Mmm, Minero food porn

Brocktober continues

by

22 comments
Dia de los Muertos may be only weeks away, but this month has clearly been Brocktober. Chef Sean Brock's cookbook Heritage releases on Tues. Oct. 21 and that would be enough to make it a red-letter month for most chefs, but not Brock. Oh no, the guy had to go and open an anxiously anticipated taqueria right on the most tourist-packed section of East Bay Street. It's like he wants to be famous or something.

The CP staffers got our first taste of Minero this week, and after chips and salsa, queso fundido, Valentina-drenched chicken wings, and nearly a dozen tacos, here's what we can report. 

The Scene
It's cozy. Neighborhood Dining Group has transformed what was once McCrady's Bar into an upscale brick-walled taco spot. After a 15 minute wait (in the pleasant East Bay breeze, I might add) the five of us squeezed into a four-top. Crossed legs were ruled out not only because of our confines but thanks to the silverware drawers. That's right, beneath each seat at the table there's a drawer of napkins and silverware. Clever? Sure. Comfortable? Eh. 

Personal silverware drawers are hidden below each table at Minero - KINSEY GIDICK
  • Kinsey Gidick
  • Personal silverware drawers are hidden below each table at Minero


The Service
Friendly and efficient. Even with a full house, the staff were all upbeat and helpful explaining tacos and various dishes upon request. 

The Ambiance
Pleasantly loud. Thanks to being nestled next to each other like strings in a pack of licorice, we could hear each other fine. But there is music pumping in the background which makes for a casual, fun atmosphere. 

The Menu
Brock appears to have taken all his favorite Mexican flavors — smoke, cilantro, árbol chilis, and green chorizo — and meshed them together with hints of the Lowcountry. Benne plays a roll in both the vegetable taco and an ambitious benne salsa. On first bite, the thicker brown consistency of the benne salsa was jarring, but upon repeat tastes the complexity of the flavor emerged. Leave it to the guy who perfected boiled peanut hummus to come up with that.

Chips and salsa means a trio of spicy blends including benne, arbol, verde - KINSEY GIDICK
  • Kinsey Gidick
  • Chips and salsa means a trio of spicy blends including benne, arbol, verde

The tacos are presented with all the artistry of a McCrady's tasting menu. The green chorizo sits with a crisped, thin potato on top, haloed by a single circle of onion. The tacos are small, roughly the size of a man's palm, and require a bit of maneuvering to lock in the ingredients. The charcoal grilled chicken taco proved especially challenging with its dusting of parmesan atop pickled red onion. Needless to say, it snowed cheese down our lap. However, the minor mess was worth it as the taco is delicious. Just as good: all of the tacos are affordable at $3.50-$4.50 apiece.


Queso fundido arrives with a pack of warm tortillas - KINSEY GIDICK
  • Kinsey Gidick
  • Queso fundido arrives with a pack of warm tortillas

But it was the charcoal grilled chicken wings that arrived with the most flourish. A waiter presented a brown bag filled with the wings, poured in a hearty splash of Valentina hot sauce, shook it up shake-n-bake style, then poured them into a bowl. The remaining bag was left on the table to deposit bones. While my initial instinct was to feel like the display was bordering on Portlandia, it turns out it was all very practical. And the charcoal/Valentina blend has a nice kick to it — it's a perfect shared appetizer. 

 
Green chorizo tacos are topped with a slice of potato and a grilled onion - KINSEY GIDICK
  • Kinsey Gidick
  • Green chorizo tacos are topped with a slice of potato and a grilled onion


Two chorizo tacos (front) and a parmesan topped chicken taco - KINSEY GIDICK
  • Kinsey Gidick
  • Two chorizo tacos (front) and a parmesan topped chicken taco

To finish things off, a giant golden burrito with the words "Wrapped for your protection" arrived. Cheeky, Brock.
 
The burrito arrives wrapped for your protection - KINSEY GIDICK
  • Kinsey Gidick
  • The burrito arrives wrapped for your protection



Comments (22)

Showing 1-22 of 22

Add a comment
 

Add a comment