If you're looking for a cheap authentic thrill, Art of Taco fits the bill. Born out of love for Tex-Mex comfort food, they only serve high-quality grub that's affordable. We're always on the lookout for authentic Tex-Mex food that won't hurt our pockets and this is basically it. Taste wise, we were surprised how inexpensive everything is on the menu.
The idea behind it came about when their Mexican friends visited the Philippines and they discovered there's a gap in the food that's already available here. And since they've already experienced so many good places, they also wanted to let Filipinos try what real Mexican food is. Some of it though have been made a little modern so it wouldn't be as strong and would suit the Filipino palate.
According to them, they would classify Art of Taco as an in between of fine dining and fast food since the price point is more on the latter part but the quality of the food is comparable to high-end restaurants because of the strong flavors it offers. How authentic is it really? We are told that the ingredients are all imported from Mexico so they're serving only honest-to-goodness chows.
You'll be surprised as to how almost all food items are P150 or under! Here are a couple of must-try dishes when you visit them:
What first arrived on the table was this basket of ginormous nachos which comes with cheese or red salsa dip. There are actually three kinds of nachos which you can order and it ranges from the classic one that's priced at P99 to an unlimited one that's priced at P299. Imagine hanging out here with your friends. So affordable, right?
All tacos are served with your choice of salsa — house made charred salsa (mild), green salsa (cilantro-based) and yellow salsa (extremely spicy) — or you can have them suggest what would go best with your tacos.
Almost all the main dishes are more than hundred-year-old recipes which were handed down to them by Mexican families. The Crunchy Beef Taco (P49) for one is what they're most proud of and we understood why after our first bite. Down it with their refreshing Iced Tea (P45/unlimited; P30/glass) which they brew themselves.
Soft tacos are a personal favorite and actually told them that I was too full but the quality of the tortilla is exemplary, I just had to finish everything. We then found out that they make their doughs in-house and hand roll it themselves so everything that's served is fresh daily.
If you can't get enough of texture in your food, the Baja Shrimp (P109) has plump shrimp that's coated and deep fried so it's crunchy when you bite into the soft tortilla. Other must-tries include Pulled Chicken (P99), Pulled Pork (P99) and Fresh Fish (P109) which has a different sauce to slather it with.
For vegans, they have something for you too! The Monet's Garden (P99) soft taco are fried eggplants in a batter so you'll get that crunchy on the outside and soft on the inside texture as well. Anita's Oh-So-Tasty Avocado (P99) soft taco, on the other hand, are avocado slices that are dipped in batter and fried until golden brown.
The Fajitas which are available in two kinds, Chicken (P99) and Steak (P119) are marinated for 24 hours with the seasonings before cooking to make sure they are packed with flavor.
If you want a little heavier, the Chicken and Steak Burrito (P199/8-inch; P350/12-inch) is a beast to devour. Of course, the 12-inch one has double the meat and bigger than its 8-inch counterpart but they're both equally good and the choice will depend on how famished you are when you visit. Another one that's for sharing (or for yourself) are the quesadillas which come in two kinds — Steak Quesadilla (P159) and Chicken Quesadilla (P149), has melted cheddar cheese tucked inside shredded chicken.
Rice toppings are also available and is served with their specialty iced tea for only P139. Available toppings are Pulled Chicken, Steak Fajitas, Fresh Fish, Pulled Pork, Chicken Fajitas, Ground Beef and Baja Shrimp.
A perfect way to end your Mexican meal is a plate of Sopapillas (P99), fried dough with ice cream topping, which is good for sharing or you can have it all to yourself, we're not judging. Make sure you scoop the ice cream with the fried dough for the complete experience!