Tuesday, June 7, 2016

Coastal Taco

Personally, I am enjoying all of the development on the east bank of The Flats, and we find ourselves down there often now. When we heard about Coastal Taco Bar + Chill going in down there, we were excited about the concept. To be honest, Mr. H just loves anything in a tortilla.

Well, they opened their doors about two weeks ago, and we popped in on Friday evening.
The menu is limited to a handful of assorted tacos (no build-your-own here), and a couple of appetizers, sides, and bowls. Narrow menus can often be a sign of limited items being done well, so I'm usually in favor. Not the case here, unfortunately.

The interior has a high-level of detail to capture the atmosphere of a beach-side, nautical East Coast joint.
The crisp white and soft gray tones are soothing.
But it does feel "chainy" as soon as you walk in the door.

We saddled up to a table inside, because the weather was GORGEOUS and their patio and outdoor bar were packed. I was immediately drawn to the Happy Hour drink specials. It hit the spot on a warm evening.
A tray of complimentary "chips" arrived, but our server didn't tell us what they were. Nothing to dip them in either, which seemed odd.
To order, you take one of the forms and a pencil provided on your table (multiple people on one form), and check off your desired items. It all arrives family-style on one tray.
Which would have been fine, but two servers couldn't identify them on the tray, so we just dug in and hoped that we were grabbing the right ones. Overall, very bland and uninspired. They are small---about two generous bites each. And corn tortillas only. I don't mind a good corn tortilla, but I prefer flour, and having options would keep all diners happy. Hope that changes in the future.

While we were munching away on our tacos, runners tried to deliver food to our table three times that wasn't ours. Safe to say that they all need a bit more training on the table numbering. It's to be expected with such a brand new spot, but it was still comical.
The outdoor area of Coastal Taco is fantastic, with stunning river and city views, outdoor games like Giant Jenga and Cornhole, fire pits, soft seating, and more.

This could be a really great addition to the area, if they can clean up their service issues and improve the quality of the food a bit. It may seem like I'm being harsh here, since they are so new, but it doesn't mean that I don't think it can get better with time. I'll never forget about how the beloved Barrio in Tremont was downright awful the first two times that we dined there. Look at them now. But, Cleveland has some great taco restaurants these days, and Coastal isn't on par yet. It was a really disappointing visit. Fingers crossed. 

Coastal Taco
1146 Old River Road
Cleveland, OH 44113