Don’t Look Back (Taco Bar): A Review

Bean, Rajas and Chicken Tacos

Where: Don’t Look Back (W. Cary St., Richmond)
What: Tacos
Number of People: 2
Total Cost: $50
Rating: 4 of 5 stars

Adam and I heard of a new place in Cary Town that was the result of Nate’s Taco Truck, which was a big hitter on VCU’s campus for a while. We knew it had a strange name and it turns out we were right. It also turns out that the people who said the tacos were amazing were also right. The tacos were delicious. There are a variety of options on the menu, including vegetarian. They had all the basics, chicken, shredded beef, fish, carnitas and some nice additions such as bean, peppers, soy, and chorizo. They also had burritos, tostadas and the like. We tried a chicken, shredded beef, bean, peppers (Rajas), fish and chorizo with some guacamole on the side. Each taco is $3 and can be served traditionally (onions, cilantro and lime) or gringo (sour cream, cheese, salsa, lettuce) and either with corn or flour tortillas. We had corn on everything except the bean and mixed up the styles depending on the filling.

Tacos!

My favorite was definitely the fish taco. The fish was delicious and the cabbage slaw and sauce were just how I remember fish tacos. All of the others were also delicious. I definitely prefer traditional style because it’s simple and let’s the flavors show. Plus I’m a bit of a snob and want them to be as authentic as possible. The guacamole was also good and I’m picky about my guacamole.

I would definitely recommend this place to any one looking for a good, upscale Mexican restaurant in Richmond. The atmosphere was very modern with loud music in a tight space with TVs playing various shows and sports. They had a good beer selection and we hit at happy hour. The service was pretty good but not perfect, hence a missing star. I will certainly be going back in the future and taking a lot of friends.

Fish Taco

Beef Carnitas Tacos

Beef Carnitas Taco

Serves: 8
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 6-8 hours

Ingredients:

2-3 lbs beef (Boston butt/shoulder)
1 yellow onions, diced
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1 can diced tomatoes
1 tbs cumin
2 tsp chili powder
2 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 tbs agave (or honey)
Juice of 1 lime
2 tbs orange juice
1/2 cup BBQ sauce

Preparation:

1. Combine all ingredients except meat in a crock pot and stir. Add meat and cook for 6-8 hours. Turn meat half way through cooking.

2. Take meat out of crock pot and shred. Return to juices and let soak before serving.

3. Serve hot with tortillas, sour cream, Steph’s Guacamole, cheese and everything else!

Recipe adapted from Life as a Plate.

Another “because I have stuff for it” meal. Boston butts are not usually in my grocery store and not only did they have it this week but it was also on sale! I’ve already made BBQ and wanted to try something different and I also had avocados so ta da, Carnitas! I found this recipe online and it’s very good. It’s not too spicy, which is good for me but you could certainly add more chili powder or even some peppers for some more heat. I served it with store-bought tortillas, cilantro-lime rice (I added cilantro and lime juice to rice when it was almost done cooking), homemade guacamole and sour cream. I also found Queso Fresco and it was a great addition. I do love Carnitas and this fed my craving while using what I had in the house and feeding me for at least a week!

Taco!

It’s My Birthday and I’ll Cook If I Want To

That’s right. It’s my birthday and so I have to cook up a storm and have people over. Then, of course, go to the midnight showing of The Hunger Games. I decided to make an appetizer spread and have my guests bring the drinks. Here’s the menu:

Hot Spinach Artichoke Dip
Meatballs with BBQ Sauce and Garlic Basil Aioli
Bacon Wrapped Dates Stuffed with Herbs and Goat Cheese
Homemade Pico de Gallo with chips

There are several recipes involved here so I’ll give them to you individually as well as let you know what I did in advance, etc. Here we go. It’s party time!

Hot Spinach Artichoke Dip with Garlic Butter Crostini

Hot Spinach-Artichoke Dip

Serves: 10-12
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes

Ingredients:

1 (10 0z) package frozen spinach (make sure it’s not in sauce), thawed
2 (14 oz) cans artichoke hearts, drained and chopped in food processor
1/2 cup mayonaise
1/2 cup sour cream
1 cup parmesan, grated

Preparation:

1. Grease a casserole dish (recommend a 2 oz dish). Combine ingredients in a bowl and stir well. Pour ingredients in casserole dish and top with extra cheese.

2. Bake on 350 degrees for 30 minutes.

3. Serve with crostinis. To make crostinis, combine 1 stick butter and 4 garlic cloves in a food processor. Cut a french loaf into slices on an angle. Spread garlic butter on crostinis and bake at 400 degrees for about 8 minutes. Allow to cool. Crostini’s can be made in advance.

Recipe from Paula Deen at FoodNetwork.com.

