McNeal Point 2330 Bale Street Raleigh, NC
The restaurant is described as a “Mercado Style Taqueria” and as you can see in the photos they certainly got the vibe right! When we saw the menu we were intrigued by authenticly named dishes like Mal Del Puerco with an apt description such as Slow-roasted Pork/Salsa Verde Cruda/Avocado/Radishes/Grilled Onions. We opted to try two items one from the small plates menu, the Esquites and the other from the Taco menu, the Taco Callejeros.
You order at the counter and are handed a buzzer.
Many people prefer a more formal dining experience, but I always think that as long as the food is good I am happy to find my own seat and select my own flatware. The seating options and decor were fun, it almost transformed my experience into being on vacation somewhere in Mexico. We made our way to the bar area in the back of the restaurant to sit and wait for our food.
This was not your average bar experience.
We were greeted by two friendly bartenders who made us each an authentic drink. I tried a Michelada made with Clamato Juice served in a salt-rimmed paper cup with a paper straw. My husband had a Margarita made from fresh-squeezed juice and Anejo Tequila served in a glass rimmed with black salt and garnished with a slice of dehydrated lime.
The hot food was made promptly, I was happy to see the tortillas were made fresh.
The person who recommended Chido Taco instructed us to try the Esquites. This was my first time ever trying it, the only way to describe this dish is like a vegetarian corn salad with mayonnaise dressing. I was not a fan. This had nothing to do with the restaurant, just more of a preference of taste thing. I did not care for their tortilla chips either as they were thick and not salty. I am a fan of those paper-thin tortilla chips served at another popular restaurant chain. Our buzzer went off so that we could pick up the rest of our order. We also ordered the 2 Taco Callejeros Bistec (Steak) for $5.00. The hot food was made promptly. I was happy to see the tortillas for the tacos were made fresh. Our meal was handed to me on a metal baking sheet tray and I made my way to the condiment cart to dress my tacos.
I was excited to see some freshly cooked whole green peppers.
The condiment cart had many salsa selections, Verde, Pico de gallo, and of course traditional. I was excited to see some freshly chopped cilantro and cooked whole green peppers. When I was seated back at the bar, I inquired about the heat index of the pepper before trying it. The bartender warned me it was very hot and offered me salt and lime to put on the pepper. My first bite was very pleasant, but as I reached the seeds, I fully understood the heat factor. I was told that next time I should cut the pepper open and remove the seeds if I wanted a more pleasant experience. I will definitely try them again.
The tacos had a hearty portion of steak in them
The tacos were soft, warm and delicious. They had a hearty portion of steak in them, although it was a bit tough. Next time I will try the carnitas or the chicken instead. There will be a next time for me. If I was to give a rating for this place on a scale from 1-10.