Over the last couple of years, The Woodlands Waterway has added lots of restaurants and stores. One of the newest additions to this area of The Woodlands Mall is an upscale taqueria offering a menu filled with tacos, burritos, seafood and alcoholic beverages.
You'll feel as though you've stepped into a tropical beachside restaurant at Yucatan Taco Stand Tequila Bar & Grill. Bamboo and lights decorate the walls surrounding the U-shaped bar in the middle of the restaurant -- it's easy to forget you're in The Woodlands.
You place your order at the front and take your seat wherever you would like. You can also seat yourself at the bar to order food and drinks.
Of course, I had to order tacos at Yucatan -- it wouldn't seem right to get something else for my first visit. Each taco comes with the same toppings -- the protein is the only thing that changes. Chihuahua cheese, shredded lettuce, chopped cilantro, diced tomatoes and a cabbage slaw top every white corn tortilla taco.
If the protein is the star of the taco, it needs to stand out and make the taco unique. After trying three varieties, only one stood out to me as flavorful: the special ground sirloin taco.
The meat was spicy and had a kick in every bite; the additional ingredients simply supported the perfectly seasoned ground sirloin.
The next two tacos definitely needed improvement. I love fish tacos and was excited to see that Yucatan had a tempura fish taco. However, the batter for the fish was too thick and almost tasted like the fish in a fish 'n' chips dish. My taste buds were quite confused. I wish there was more fish in the taco, as well, because it tasted more like a tempura batter taco.
Yucatan's tequila lime chicken taco had absolutely no flavor and was dry. The chicken meat stuck together in large clumps, and it wasn't seasoned at all. One bite of this taco and you'll be chewing and chewing and chewing and chewing.
The accompaniments to the tacos need variety as well. If you don't enjoy the set toppings, then you won't enjoy the tacos. Every protein has different flavors, so the toppings should enhance those unique aspects of each protein. I would like more cabbage slaw in the fish tacos because that's the classic combination. But the tequila lime chicken needs a spicy element to enhance that sweet and tangy flavor of the chicken, if cooked properly.
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Each taco should also come with something on the side. You can't go wrong with a little guac and sour cream.
The restaurant has the potential to attract a lot of customers, especially during the summer and the fall, when people will be looking for a fun place to eat at night. If Yucatan makes some crucial changes to its tacos, the food would back up the fun atmosphere.