Saturday, May 31, 2014

Restaurant Review: Taco Kidd, Kaiserslautern

Taco Kidd
Merkurstrasse 13, Kaiserslautern
Hours: M-Fri 0530-2200; Sat. 1000-2300
Parking: a few spots are available on the street in front of the restaurant and there is a parking lot down the street
Reservations: though not a formal restaurant, TK offers them if desired
Link to the menu in English

Yet another restaurant has thrown its hat into the Mexican dining "arena" in the Kaiserslautern area: Taco Kidd, located in the Merkurstrasse shopping area on the west side of the city. To be accurate, though, one must say that Taco Kidd has thrown its hat into a subset of the Mexican arena, into the CaliMex style of food.

The restaurant is a pleasant mish-mash of everything, offering everything from a morning coffee hang-out spot with American and German breakfast possibilities, to a Qdoba style assembly line of food, and even a bar for after-work drinks!

Even the set-up of the restaurant allows for different dining experiences. For those on the go and in need of a quick take-away breakfast, there is a counter with muffins, breads, doughnuts, and other sweets. The next section is for the hot meals and it's where one would order the California-style Mexican food and hamburgers. Following that, there is a bar with several barstools for seating. The remainder of the restaurant offers either tables and chairs or a super cosy alcove with leather couches and coffee tables. Those wishing to enjoy some fresh air can even sit outside in the patio area.

The cozy alcove, a great spot for coffee!
The bar area, with some barstools.

The outdoor seating area
During my visit on the restaurant's opening day (31 May), I ordered the vegetarian burrito, which came with a side of tortilla chips and salsa. The chips came from a bag and were tasty enough. The salsa that accompanied them was interesting; it was finely blended and reminded me somewhat of taco sauce, perhaps with some smoked peppers, while not being overly spicy. The burrito was tasty, with a peppery, spicy bell pepper/vegetable mix that had a bite without biting my tongue off. Rice (which was meant to be lemon-cilantro but didn't have a bold flavor on its own), refried beans, diced tomatoes, and braised onions were included. I chose verde sauce to be added. While it definitely wasn't a Mexican burrito, the burrito was enjoyable as a flavorful, fresh concoction in a flour tortilla.

While I was standing in line for my burrito, staff offered me a sample of their sweet baked goods. I tried a brownie and really liked its perfect consistency and delicious chocolaty taste that wasn't overpowering.

I had the opportunity to speak to the restaurant's owner, David Massarik, who was kind enough to take some time to tell me more about his restaurant. His intention with Taco Kidd is to offer a stylish place for young people to hang out. The bar area certainly offers that. Of course, all ages are welcome; though Massarik did mention that he currently only has one child seat and his partner told him that he absolutely must get more, which he intends to do.

As far as the cuisine goes, Massarik was interested in offering California-style Mexican food that was not so heavy. His chef brings an extremely interesting culinary background, having lived in the US and having operated a Chinese restaurant and been exposed to Soul Food in Florida and Cajun food in the south. In spite of such an unusual culinary experience, or perhaps because of it, the food at Taco Kidd works and isn't completely off. In my burrito, I could definitely taste the restaurant's intent to offer fresh-tasting and not heavy food.

For breakfast, it is Massarik's intent to offer something that will appeal to both German and American palates. On the German side, there are bakery items and breads available. To appeal to the hungry American in search of something warm to eat, there are pancakes and breakfast burritos.

With so many options and a flexible setting that allows for many different dining experiences, Taco Kidd might just have something for everyone. It's a comfortable place to eat a burrito; to meet with friends; to study in the cozy seating area; enjoy a drink with friends after work; or to grab something to go.

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