PINK TACO – HARD ROCK HOTEL & CASINO
By Vegas Food Nerd
EAT A PINK TACO, YOU WON'T BE SORRY
Most critics, and probably most women, get offended when they hear the name of this Mexican restaurant located right in the middle of the action of the Hard Rock Hotel and Casino here in Vegas. In fact, when the restaurant was first launched, there was a big media outcry about the name. Scottsdale, Arizona Mayor, Mary Manross declared it to be offensive. If you don’t know what Pink Taco is a euphemism for, then you won’t be offended, and I needn’t worry about how you feel about it, though it does strike me as funny in a world where men have come up with a multitude of euphemisms for their junk, but I guess that’s beside the point.
The interior of this place is worth the trip alone. It is bright and vibrant with many colors, with a biker bar feel. Now, I am going to warn you, if you are looking for a quiet dinner for two, this isn’t your place. If you are looking for a loud, fun, crazy crowd-watching experience, this is your spot. There’s probably some of the best people-watching in Vegas right at the Pink Taco. It is a way to experience the young Vegas tourists in their natural habitat. My friend and I had the best time just guessing whether the douche would get lucky with the pickup lines he was trying on the girls in the next booth. Truly entertaining stuff.
Ok, so now it’s time to talk food. Our server for the night was just spot-on perfect. Dana guided us through the menu and helped us to pick some really tasty treats for the evening. One of the first things we tried based on her suggestions, was the new menu addition: Churrasco Skewers. It was three types of protein that came to our table in a perfect presentation: one skewer of chicken, one of shrimp, and one of steak dangled on a mini skewer holder. Alongside the spears of meat and shrimpies was a Chili Butter and this Poblano Cream sauce that was just, well… “The Bomb.” Then we tried their Bacon-Wrapped Jalapeños, which were stuffed with a blend of Mexican cheeses and served with a Smoked Ranch sauce. They were just the right mix of spicy, crispy, and bacony (not that it’s a word) goodness. Next up were a couple of taco choices: first the Lobster Tacos with Lime-Serrano Cabbage, and a Mango Pico de Gallo. An appealing Lobster Tail came to our table with the tortillas to assemble your own tacos. It was just amazing. Add to that a Butter Cream sauce with Tequila that the chef sent over with them, and you have something that I will be craving. Finally, we had to try the flagship dish based on the name of the place, the “Pink Tacos”, which are actually Pink Tortillas served to you with Black Beans, Pickled Onions, Grilled Chicken, Salsa Arbol and Avocado. They were good and had great flavor, not as standout as the Lobster Tacos, but still a mighty fine taco choice, (and I wasn’t ashamed to order it). Though I still couldn’t work up the courage to order our server Dana’s favorite drink at the place: “The Kinky Bitch”, but if I had had another smooth shot of Patrón, I might have. Maybe next time.
To close up the fun night, we sampled some Churros. They were delicious, crisp, and just the right amount of sweet to end our meal. Chef Juan, we thank you for a good night out. To the rest of you: Make sure to take a stop here next time you are in town – or if you’re a local venturing down Paradise Road.
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