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 By that afternoon Rob had changed a menu offering thus rendering a part of my review out of date before I’d even written it.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.