I purposefully left one restaurant off my blog post from yesterday because one new place I tried deserves it's own post. Back in February I blogged about finding out the first Traqueros, a quick casual version of Coco Bolos in Manhattan, was opening in Kansas City at 119th & Metcalf. Well, it opened a few weeks ago! At the time of the opening, the Dreiling's were out of town for Spring Break when we visited, but they were so kind to invite us to their pre-grand opening trial run. I was really hoping I'd like it for so many reasons, but mostly because they wanted some honest feedback. Good news is-no constructive criticism needed; it was superb! (I do have one teeny, tiny request, but we'll get to that.)
For starters, let's make sure we all pronounce it right. It's track-care-ohs. Moving on to the atmosphere-I loved it! It was like a mix between Chipotle and Pita Pit. Casual, brightly colored, and inviting.
Since I was crazy excited to visit, naturally, like a total normal person does, I looked at the menu online before we got there and knew exactly what I wanted. (Okay, that might not be totally normal) For 99% of people who will walk in and need to see a menu it is displayed on three digital boards as you enter. These are perfectly placed for people to look at as they wait. I failed to get a pic (mostly because the cashier would think I was coo-coo) but Traqueros was very smart and also put the menu on the cash register facing the customer so it's easy to order from.
As you place your order you get a view of the open kitchen. You take a number card, sit down and wait for your food to get delivered. Our cashier as well as the person who delivered our food was very friendly! We also got asked two more times as workers walked through the dining room how everything was. I was very impressed with the staff and service, particularly since it's a quick casual concept. Furthermore, the speed at which our food was delivered was much quicker than our table anticipated. So far, we were off to a great start.
Here we are with our food just delivered. Josh was enjoying some chips and guacamole during the pic...clearly, he was hungry. (By the way, the guac is amazing! I think it's the lime juice that makes it so great, but I'm not sure. Either way, definitely order some)
Here's my Dad getting ready to take his first bite of enchiladas. Notice the large portion and it's served alongside rice and beans. Are you ready for this? $7.99! He said it was delicious!
Josh was almost as excited as me to visit Traqueros. He loves the Baja Chicken and Shrimp Wrap at Coco Bolo's so he was very excited to see a similar item at Traqueros. The Traq Burrito ($6.99) filled with chicken, shrimp and rice in a tomato wrap and served with a side of chipotle ranch. He enjoyed it just as much as Coco Bolo's version.
My brother, Travis, got the Fajita Quesadillas ($6.99) and I failed to get a picture of those. However, he agreed all was very tasty.
My mom and I both got the fish taco dinner. ($6.99) They are made with mahi mahi and topped with some cabbage and mango salsa. Beans and rice are served alongside. The fish was very flavorful, flaky, and the mango salsa was the perfect compliment. The tacos were also very generously filled for the price. I highly recommend this dish and will definitely be ordering it again on my next visit. Now, for my teeny, tiny issue. And, I hesitate to even find something for Traqueros to improve on because the food tasted so fresh, and for the price, you will not find better value! However, I never eat refried beans when dining out. I noticed on the menu there are a few items that appear to have black beans in them, but when I asked the cashier about getting a side of them I learned it wasn't available. So, I got refried beans and did not eat them. And, yes, I could have gotten two sides of rice, but who needs that many carbs? So...I feel I ate fairly healthy in ordering my mahi mahi fish tacos, but I would love it if black beans were offered as a side.
I went to Freebirds back in November and did my best not to compare it to Chipotle. I failed miserably. Every bite I compared the rice, the veggies, the salsa, everything. I was a bit worried that might happen at Traqueros, but here's the good news. You may look at a menu when you walk in on the wall, the decor may resemble Chipotle a little bit, and the food will be ready almost as fast, but there is no need to compare it to Chipotle. Sure, you get a lot of food for a little money just like Chipotle, but it's much more like a Mexican restaurant turned quick casual. My family was very satisfied when we left and we all look forward to dining here again. It's in a great location and would be a perfect lunch spot on your lunch break at work. They also will cater soon so use them for your office luncheons!
Best wishes to Traqueros success!