About two weeks before a major surgery, I went on a taco feast frenzy. The next stop on my list was to BA-CO, a restaurant in rotation at the Smallman Galley in the Strip District.
This New American Restaurant serves artisan style tacos from a passionate chef, Tim Dominick, who has had many inspirations from his travels like California street tacos, Southern BBQ, and Latin flare. He has combined all of these styles to create the restaurant BA-CO and lay down his roots in his native root city of Pittsburgh.
Tim brings the people of Pittsburgh the following tacos:
- The Texan-BBQ house smoked brisket
- La Gringa- marinated chicken
- Trail Blazer- house smoked pork belly
- Not Your Grandma’s- southern hot chicken
- Veggin’ Out- roasted cauliflower and black bean and corn picadillo
Clearly, the hottest taco option of Saturday night was the Trail Blazer taco as it was sold out. Of the remaining choices, I went with The Texan, La Gringa, and the Veggin’ Out.
Out of the 3 tacos I had, my favorite was the veggie taco with the roasted cauliflower. The roasted cauli reminded me a lot of my own homemade roasted cauli recipe. The cauli had a little more heat to it than mine because of the sweet beetroot pepper sauce. There was a ton of the black bean and corn picadillo that added to the substantial filling. The cilantro and house fermented red cabbage did not take over this taco and added satisfying toppings. I would give this taco a 4 /5 on my scale because it was a very memorable taco that I would recommend the most out of the tacos I tried.
My second favorite taco was the La Gringa mojo marinated chicken taco with honey and confit garlic aioli. The chicken was marinated to perfection and the soft flour shell absorbed a nice thin layer of the marinade from the chicken and cream from the aioli. Just the smallest hint of the garlic, pickled red onion, fermented cabbage, cilantro and queso fresco really stepped up this taco. I would give this taco a 3/5 as it was definitely worth eating.
My third favorite taco was The Texan. Slaw and yellow pepper mustard lightly coated the BBQ smoked brisket. I wish I could have tasted a little more of the mustard instead of the heavy amount of BBQ sauce. Underneath all the BBQ sauce laid high quality lean brisket pieces which fell out of the taco easily. The presentation was a little off on this taco, but it was a decent taco. I would give it a 2/5 on the scale. Very close to a 3.
After fueling up on tacos, I made it to my last Ultimate Frisbee winter clique league game of the season. Surprisingly, the tacos did not juice me up enough to have any major cool plays or wins that night. Maybe I need more cauli tacos in my life.
Price: Up there with Tako and Smoke for taco prices-1 taco for $6.50, 2 tacos for $12.