We got a sneak preview of the “Q Tacos at Machos Cantina” yesterday – a.k.a. the relaunch of Quesa on Cedar Springs.
The restaurant has been open since at least this weekend, but they were still finishing up some things last night ahead of this evening’s launch party.
Design: The décor is updated, including the removal of that hideous stretched-out picture from above the Quesa kitchen. The patio wallpaper is new as well.
Concept: The interior dining room (Machos Cantina) has more of a lounge feel than it did before. The kitchen (Q Tacos) now has a walk-up window where you can order and pay for your food. It also has a second window facing the patio that will be open after-hours.
Additionally, there are plans for Machos Cantina to have music and dancing on the weekend. The separation of the food and bar areas may make the weekend experience feel a little more like a club than dancing in a restaurant.
Food: The menu consists mostly of $4 mini tacos, with some other items like chips + queso ($6) and “traditional street corn” ($5).
They also offer delivery.
Beverage: The drink prices are pretty average.
- House cocktails range from a $7 basic margarita to $12 drinks
- Wines are $8 to $11
- Beers are $4 for domestics, $5 for Dos Equis Negra, and $6 for premium/imports
Taste: Most of the food was good and the house margaritas were delicious.
Here’s what I had:
- Brown Butter Cauliflower Taco (cauliflower, golden raisin, caper, garlic, cilantro) – rich but not too heavy.
- Pork Belly Taco (marinated pork belly, raw and picked cabbage, toasted sesame seed, crema, cilantro) – super salty, but that’s an easy fix for the kitchen.
- El Pastor Taco (spit roasted pork, caramelized pineapple, onion, cilantro) – my favorite. The perfect mix of savory and sweet.
All tacos were $3.85.
I’m not sure if it’ll become a dinner destination for us, but the taco window is a viable 2 a.m. alternative to the dangerous hot dog stands outside of TMC and Sue Ellen’s.
Recommendation: Worth checking out!
Some of my neighbors suggested that I should a full restaurant review for GuideLive, but there are two reasons why this didn’t happen.
- Timing: The most helpful restaurant reviews happen after a place has been open for a while. At launch, many restaurants are still figuring out kinks and the staff is on their best behavior. The real test is how things look 3-6 months in.
- Research: What separates professional restaurant criticism from your typical Yelp review is the amount of research done. Restaurant critics typically try a substantial amount of a restaurant’s menu over multiple days. This isn’t realistic for a place that just opened.
Plus, we already have an excellent restaurant critic. Maybe she’ll give the place a look in the future.
This is my blog/Yelp version of a review. What do you think of the new Quesa?