Restaurant Review: Bartaco
12021 Town Square St
Reston, VA 20190
Bartaco is beach style restaurant featuring "upscale street food" inspired by SoCal, Brazil, and Uraguay. They serve tacos, rice bowls, side dishes you would buy at a street vendor, and a variety of freshly made drinks. While it is technically a chain restaurant, they are fantastic at accommodating allergies, particularly since a majority of the menu is gluten free by design. Right on the order form, you mark whether you have any allergies. In my experience, any time you mark allergies (while dining in), the waiter or manager comes over to confirm the allergies and explain any needed modifications to your order. They will even explain subtleties such as shared fryers or other possible cross contamination situations. In addition, on their website, they have a full allergy chart that even includes allergens like garlic, onion, and sesame in the table. (FYI: I have only eaten at the Virginia locations and can't speak to how well other nationwide locations handle allergies. I recommend calling any new restaurant ahead of time to discuss your allergy needs before eating out.)
So what should you order? I have personally tried most of the tacos (and the rice bowls are the same flavor profiles just as a bowl), and these are the best tacos in my opinion. All of the listed tacos are gluten, dairy, and egg free!
(Please note: This taco contains nuts)
You are probably as surprised as I was that a vegan taco made the top three. I originally gave this taco a try based on a waiter's recommendation. This taco is delicious because of the romesco sauce on top! You will eat it and be shocked that it is so allergy friendly/vegan. Best of all, it is delicious AND low calorie.
Roasted Duck Taco
This taco has a great flavor profile with the rich, fatty duck taste and the addition of the tangy taste of tamarind sauce on top. It is one of those tacos where the sauce drips onto your fingers and you have to stop yourself from licking your fingers since it is so delicious. This is a great comfort taco that is filling but not crazy high in calories.
Glazed Pork Belly Taco
This taco is definitely the number one taco from the top three. While it is highest in calories, it is worth it. I've never gone to Bartaco without ordering this taco - it is simply a must add to your order! The glazed pork belly brings a sweet flavor while the spicy arbol chili sauce contrasts this with a kick. Overall, the taste melts together in your mouth!
To go with your tacos (or rice bowl), get some chips and guac! Their chips are not actually in chip form but instead come as giant, tortilla-like chips that you break apart yourself. They have tons of other sides and appetizers to fit your liking or allergy needs. If you are over 21, they have fantastic sangria and margaritas that are always freshly made! While I have identified some top items, none of the items I have eaten were bad.
Overall, Bartaco is one of my favorite restaurants I've discovered while living in Northern Virginia. They are fantastic about accommodating my allergies, but they're food is delicious for other guests in your party as well! Plus, no single item on the menu is particularly expensive since it is street style food. Have you ever eaten at Bartaco? Let me know your thoughts in the comments!