With bright graffiti covering the outer walls of Toro Mexican Street Food, the newest addition to West Hartford Center cannot be missed. On Oct. 2, 2021, the Mexican restaurant opened its doors for the first time. Although the delicious food speaks for itself, the colorful exterior and convenient location make it the perfect place to eat.
Recently, I discovered this new restaurant and was immediately impressed. Walking up to the restaurant, the graffiti-lined walls were breathtaking and completely unique compared to the uniform storefronts in Blue Back Square. Because it is conveniently located on Raymond Road, around the corner from Whole Foods, I was able to walk to the restaurant with a couple of friends after school.
As we took in the delicious aromas surrounding us, we scanned the diverse, yet fully gluten-free menu and decided on our orders. After we ordered at the counter and sat down, our food arrived in a matter of minutes. Although the small restaurant was relatively full, the quick service set it apart from other stores in the area.
When the food arrived, the quality and time the chef put into creating the perfect dish were evident. As a group, we ordered the tomatillo salsa, empanadas, birria tacos, and chicken tinga tacos. In addition to our meals, we also ordered the hibiscus agua fresca, which was the perfect refreshing addition to our food.
The tomatillo salsa came with chips, creating an addicting combination. The salsa was fresh, the ideal addition to the flawlessly salted chips. The tangy yet mild flavor of the salsa would be the first thing I would recommend to another customer.
Although my table could have easily filled up on the chips and salsa, we also ordered the empanadas. They were filled with corn, black beans, and cheese, and came with a side of chipotle aioli. Overall, the empanadas were the fan-favorite at my table and were gone within minutes.
On the other hand, the chicken tinga tacos were slightly underwhelming. While it was clear a lot of time went into the presentation and preparation of the food, the taste was slightly bland in comparison to the other menu items. Although they were adorned with pico de gallo and peppers, the toppings could not compensate for the lack of flavor in the rest of the meal. In addition to being close to flavorless, the tacos were also messy to eat and fell apart easily.
If you’re sick of eating Moe’s or Chipotle, Toro Mexican Street Food should be your next stop. In comparison to other Mexican restaurants in the area, this restaurant goes above and beyond. The fresh ingredients give the restaurant a homemade touch, a claim that cannot be made about the other fast-food restaurants. In addition, the fully gluten-free menu makes the restaurant more accessible to a wider range of people.
Despite the slight distaste of the chicken tacos, Toro Mexican Street Food is a great location to grab lunch after school with friends or to visit on weekends. The outdoor seating option makes it a beautiful place to eat during the warmer months coming up, as well.