In honor of the official Grand Opening of Babalu Charlotte tomorrow, I wanted to take you on the tour of our VIP dinner there on Thursday. I have a habit of entering every contest that presents itself to me and this time it paid off as me & three friends were able to enjoy a free dinner before the grand opening of Charlotte’s newest tacos & tapas restaurant.
The menu was dense for a free dinner with so many delicious looking options it was hard to choose. We ended up starting with Guacamole (table-side guac always tastes so much better), a tapas side of rice & black beans, and each of us indulged in a taco plate variety of our choice. Mine consisted of the Chicken, Pork, and Carne Asada.
Let me start off by saying the margaritas were fantastic. Not too heavy, not too sweet. I can’t decide if they tasted so good because of the proportion of ingredients or because it made the heat of sitting outside a little more bearable, but regardless I definitely recommend trying one (two? three?) with dinner.
I was super impressed that the guacamole was personalized. We had the option of adding different ingredients ranging from extra salt to bacon (yes, bacon!) and of course went with all of them. Our server even asked if we preferred chunky, smooth or an in between texture. We played it safe and went with in between. The guac paired perfectly with the warm, homemade tortilla chips served with it. Though I prefer a thinner chip, the thicker ones were unique and if were being honest, acted as a more reliable vehicle for the extreme amounts of guacamole and pico that I tend to pile on.
The rice & beans came before our tacos. While I appreciate the concept of bringing the food as it is prepared, it seemed a little odd and we ended up filling up too much on the side to enjoy the tacos as much as we could have.
Some of the tacos were much better than the others. Consider this your unofficial guide to choosing (we did have 4 people who’s opinions tended to be on the same page). The chicken wasn’t our favorite but could have been because it was topped with a mole sauce – a little too smokey for our liking. The Carne Asada came next. The Shrimp was a little better than that. Finally, the pork made it out as our favorite. Be forewarned, Babalu isn’t afraid to add a little spice to their dishes! Personally, I totally respect that and embraced it. If you don’t think you would, ask them to cut back – the staff is super friendly & accommodating. We were waited on by Lav who rocked. Ask for her if you can!
Overall, the atmosphere was pretty killer and the drinks so refreshing but the food was pretty on par. I will definitely have to go back to try more of the “real menu” to get a better idea. Regardless, it is delicious enough to try. The patio will be a staple come fall temperatures.
Have you tried Babalu yet?