Sunday, November 4, 2012

Jaco's Tacos - Jackson

I often wonder what goes into the process of naming a restaurant, particularly when the name includes that of a dish. Does the name imply that that particular dish is the best thing on the menu, did that dish initially help the owner gain notoriety, or is it something as simple as a pleasant rhyme ? While I can think of examples for the first two, Sushi House Hayakawa and Yakitori Jinbei come to mind, I can’t help but think that Jaco’s Tacos fits in the third category. At least that’s my opinion after a few lunches at one of the newest State Street restaurants.

As you might expect with a “Tex-Mex” restaurant, lunch at Jaco’s Tacos began with chips and salsa.
Thin and sweet, this salsa had touch of cilantro and just enough lingering chili heat to let you know something was there.
Where there’s salsa, there’s likely to be queso as well, this version was equipped with the optional chorizo. Tasting remarkably similar to velvetta and rotel, a fair amount of dark, smoky chorizo complimented this dip well.
What do you use to enjoy these bowls of queso and salsa? A heaping basket of fried tortilla chips that have been dusted with more of that sweet chili powder, it’s a tried and true combination that delivers here as well.

Before moving to Jaco’s namesake, I wanted to see the only seafood appetizer, the shrimp brochette.
Ideally the bacon would shield the shrimp and a smoky and salty element to the jalapeno mango cheese filling; in practice, things didn’t work as planned.
Even with bacon wrappings and sweet and spicy fillings, it’s hard to completely cover overdone, chalky shrimp.

It was then time for Jaco’s raison d’ĂȘtre, the tacos, starting with a combination plate of grilled steak and Mojave pork.
Pico de gallo, onions, a handful of cheese, these tacos arrived completely dressed with the usual toppings but I did miss the fresh avocado slices you get from Taqueria la Guadalupe.
While there was a fair amount of nicely charred steak on this taco, it was fairly dry on its own, but when combined with the condiments, it became a well-seasoned base for the taco.
If there was a surprise in the tacos, it was the sweetness of the Mojave pork, but much like the steak tacos, when combined with the pico de gallo and other toppings, things worked decently together.

The two chicken tacos were more of a mixed bag.
Before, the meats had been lackluster on their own but played well with the toppings, but with the chicken even the best meats couldn’t stand up the abundance of heavy toppings.
The biggest loss on this plate was the grilled chicken as this was one of the few instances where breast meat was juicy and boldly seasoned. However, any chance the chicken had to save this taco was crushed by a mountain of onion and cheese.
Taco number two was a different story.
With a thick, clumpy, and unseasoned batter, this fried chicken made the thick tortillas a doughy and unappetizing mess. Even scrapping off the toppings, every bite of this taco was onions, cheese, and dough, but if there is one upside, at least the chicken wasn’t dry.
After two separate encounters, it seems that Jaco’s Tacos is just another entry into the list of Tex-Mex restaurants in Jackson. If you want a place for margaritas and cheese topped banality downtown, Jaco’s Taco is your place, but for a decent taco my money is on the local taquerias.

Jaco’s Tacos Address & Information
Jaco's Tacos on Urbanspoon

1 comment:

Zoe said...

So true about the name of joint. But then again (and I haven't eaten there yet) the pics look so good! I guess I'm a girl and prefer the mountains of cheese to any meat anyhow (it's the only way I'll even eat the meat!).