Meatballs with BBQ Sauce and Garlic Basil Aioli

Meatballs with BBQ Sauce and Garlic Basil Aioli

Serves: Makes 40 meatballs
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: About 30 minutes

Ingredients:

Meatballs

1/2 lb ground pork
1/2 lb ground beef
1 cup fresh rosemary, chopped
1/2 cup bread crumbs
3 eggs
2 cups chicken stock
2 onions
3 cloves garlic
Salt and Pepper
Olive oil

BBQ Sauce

1 cup catsup
1/2 cup water
1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
2 1/2 tbs light brown sugar
2 1/2 tbs sugar
1/4 tbs pepper
1/4 tbs garlic powder
1/4 tbs ground mustard
1/2 tbs Worcestershire sauce

Basil Garlic Aioli

2/3 cup mayonaise
4 garlic cloves, chopped
5-6 basil leaves, chopped
3 tbs olive oil
Salt

Preparation:

1. Make BBQ Sauce and aioli in advance. To make BBQ Sauce, combine all ingredients in a sauce pan and bring to a boil. Simmer for about 45 minutes to an hour or until thickened. To make aioli, combine ingredients except olive oil in a food processor and pulse. While machine is running, slowly add olive oil.

2. To make meatballs, brown onions and add garlic. Remove from heat once browned and allow to cool.

3. Combine ingredient except chicken stock in a bowl. Mix together with your hands. Heat olive oil and make a tester patty. When tester patty is tasty, make balls (or patties) and cook in batches.

3. Brown meatballs on all sides. Then add a splash (about 1/4 to 1/2 cup) chicken stock and simmer for 3-4 minutes.

4. Drain on paper towels and serve.

Meatball recipe adapted from Anne Burrell’s Cook Like a Rock Star, BBQ Sauce from the Neely’s at FoodNetwork.com and Garlic Basil Aioli from Bobby Flay at FoodNetwork.com.

Homemade Pico de Gallo

Homemade Pico de Gallo

Serves: 10-12
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 0!

Ingredients:

3 large beefsteak tomatoes, diced
1 medium onion, diced
1 1/2 cups cilantro, chopped
Juice of 2 limes
Salt to taste

Preparation:

1. Combine all ingredients and mix. Refrigerate for about an hour or more before serving. Serve chilled with tortilla chips.

Recipe is an original.

The important part of this recipe is to remember to make the salsa and onion in big chunks. At least, that’s the way I like it. Nothing beats fresh pico de gallo.

Bacon Wrapped Dates Stuffed with Goat Cheese and Herbs

See my previous post for the recipe on these. They are divine!

It was a fantastic party and the food turned out well. It was definitely a lot to make and it took all day but it was worth it. The Bacon Wrapped Dates get better every time I make them and I find they do not take long at all and they need a good stuffing of goat cheese to make sure it all doesn’t melt out. The Spinach Artichoke Dip is a dish I’ve been making for years and it is always a crowd pleaser, plus it is so incredibly easy. The meatballs turned out pretty well. I found it was much easier to cook them as patties and I ended up doing that because I was running out of time. They were very moist and it seems essential to use fresh rosemary. That made all the difference. And of course there’s the Pico de Gallo. That’s another dish I’ve been making forever and it is always delicious and simple. It was a great party and a great birthday!

My First Blog Award! 7×7

Yay! I was nominated yesterday for my first blog award! I’ll admit. I cheated a little since the person who nominated me is my boyfriend, but he also legitimately loves my blog as well as me. Probably mostly because he gets to eat all the food I cook. But I digress!

Here are the rules for receiving the award:

1. Thank the person who gave it to you.

2. Share seven random facts about yourself.

3. Share seven of your worthy posts under the following headers: Most Beautiful Piece, Most Helpful, Most Popular, Most Controversial, Most Surprisingly Successful, Most Underrated and Most Pride Worthy.

4. Nominate seven other bloggers and notify them.

So here we go!

1. I was nominated for this award by my amazing, awesome and talented boyfriend Adam over at Eat, Sleep, Television. Adam is a movie and tv fanatic and is also excellent at breaking episodes and movies down and just telling you how he feels. He has done some excellent reviews and even though I don’t always agree with him (Avatar ROCKS!), I love his style and ability to see things others cannot. His dream in life is to become a critic so go help him out. It will be a win-win situation.

2. Seven Random Facts… Alrighty then.

  1. I don’t like crunchy desserts. My cookies will be doughy, Bob Darn It!
  2. I have an obsession with shoes. And purses. And clothes. And shopping in general.
  3. I wear a shower cap. Curly girls represent!
  4. I’m related to Stonewall Jackson by marriage.
  5. My mother is Anne Rice.
  6. I LOVE Hello Kitty. Like seriously. LOVE.
  7. The story behind Basmati Taco, the name. My last name is Rice. Once day my friend and I were signing up for online dating (and it worked out well I must say) and it is ridiculously hard to come up with screen names for these things. My friend suggested something rice related and we came up with Basmati. Well, that was already taken and the site recommended trying Basmati_Taco. And there you have it. I actually have never had a Basmati Taco but it will happen someday. Indian-style tacos here I come!

3. My posts:

4. And the nominees are:

  1. Journey Too
  2. Going Dutch
  3. Cloud of Lace
  4. Danny’s Kitchen
  5. Lauren’s Road Less Traveled
  6. Assia’s Kaleidoscope
  7. A Teaspoon Of Tumeric

And there you have it! Thanks so much to Adam and to all my readers!

Taco!

Steph’s Guacamole (with Chicken and Black Beans)

Steph’s Guacamole

Serves 4

Total Time: 10 minutes

Ingredients:

For Guacamole:

4 Hass avocados

1 medium yellow onion, diced

1 large tomato (or about 3 smaller tomatoes), diced

1 – 2 limes

1/2 tsp chili powder

Salt to taste

Hand full of cilantro (optional)

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