Babalu Tacos and Tapas (link to website & menu here)
Let me first say that I am very PICKY about tacos. Mainly because I love them so much. When I first read all the rave reviews about Babalu, I knew this was the next place to try. So I roped my mom into going with me one afternoon, and now we are both OBSESSED.
The first thing that stands out when you walk into Babalu, is the atmosphere. The colorful building boasts modern decor, a massive bar, and a really cool vibe. The bar tables have outlets so you can charge your phone. The ceiling is made of distressed wood. There’s a massive patio and a wall with the Three Stooges movie projected onto it. The whole place is inviting and makes you want to settle in for a good time.
The waiters introduce themselves to you, and leave a card with their name written on it so that you never forget it. This personal touch goes a long way to create a friendly atmosphere. I was really impressed to say the least. Also, the menu is very easy to read and clearly marks gluten friendly foods (YAY!)
Now for the food: WOW. It’s amazing. The ingredients are locally sourced from farms around Charlotte, and the blue corn tortillas are made in-house every day.
Here’s what we ate:
The guacamole is made table-side by the waiters, and you can even add bacon to it for an extra flavor boost (do it). The chips are crispy and honestly perfect. We were so obsessed with the guacamole that we ordered 2 to-go for the Super Bowl party at our house. It’s seriously the best I’ve ever had.
We tried the chicken tamales as an appetizer and the flavors were multilayered. The tapa portions are perfect for sharing as an appetizer or enough for a small meal. (Two small tamales came in one order)
The tacos are where it’s at, though. The blue corn tortillas are small, enough for about 2-3 bites. Each is unique in flavor, and tastes extremely fresh. My personal favorites are the chicken and shrimp tacos (I can’t choose!)
Our waitress told us that the ice cream was delivered from a dairy farm in Concord, so we asked if we could sample some with a bit of Mexican chocolate sauce on top. This is not on the menu, but she was more than happy to accommodate our request. (Thanks Erica if you’re reading this!) OMG this ice cream was the best homemade ice cream I have ever tasted.
Have y’all tried this place before? If so, what are your favorite dishes? Let me know in the comments! I can’t wait to go back!