Poquito’s Cantina – Alpharetta

Every Friday Roots in Alpharetta features an article on food and dining in a series called Foodie Friday.

It’s always tough to review one of Rob Forest’s restaurants. The guy’s a hands-on entrepreneur and is always tweaking stuff. Case in point, my lunch at Poquito’s on Wednesday. By that afternoon Rob had changed a menu offering thus rendering a part of my review out of date before I’d even written it.

And of course he flipped this restaurant space almost overnight. As I mentioned last week in this column, Rob decided to close his gastropub concept called Tifosi and open a cantina in a blink of an eye. It was a bold move considering Alpharetta’s legendary Pure Taqueria is within walking distance of this joint. Nevertheless, now we have Poquito’s Cantina.

Let’s get the good stuff out of the way first. The menu at Poquito’s is refreshingly simple. Unlike Erwoods or Tifosi, I can take one look at this menu and know exactly what they’re trying to be. It’s a slightly higher end taco stand. You’ll find mostly tacos organized by protein, build your own quesadillas and hand made guacamole. Most everything on the menu is a-la carte, right down to the rice and beans.

Some of my fellow cubicle dwellers joined my wife and I to give Poquito’s a try. Between us all we sampled nearly every taco on the menu. We were disappointed in almost all of them. The pork, while tender, was dry. The blackened fish didn’t taste blackened. The chicken lacked flavor and was one-dimensional. The buffalo shrimp, ordered medium, packed way too much heat. I’m glad I ate this last.

All in all it was a complete miss on kitchen execution. A menu like this should feature powerful flavors and contrasting textures all in a small package. There are other joints in town doing this very well including Cheeky’s, the nicer Mexican joints like Tara Humata and Cinco’s, and of course the aforementioned Pure Taqueria.

In the meantime, the restaurant looks good with some minor changes to appearance over Tifosi. They’ve built out a nice little patio that might make a fun happy hour hangout. Just give their kitchen more time to get this concept put together. Come back in a few months.

Poquito’s Cantina is located at 102 South Main Street in downtown Alpharetta. Look for them where the old KCF Tifosi Gastropub used to be.

9 Responses to “Poquito’s Cantina – Alpharetta”

  1. Ananth May 20, 2011 at 7:26 am #

    The staff at Efendi told me they were moving to Main St in that little plaza with Vino 101 (almost across from Poquito’s/Tifosi) into the spot on the eastern end of the strip that is currently vacant. Not sure when they will reopen but hopefully soon. They said there is more space (even though it looks small) and their main draw was it had a private party room as they got many requests for private parties that they couldn’t honor in their old location.

  2. A May 20, 2011 at 7:54 am #

    Hmm, after 2 less-than-stellar experiences at Tifosi, I won’t be trying the new concept. Tara Humata is our favorite Mexican place in Alpharetta, with Pure up there as well.

  3. Kim May 20, 2011 at 10:42 am #

    Well is it at least better than the next-door-neighbor taco joint? ;-)

  4. Cool Papa Bell May 20, 2011 at 3:16 pm #

    Meanwhile, I had six tacos right down the road at Mi Mexico and the meal was incredible. I’m with “A”. After two trips to Tifosi and another to Erwoods, all ranging from eh to okay, not going to mess around with Poquito’s.
    Mi Mexica meanwhile–can’t wait to go back.

  5. glovesave29 May 21, 2011 at 2:35 pm #

    I am never going back. I can microwave my dinner just fine by myself. Had a 50% off coupon – which they capped at $10. Then they added the $10 back as an automatic gratuity…for a party of TWO. Enjoy the $50 we spent there…because it is the last money of mine you will ever see.

  6. Papi Chulo June 6, 2011 at 3:52 pm #

    Poquito’s was pretty good, especially the great happy hour prices — $1 margaritas!! all day…every day. Here is what I don’t understand…virtually overnight they turned into Poquito’s…and then less than a month later the placed is CLOSED…entirely. a weird sign on the door suggests they might have moved somewhere else, but provides no other info. SO STRANGE!!! too bad.

  7. Stella June 7, 2011 at 4:06 pm #

    Did Poquitos Cantina open and close? What’s the status of their (this) building at 102 Main St Alpharetta ???

  8. Stella June 7, 2011 at 4:11 pm #

    correction – 102 South Main st

  9. Lee June 7, 2011 at 4:57 pm #

    Yes, Poquitos closed about three weeks after they opened. It is possible the concept may reopen in another location. Doubt we will see another restaurant at 102 S Main from this owner, although the space is on the market.

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