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Nov 30, 2011 07:01 AM

Zocalo Arlington Actually Worthy?

Have to be in Arlington today for lunch and bored of my usual spots.

Acitron unfortunately does not do lunch.

I was never a fan of Ole... Is Zocalo worth it? Or do I just stick with the usual favs, or even truck all the way over to the Tacos Lupita?

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  1. Haven't gone is a couple of years, because we thought it went downhill. In particular, the Chile Rellenos on our last 2 visits were pretty greasy.

    1. If you mean Tacos Lupita in Somerville, remember that it is no more - the replacement Aguacate Verde has not garnered good reviews, though using the same menu as TL.

      I personally like Zocalo - it's a step up from what I remember of Ole, not having been there in many moons. Nothing mindblowingly great but perfectly decent chow. I have not had the chiles rellenos - stick with more typical tacos, enchiladas, etc. Decent chips and salsa. Mind you, I have not been all that recently - maybe once in the past 6 months or so...2x/year on average -

      (Although as an aside, I am thinking I might need to revisit Ole - it was packed yet again this weekend, and it's still there....)

      10 Replies
      1. re: Bob Dobalina

        Yah, meant to say the re-in-carne-tion of Tacos Lupita. Guess I will avoid it...

        Might give Zocalo a whirl...

        1. re: StriperGuy

          I really like the carnitas burrito. The pork isn't crispy at all, more like braised, but it is very flavorful. I also like the hint of chipotle in the hot salsa and the beans are usually well-cooked. The nopales salad is pretty refreshing, too.

          1. re: StriperGuy

            Definitely skip the former Tacos Lupita. I tried again recently and it's just not the same.

            For something completely different, you could always Bento at Toraya? One of my favorite Arlington lunches.

            1. re: yumyum

              I hit Toraya pretty regularlay ;-) this was an attempt to mix it up.

          2. re: Bob Dobalina

            Do give Ole a try, Bob, and let us know what you think. I went for the first time for dinner earlier this year and was surprised to find that the menu was very different from the one posted on the wall. More small plates, and quite good. I had pegged it as a bachelorette party-type place given the crowds I have to push aside to get past it sometimes, but the dishes were much more on the Mexico City side of the spectrum than I had expected.

            1. re: hckybg

              Do you remember what you liked? What sorts of things are more Mexico City?

              1. re: Bob Dobalina

                Let's see--as I recall, we had and liked the Nopalitos, Tamal Oaxaqueno, Falda Asada con Mole, and Tlacoyos. I would put the nopalitos in the Mexico City category, as well as the jicama salad, which we also had (and I think we liked). There is a good amount of Puebla, Oaxaca, and DF in the menu, probably more than you tend to find around here. As to the post below, I actually felt their prices had dropped. But it is still more expensive than we usually spend, so I just don't have a lot of occasion to go there though I live nearby.

                1. re: hckybg

                  My biggest problem with Ole is that they never seemed to bring the spice. Do you feel that they have improved in that regard? I mean, really, it was always unforgivably bland the several times I went before giving up.

                  1. re: Alcachofa

                    I'm not sure I can offer the necessary perspective. Before I went for dinner, I'd only been for brunch and I really don't remember how well-spiced things were. My memory is that we were happy with most of our choices if not completely bowled over--but tastier and more interesting than I expected.

                  2. re: hckybg

                    That's good to hear! About prices dropping and a more varied menu. I've been for a number of birthday celebrations over the years and my memories are of underseasoned fish with unmemorable sides and thinking what I could have done with those $25 elsewhere.

                    I've liked Olecito, though!

            2. I always feel ripped off by Ole--it's in that space of too expensive and not that interesting.

              Zocalo catered a work lunch for my office two years ago (no information more recent) and it was really very good. The guacamole and mashed potato quesadillas were particularly tasty.

              I personally would have tried out the restaurant by now if it were closer.

              1. I am a fan of the more standard fare at Zocalo. Their enchiladas tend to be the most consistent and tasty thing on the menu. I usually go with the pork enchiladas. Good food, service is lacking though.

                1 Reply
                1. re: AaronInBoston

                  Right. Nothing ground-breaking, but pretty good at the basics. I actually find Zocalo to be better than Ole.

                2. Well, just got back... perfectly decent burritos, I had the pork carnitas which were tasty and nicely seasoned, my SO had the veggie burrito with portabella which was excellent. I would hit it again in a heartbeat. Nice option to have.

                  Thanks for the comments folks.

                  3 Replies
                  1. re: StriperGuy

                    stripes, did you see that Jim Fahey is at Habanero's in Waltham? I don't know if you were here for his initial glory days at Mexican Cuisine, but we're headed for Hab. soon.