Hey, have you tried the new taco place in Bellevue?? I have been asked that question four times over the last few months so I finally checked out 202 Hometown Tacos. I saw on Instagram that 202 Hometown has event specials like Tuesday karaoke and Thursday trivia where you have the chance of winning free tacos and margs. It did not take me long to decide that I would check out the trivia night and save the people of Bellevue’s ears from my high pitch singing.
Steve and I made it to Hometown around 6:45 pm in order to get one round of Happy Hour in before it ended at 7 pm. All the bar stools were taken so we sat at a high top. I started Happy Hour with the mango margarita which turned out to be just okay. The mango tasted like it was straight syrup out of a can. Since we were there all evening for trivia, I eventually ordered a second margarita. The strawberry marg was a lot lighter and better than the mango marg, but still a little too sweet for me.
While sipping on the mango marg, I checked out the menu. There were 8 different taco options with the following fillings: carnitas, ancho chicken, carne asada, ground beef, buffalo chicken, walking taco, spicy shrimp, and BBQ jack fruit. Shell choices included flour, corn, or hard shell. It was also mentioned on the menu that rice would be placed on each taco. I ordered the ancho chicken, carne asada, and Mama’s taco (the ground beef) while Steve ordered the carne asada, jack fruit, and carnitas.
When the tacos arrived at our hightop, we realized that we forgot to specify that we wanted corn shells and unfortunately our waitress did not catch that detail when she took our order. This error did not stop me from getting down and dirty with the tacos.
I first tried the carne asada (marinated grilled steak) topped with Mexican street corn, pickled red onions, Monterey Jack cheese, and jalapenos. I ordered this taco solely for the fact that I wanted the Mexican street corn topping. However, I was not impressed with the corn because I could barely taste its flavor and seasoning. I could mainly taste the tender meat and the texture of the corn. The cheese on this taco was chilled which I would have prefer melted here. Overall, I would give this taco a 3 out of 5 on the scale as I am happy with the meat, but the taco is not as amazing as I imagined it would be .
Next up on the chopping block was the ancho chicken taco with the avocado aioli, cilantro slaw, and cotija cheese. Here, I could really taste the crunchy cilantro slaw and the creamy aoili. I liked how the chicken was cut into thin slivers. There was a good balance of chicken and toppings. I would of liked to taste a little more of the ancho chili powder. I would give this taco a 3 out of 5. I think out of all 3 tacos I had, this taco would benefit most from a corn shell versus flour shell.
My final taco of the night was the Mama’s taco with ground beef, sour cream, shredded cheddar, lettuce, tomato, and onion. The addition of the rice to the taco really stood out here. Just like the carne asada, I could really taste the meat. However, it was a little dry and salty. This taco reminded me of Doce Taqueria’s Americano taco, but I like Doce’s better as this one is too stuffed with standard toppings. I did like the smooth sour cream and it stood out, along with the rice, as my favorite toppings on this taco. I would also give this taco a 2 out of 5 as this was a decent taco and I am glad I ate it, but it is somewhat forgettable.
Out of the three tacos Steve tried, he liked the pulled BBQ jack fruit the best. He said the jack fruit was way sweeter than pulled pork and balanced out with the crisp onions. He said the carne asada taco could have benefited from fresh instead of pickled jalapenos and the taco itself seemed watered down. Steve said that 202 Hometown Tacos is a place that HAS tacos but not IS tacos.
I do agree with that statement. I expected to be more impressed with the tacos, but they were not bad tacos either. I was impressed, though, with the trivia night. There was a jeopardy board of topics on a purple bedazzled blanket. I really liked how trivia night was divided into three separate, consecutive games that each lasted 45 minutes. This way you could play as you arrive and stay as long as you want without committing to an entire night of trivia. Steve and I were very committed to trivia that night as stayed for all three games. We had a great time and ended up placing in 2 out of the 3 games. We won free taco and marg coupons specially made by the DJ and his daughter. It was definitely a good choice for us to do the trivia over the karaoke.
Price: $3-4 per taco