Now comes another player in the craft taco game: Tin & Taco, a downtown quick-server hawking “Craft Tacos. Craft Beers. Craft Soda” from a small storefront on Washington Street just west of Orange Avenue.
The Tin of the name apparently refers to the metal trays the food is served on, the sort of conveyance usually seen in George Raft prison movies.
The Taco part of the name refers, unstartlingly, to tacos, though not exclusively. You may also get your chosen ingredients wrapped within a burrito or in a bowl with rice or served in a bag of Doritos.
Most of the selections are $8, which gets you two “tacos.” It’s nice, however, that you’re allowed to get different varieties to make up your twosome. I chose the Taco Bomb and the Tacosaurus and went conventional taco with both, though I was tempted by the bag of Doritos gimmick (and if it had been 2:45 a.m. on a weekend there would have been no question).
The Taco Bomb has a little icon next to its name on the online menu, which is curious since the whole place is just about six weeks old. Anyway, the TB featured ground beef, some chopped tomatoes we’ll refer to as pico de gallo here, some beer cheese (made with craft beer, if you’re among those able to tell the difference), and, atop the shredded lettuce and shredded cheese, matchstick potatoes. That marks not only the first time I’ve seen matchstick potatoes served on top of a taco but the first time in a couple of decades that I’ve seen them served anywhere in a restaurant.
The ‘saurus also had ground beef, chopped tomatoes, the same blend of cheddar and jack cheese shreds plus some crumbly Cotijo cheese. And it was topped with crushed Doritos. Yay, Doritios without the bag.
I liked both of the tacos; they were both creative and worthy of the crafted designation. One of the things that elevated them beyond the ordinary was a crust of griddled cheese on the outside of the tortilla.
And I was able to tell which taco was which because the names had been written on the wax paper liner on the tin tray.
Or at least I could read it once I turned it right side up. Above is how the young woman who brought me my order placed it in front of me. Yes, it was really easy for me to turn it around, and the metal tray spun around almost effortlessly on the wood tabletop. But it also would have taken zero effort on her part to place it in front of the guest correctly.
This was the same person who, when I asked a question about the selection of beers, said that she had no idea because “I’m not a beer drinker.” Lady, I don’t care if you’re a vegan working in a steakhouse, you should know your product. “Besides touting the craft beers in the tagline, a beer stein holds the ampersand between Tin and Taco.
I guess I shouldn’t have been surprised when no one thanked me for coming in when I left.
Besides the metal trays and worn tables, the place has a decidedly grungy look, with drabbly colored walls, corrugated metal appointments and a suspended ceiling with most of the panels removed to show the pipes and wires above. All appropriate design touches, by the way.
Tin & Taco is at 40 W. Washington St., Orlando. It is open for lunch Monday to Friday and dinner Monday to Saturday, to 3 a.m. on weekends (Dorito bags for everyone!). The phone number is 407-425-4340.