Remember when your parents came home and told you they were "disappointed" in your actions? Maybe you terrorized the babysitter. Maybe you terrorized the dog. Whatever it was, they expected more from you, and having them disappointed in you was almost always worse than having them angry.
That's how we feel about Mercadito Counter. We're not even mad. We're disappointed.
We've gone on record about how much we like the tacos at the original Mercadito restaurant, even though we hate the atmosphere and the crowd. And that’s why we were excited for Mercadito Counter, because we were expecting the same great food without the Kardashian-like crowd. This place had the potential to be a go-to spot for something quick and easy - something taco. But that's not what happened. Mercadito Counter terrorized the dog.
The food at this new counter concept is poorly executed all around, from subpar steak, to dry and tasteless pastor, to mediocre fish tacos. It's almost as if the plan is simply to stay open late and feed a bunch of drunk people food that sucks and assume they won't notice. Maybe that's an excellent plan. Or maybe the drunk people will be disappointed too.
Regardless, Mercadito Counter is not a place we'll be spending our time, sober or otherwise. All we want is the original Mercadito tacos in this Mercadito Counter space. Is that too much to ask? Apparently so.
Go to your room, tacos.
If you're in a bind and are going to eat here despite our pleas not to, you probably want something with steak in it. This taco comes with a little poblano rajas, tomatillo salsa, and shallots. Not great, but it plays.
Nope. Don’t order this. The chile ancho-rubbed pork is as dry as can be with no flavor. Not even the salsa, grilled pineapple, onion, or cilantro can save it.
A crispy beer battered mahi mahi, with chipotle aioli and slaw. It's fine, but it's not going to change your mind about this place.
The steak burritos aren't bad, but Chipotle is better, and we aren’t the kind of people that would generally encourage you to eat at Chipotle.
The attempt at playful Mexican themed hot dogs was a good idea in theory, but in reality they don't taste good. We should have known the pastor dog would be as dry as the pastor taco meat, and the bun it comes on should be embarrassed to show itself to other hot dog buns in this city.
The chips were pretty good, but whatever sauce the chicken is cooked in is not. A steak or veggie version would probably be more tolerable.