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7/6/13 No Problemo: Good Mexican Tacos in New Bedford

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There's a reason why New Bedford is very rarely mentioned on CH>New Bedford is a tough call for restaurants.Every July we happily attend the New Bedford Folk Festival but finding dinner spots, and post 9:30 at that, is the biggest challenge of the wkend. We have done the local Portuguese scene where the menu is pretty much identical everywhere. We have settled on Cafe Mimo over Antonio's and Funchal, but the room is cafeteria like, the salad is iceberg and the drinks are sodas and meh wine/beer. And we arrive just before service ends. Menu at Cork and Urban Grille did not beckon.

This year we tried the downtown Mexican Taco place, No Problemo, on Purchase at Williams. While it's a LOUD funky bar/hangout place, the food is fine and prices are low low low , especially for the generous serving sizes. Guac is real,Haas avocadoes, and not loaded w/ onion; hoorah! Beef and refried beans flour tacos were very heavy and filling; the beef had been grilled (wow, great; i thought for sure it would be ground) and then super chopped . The ratio was def in favor of the beans, but flavor was there, and each table has its many good bottled hot sauces if you felt the need. Toppings were all fresh but their in- house salsa was really just chopped boxcar tomatoes/no additional components or flavor. The 'orange chipotle' chicken taco filling option was misrepresented, as the chicken was bland (but moist) and had no sauce flavor. But corn tortillas were griddled nicely. Quesadillas and burritos are also offered.
The house salad was giNORMous, fresh and simple. Real lettuce/no iceberg, cukes, same insipid tomatoes and a ton of shredded mild cheese which i removed, and insipid but o.k. cilantro lime dressing.
Service was laid back and pretty quick. Hope it keeps up the quality.It's no La Verdad, and it's certaiinly not authentic, but we were pleasantly surprised and thankful that it is there.

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  1. OC... NB Local here. I disagree and feel the NB dining scene is very good. Some places to think about: Urban Grille is excellent and BYOB; Elizabeths just over the bridge in Fairhaven is dynamite, especially for lunch. The Airport Grill off of Rt 140 is a beautiful room with very good food in a unique setting. Downtown you could also try Freestons. Local landmark. Not my favorite, but still a nice option. Also downtown is Spicy Lime. Excellent Thai Food.

    If you wanted a few pints/drinks be sure to check out Rose Alley or the Pour Farm Tavern. Great craft beer spots.

    Got a few other spots as well but that's a start. For quality and value I've found the Southcoast can't be beat.

    2 Replies
    1. re: CapecodKid

      CCK...I agree and disagree with your comments. There is some good chow to be had in NB for sure, but better food can be found outside NB but in the vicinity. Many speak of how good Antonio's is, and it is indeed pretty good. But Sagres in Fall River blows it away and is a MUCH nicer room. Elizabeth's in Fairhaven is indeed quite good, but that's not NB, and Margaret's next store is decidedly better, although they share ownership. Cork is pretty good. Freestones is absolutely horrible. I hear good things about Brick Pizzeria Napoletana and their wood -fired oven. It's been described as similar to our local Pizza Barbone in Hyannis, but with reasonable prices. I'll have to try the others you mention as they are all new names for me. I worked in NB for a decade but it was 12 years ago. I do get back there several times per year, though, because the area does have some good value establishments that are worth the trip.

      1. re: CapeCodGuy

        CCG... check out Urban Grille. We've had 2 dynamite experiences there. (will admit our last time they were off..hoping just an off day) Across the street from UG, next to No Problemo is a super funky new wine shop called Crush. Looks like it belongs in Brooklyn. Exposed brick walls, etc.

        I like Antonios but would agree it's not the best of the best. We like Cotali Mar, the steak on the hot stone is out of this world. A bit more upscale, but very nice. Near the now closed Cafe Funchal is the Maderia Grill. Funky bar-ish spot. Had an excellent Rabbit dish there.

        Lastly downtown has a new-ish spot called Destination Soup. They recently merged w/ On a Roll. Very good pressed sangi's for lunch.

        As an aside...we still haven't been to Brick. Heard same reviews. Also if contemplating Airport Grille I'd recomend the Tuesday Fish and Chips special. $7.95 per person. Portion was excellent and the quality was about as good as it gets for british style F&C. Enjoy!