Tasty Tuesday: Seaport Village’s Puesto is the neighborhood ‘cool kid’

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Tasty Tuesday: Seaport Village’s Puesto is the neighborhood ‘cool kid’

Courtesy of Puesto

Courtesy of Puesto

Courtesy of Puesto

by Kalah Siegel, Staff Writer

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Taco Tuesday is a weekly celebration of culture, tequila and outrageously good tacos. Living in a city flush with authentic Mexican cuisine is undeniably part of the appeal, but when the competition is as hot as the salsa it serves, restaurants need to differentiate flavors to keep the lights on.

Enter Puesto – the exceedingly successful taco haven cashing in on its one-of-a-kind strategy.

The flagship eatery is located downtown at The Headquarters in Seaport Village. Despite the tourist-trap address, locals flock here for the cool-kid atmosphere, hearty margaritas and handmade tacos with a twist.

Chic pops of green, pink and orange welcome patrons to the fiesta as one walks past the outdoor patio and into the bustling restaurant. The vibrant interior is championed by graffiti art from local artist Chor Boogie. Think fierce puffy penguins with a “bad-boy” vibe – nothing sing-song about it. The bold decor complements the bold tastes of the food and beverages, making the dining experience a cohesive combination.

Diners 21 and up, don’t skimp on libations. The Puesto Perfect Margarita lives up to its name – a pleasant surprise since house margaritas are typically watered down from a communal pitcher behind the bar. For a fancy feat, order the Mexican Firing Squad with Reposado tequila, housemade grenadine and angostura bitters.

As for the tacos, Puesto’s take on south-of-the-border favorites is apparent in the fresh ingredients and unique combinations piled up on a handmade tortilla. Fan favorites include the filet mignon with juicy meat wrapped in crispy melted cheese and the chicken al pastor with hibiscus and chipotle.

Not a meat-eater? Both the potato soy chorizo taco and the zucchini and cactus, featuring veggies, cactus and avocado, make even the most loyal carnivores consider vegetarian.

Though tacos are king at Puesto, the menu does offer other Mexican munchies such as salads, tostadas and street bowls. The eatery is even getting into the holiday spirit with menu items flagged for fall. Pastry chef Jessica Scott debuted a pumpkin flan this season, topped with shredded orange pie crust, mezcal crema and shards of candied carrot.

“Puesto is a great place to go any night of the week,” Puesto regular Nicole Johnson said. “They have a great happy hour and a plethora of taco options for Taco Tuesday at a discount. I recommend their horchata with tequila and three tacos – you can’t go wrong!”

There’s no denying Puesto is on the upscale side, which can have money-conscious college students concerned. Fortunately, happy hour hosts beverage and food discounts on weekdays and deals for Taco Tuesday. Be warned: Tuesdays at Puesto are hopping, so expect a wait or make a reservation.

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