Taco Zocalo (Mexican) – Virginia, USA
By @britfoodieHALAL STATUS Fully Halal
It’s Taco Tuesday, so naturally, we looked for a taco spot. We had recently heard that Chef on Wheels, a Mexican-themed food truck, had a restaurant in Reston in Fairfax County, Virginia.
The restaurant was hidden in an office park close to Sunset Hills Blvd. I would have missed the restaurant if I didn’t see the food truck that I had visited numerous times before. Parking wasn’t an issue as there was ample free parking outside the restaurant.
The restaurant was ‘casual dining’, with no thrills (paper and plastic products) and seated 40 people. At the counter, there was a picture of Chef Basir and famous celebrity chef Aaron Sanchez.
The restaurant itself was clean and decorated simply, showcasing a couple of pictures on the wall.
It was not a fancy restaurant; but it remained busy throughout the time we were there. There was a diverse group of patrons with office workers, families and customers from all races and cultures. Regardless of the crowd size, however, the staff continued to bring out the food at a steady pace.
The menu consisted of tacos, burritos, bowls, chimichanga, and salads that were served with various proteins.
The appetizers came out within 5 minutes. The Queso was light and not too cheesy. The homemade guacamole was a delicate balance of spice and sour. I added the homemade hot sauce, which was not as spicy as I expected, but was loaded with heat and flavour. The best part being was that the ingredients on the sauce were not artificial preservatives and high fructose sugars.
All the tacos were delicious, the corn tortillas were cooked perfectly, and the beef and shrimp had the perfect ratio of coleslaw to cheese.
The Chimichangas were served with refried black beans (tasty as far as beans go), rice, sour cream, yummy homemade salsa that was fresh with a hint of lime and spice, and guacamole. We really enjoyed the chimichangas as they were not oily and had a slight crunch.
The burritos had the perfect ratio of beef, pico de gallo, beans and rice. The portion was a good size, not overly large but a healthy portion for an adult. All the food and lemonade (refreshing and not overly sweet) used quality and fresh ingredients. You could really taste the ‘homemade touch’ in all the dishes.
All the food was great, but the real star of the show was the BBQ brisket burrito. Like the other proteins, the beef was cooked perfectly, with the BBQ sauce being complementary to the refreshing taste of the salsa and rice.
We talked to the manager Sam, who explained that the restaurant was going through a rebranding and will soon be named ‘Taco Zocalo’.
A great choice for people who have gluten sensitivies or suffer from celiac disease, as the restaurant was 98% gluten-free! The homemade hot sauce was a 5/5, of which I would gladly buy a bottle!
The staff were very friendly and informed us that no lard was used and that all the menu items were Halal (including the chorizo!). They gave us a loyalty card, where after 10 stamps, you get a free meal.
Thumbs up for Chef Basir’s Mexican restaurant: FOOD: 4/5, PRICE: 5/5, ATMOSPHERE: 4/5, SERVICE: 4/5. Recommendation: BBQ Brisket Burrito.
Overall, great food, value, and service. Would I eat there again – YES!!!
Taco Zocalo (formerly known as Chef on Wheels)
1810 Michael Faraday Dr, Reston, VA 20190.