Omnivore - Monday night and (almost) no place to eat

A visit to Matador Cantina


Monday nights are busy for me. I finish seeing clients about 8:30 p.m. and by 9 p.m., I'm ravenous and too lazy to cook. So, last night I typically went in search of an inexpensive spot nearby for a quick meal.

I headed to Holy Taco in East Atlanta Village and found it closed. In fact, I had difficulty finding any place that hadn't closed by 9 p.m., if it opened it all on Mondays.

So, I decided to give Matador Cantina and Tequila Bar another try. A few doors away from Vickery's in Glenwood Park, the restaurant is not visible from the main road.

It's been a long time since I visited. Not much has changed at the mainly Tex-Mex cafe with the weird booths that hide everyone from view of one another.

Monday, it turns out, is half-price night at Matador. That includes only the 14 combo plates, all of them under $8. If you like tacos and burritos made with ground beef, go for it.

I instead opted for a plate of three tacos from the restaurant's more authentic section of the menu. These included carnitas with salsa verde, carnitas with pico de gallo and grilled chorizo with fried potatoes.

Although I still dislike lettuce on my tacos, all three of these were good. The carnitas aren't really carnitas — they're more like shredded, roasted pork — but their marinade in tomatillo sauce and cinnamon makes them especially good.

The chorizo taco featured the spicy sausage chopped and tossed with little cubes of fried potatoes. It was heavy on sour cream, so that eating it became a messy business. The plate also included Mexican rice (didn't touch it) and some unattractive but nicely spiced refried beans.