Where: The Painted Burro – 219 Elm Street Somerville, MA
When: March 2012
I have been on the edge of my seat for months with the much anticipated opening of Posto’s second restaurant, The Painted Burro. For months I’ve been stalking their facebook page and drooling over the drinks, food and art they had been working on.
Libby and I chose, coincidentally, to go on their first official opening day. I knew this could go one of two ways: they either did their homework and gave themselves plenty of time to perfect the menu, train staff and get it right or they set an arbitrary deadline and rushed to the finish.
The first thing I noticed was the decor – I love the Mexican inspired art covering the walls, the colorful clay skulls lining the shelves, and reclaimed wood that the bar is made out of of.
We were quickly seated and greeted by our server who was very sweet but noticeably nervous. The first thing she asked is if we had been to The Painted Burro before. Libby and I looked at each other and couldn’t help but laugh as it was their first night. No, we did not come for lunch (which I don’t even think they are open for). Our server then spilt water on our table but that very well could have been the fault of the Mexican inspired, but maybe not practical, water pitcher. I couldn’t help but have a soft spot for our server as she was trying hard and was new, they all were really.
We made this really easy for her by ordering the same thing – two De La Casa Margaritas and two orders of the Dos Tacos with Gulf Shrimp Diablo. Our margaritas, which had Agavales Blanco, Combier, lime juice, and agave nectar, came out quickly and went down like lemonade on a hot summer day. Not too tart, not sweet, just right. I’m smacking my lips just thinking about them.
While we waited for our food we were given some chips and salsa which I could not get enough of. I wasn’t that hungry when I walked in but once that salsa hit my tongue it was as though my stomach opened up and was grumbling for more. So good!
The Gulf Shrimp tacos came with avocado salsa and baja mayo. The plate came with two tacos each but each one had two tortillas and were overstuffed so we quickly discovered that we could easily make four tacos of each of our plates. We agreed that they were good tacos, the shrimp was cooked well and the seasoning was well balanced. The guacamole seemed a little subdued to me but the baja mayo was fantastic. They were very filling.
We both got another drink during dinner which was a bit difficult to do as we couldn’t catch anyone’s attention, eventually we managed and realized our server was a little overwhelmed with her tables.
Overall, I love the atmosphere of The Painted Burro, the drinks were fantastic, the chips and salsa were memorable, the tacos were good but not necessarily crave-able (like Ole’s), and service a little chaotic. I’m sure once everyone gets in the swing of things that last point will change though. I’d recommend this restaurant for large groups, dinner with friends, date nights, or just drinks at the bar – which I definitely will be doing. Soon.
How did The Painted Burro measure up? 3.75 Spoons!