This was a hosted dinner, however, all thoughts and opinions are mine or my husband's own.
Last Friday, Morgan and I celebrated our anniversary a little later than planned, but ultimately ended up being one of our best anniversary dinners to date. We dropped Caroline with her grandma (for her first spend the night :) ) and headed up to Raleigh to spend National Taco Day at Bartaco in North Hills Shopping Center. As you may well know by now, or if you're new to SPP then just know, tacos are my absolute favorite food in the whole world. There is hardly anything I won't eat in a taco. Pair something with the right mixture of flavor and fold it in a tortilla and I will eat it all day. Morgan loves to mix it up and make all kinds of tacos for me because he knows I won't shy away from at least trying!
If you have never been to Bartaco then let me just start by saying, PLEASE GO. You're truly missing out. I was excited when I received an invite to try the newly released "secret taco" of the season, which is the Oaxacan Spiced Chicken taco. Chicken tacos are my taco of choice so I could not pass up the opportunity to try this mystery taco. Bartaco in Raleigh is located in North Hills which was mine and Morgan's favorite place to go on date nights when we lived up there. Fayetteville is not too far away but not always ideal for weekly date nights, but we were so happy to make it up there this past weekend. When we got to Bartaco, I was immediately impressed with the styling of the restaurant, from the white washed seating to the tropical feel of the spread out greenery inside and out, I felt like we were stepping into a fun, coastal atmosphere, like we just got transported to the beach somewhere. The light fixtures probably caught my eye the most as each light pendant had a large basket covering, and there were so many of them! I think that makes such a statement and love that they added that detail, it made it so unique and photogenic.
We decided to sit outside because it was a gorgeous evening with a light breeze and I'm so glad we did as their patio was just as impressive as inside with comfy, nautical inspired bench seating and a large, brick fireplace which I'm sure makes it such a cozy corner when it's cooler. Many other guests had the same idea as us as the patio filled up very quickly. Our waiter's name was Scott and he was great. He gave great suggestions and was responsive when we needed him. Kudos to him for suggesting the Chicken Chorizo taco, it was delicious, thanks Scott! We also met the General Manager, Gary Browne, who was super nice, and also gave great suggestions and insight into their menu. He and Morgan had very similar tastes in food so naturally they hit it off well.
Bartaco is a great combination of street food with asian influences, which is ironic because they're so well known for their taco variety. But it's what they do with those tacos that makes it so unique for diverse tastes and preferences. My favorite was the secret taco of the season, the Oaxacan Spiced Chicken taco. The chicken was cooked perfectly, with just the right amount of crisp and spice, laid on a kohlrabi slaw that balanced the taste and made my taste buds very happy. Morgan's favorite was the Glazed Pork Belly taco, which I loved as well. The crispy outside of the pork belly with the soft, melt-in-your-mouth inside made for a very tasty taco. We loved the grilled corn, which is something Morgan makes at home all the time, also called street corn. The cucumber slaw was so delicious and was a yummy, light addition to our meal. I told Morgan to recreate it at home too because it would make for a good and healthy snack! Another really cool thing about Bartaco is that they try to locally source some of the items on their menu. I ordered the vanilla gelato and we found out that they actually get it from Sugar And Snow Gelato in Asheville, and it was delicious!
I won't go through every single thing we ate in detail because, with Morgan helping me out with this post, it would be A VERY LONG post, so I'll hit some highlights and finish up with our Must Order list at the end so when you visit Bartaco, hopefully our suggestions will come in handy. Don't forget, their menus do change so this list may not last forever in its accuracy for ordering year round, so you better go soon! (My favorite taco is only available from 10/4 - 12/3/2019!)