is not a vegan restaurant, it has a vegan menu. (Sort of. More on that below.) She talked it up so much (sight unseen) that she got me pretty excited to try it.

I am not always keen on the vegan things on menus at omnivore restaurants, and usually I am much happier eating something I've cooked myself. That doesn't mean I can't eat out; it means I don't usually want to. But I did want to try this place, because it had a separate vegan menu, and I always want to support the increase of vegan options.

Tacoria Mexican Street Kitchen has several locations in New Jersey. Their vegan menu has three "proteins." I got one of each in a taco to try them all.

Left to right: Brussels sprouts, fried avocado, and rajas (roasted corn and poblano peppers).

Okay, see, this is a problem. These are lovely things (theoretically), but not the base for a meal, and not what I'd term a "protein." I mean, yes, there is protein in plants, including fruits and veggies. I definitely take advantage of this. But you can't just sub four Brussels sprouts for a pile of steak and expect to actually feel like you've been fed the same amount of food. Out of all of these, I think the corn is perhaps the most promising, in terms of being a protein substitute, but that doesn't mean it really stands alone.

There are burritos, nachos, and burrito bowls on the menu. They come with rice and beans. There's your protein. If you find yourself here, get those. You don't even need the "proteins" they have, and I'd suggest leaving them off. Have a plain bean and rice burrito, experiment with the salsas, and go on with your life.

You know what's a good protein in a vegan taco? Tofu. Or TVP. Or beans. Tacoria needs some help there.

Of these three, the Brussels sprouts taco was the best, only because they weren't excessively spicy. The avocado was breaded in something that had visible cayenne and the cayenne was all I could taste. Similarly, the corn had so much poblano pepper that it overpowered the whole thing. I do spicy food--I like spicy food--and this was not good execution.

I would not go back here. I struggled through my "meal" and was hungry an hour later.

General thoughts: This place has some good things going for it. The salsas I tried were really good, especially a smoky one I don't know the name of, albeit impossible to add to something as spicy as most of this was. The restaurant was clean and my friends enjoyed the late 1990s/early 2000s music they were playing. I do like that they're trying to explicitly appeal to vegans. But the execution is poor. To truly appeal to vegans, give us some food! Preferably not so drenched in cayenne we can't taste it. 2/5


  1. I agree with you, they all sound like delicious taco fillings but I'd miss that "meaty" component as well. I think they would be perfect for a light meal but not when you want a hearty meal to fill you up. They are beautiful though!


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