Posted March 28, 2017
By KATE HOVAN
Tucked in the corner on the fourth floor of the luxurious, new Brickell City Centre sits (yet another) one of Miami’s newest taquerias: Tacology. The restaurant marries the concept of authentic Mexican fare with a modern twist and resembles a traditional Mexican “mercado,” or marketplace, complete with three different kitchens.
Tacos are the staple there, but keeping with the market style, all of the dishes are made with the freshest ingredients.
Tacology is the creation of chef Santiago Gomez, who is known for the Mexican restaurant Cantina La Veinte in Brickell. However, this new spot is worth a visit from taco connoisseurs on principle alone.
Customers are unlikely to taste award-winning dishes at Tacology. The menu succeeds in providing a range of different options, but there is very little that sets Tacology’s fare aside from other stylish Mexican eateries in Miami. Portions are also on the smaller side. Customers should plan on ordering several dishes for a truly filling meal. The menu can also be quite overwhelming, but with vegan and vegetarian options, there is something for everyone to enjoy.
As one of the many appetizers, the “elote preparado,” or grilled street corn, comes with two small corncobs on sticks. The cobs are generously topped with queso fresco and diners receive four different dipping sauces from which to choose.
Moving over to the taco portion of the menu, the “chicken pastor” and “talla fish” tacos are both quite bland, but each table is set with three different types of salsa to add some spice. Thankfully, there is plenty of variety throughout the menu, including salads, tostadas, ceviches and other specialties. Finding a more flavorful dish is possible but could take some experimenting.
While the food is somewhat lacking in flavor, Tacology does boast a lengthy drink menu and is certainly a great place to enjoy both traditional and Mexican-inspired cocktails. Customers can enjoy a cocktail with their meal or at the bar. There are also plenty of different types of tequila and mezcal to choose from.
Depending on what customers are looking for, service can be a bust. Diners hoping for a tech-savvy place or with little interaction between the server and customer should look no further. Every table is equipped with one iPad to browse the menu, complete with gorgeous photos and detailed descriptions of each item.
Customers can order through the device, but a server must enter a passcode before sending the order through to the bar or kitchens. The process is essentially a showy, counterproductive way to order food. Servers are merely there to supervise customers while they order, making it difficult to justify tipping after the meal. Be careful, though; the check includes an 18 percent gratuity regardless.
Since the servers rely on technology and aren’t responsible for cultivating a dining experience at Tacology, the atmosphere seeks to make up for that. Overall ambience is the area in which Tacology exceeds expectations and stands apart from hoards of other trendy Mexican restaurants in Miami.
The area is beautifully decorated with bright colors and fabrics, painted wooden tables and even a pergola out on the terrace. There is a rustic, yet modern feel. Colorful lanterns hang from the pergola outside and plenty of plants are included in the design scheme. Dining in Tacology really does feel like being in the center of a traditional, outdoor Mexican marketplace, but it’s mixed with high-end flair.
Adding to the experience, Tacology also plays upbeat, pop hits that younger, and perhaps a few older, customers can enjoy. The songs are mostly popular tunes customers will find themselves singing and dancing to in their seats, and the music makes for a great atmosphere. The music video for each song is also shown on a large screen in the main area of restaurant. Noise levels can be loud when the restaurant gets crowded, though, and isn’t necessarily the place for intimate conversation unless it is a lunch hour.
Overall, Tacology’s vision to join mercado-style dining with a chic setting and fun atmosphere is certainly achieved. The décor and incredible music make Tacology worth visiting at least once. Though parking can be time consuming, its location is fairly convenient for both tourists and residents looking to shop or explore after their meal. But with pricey fare (a meal for two comes out to about $75) and generally mediocre flavors, it would be shocking for Tacology to survive as a true staple among Miami’s ever-growing population of Mexican restaurants.
- Name: Tacology
- Location: Brickell City Centre, Fourth floor
- Address: 701 S. Miami Ave., Miami, Fla. 33131
- Hours: Sunday through Thursday 12-11 p.m., Friday and Saturday 12 p.m.-12 a.m.
- Phone: 786-347-5368
- Website: www.tacology.us