Omnivore - A rainy night at the Bone Garden

The Westside’s taco joint is better than ever


“Now, if every meal we had was this good and cost this little, I wouldn’t complain so much,” a friend said at the conclusion of dinner last Friday at Bone Garden Cantina.

This Westside restaurant whose decor pays splendid homage to Mexico’s Dia de los Muertos (Day of the Dead), seems to have gotten better and better since its opening by the Vortex people about four years ago. It was packed Friday night and we dined on the patio. Halfway through our meal, it began raining heavily. We scooted closer to the table, under its umbrella, and continued eating.

I had my usual whenever I find it — a taco made with chicharrones and salsa verde. Bone Garden makes them as salty little cubes of crunchy pork. You’ll want to add extra green sauce. I also ordered an al pastor taco. I quizzed the server to find out if the pork was cooked on the traditional rotisserie topped with a drizzling pineapple. It wasn’t but I ordered it anyway and it was, honestly, better than most on Buford Highway. The chopped, marinated pork was topped with a “guajillo peanut sauce” and the usual cilantro and onions.

What else? A savory “white posole” soup made with chicken. “Spanish rice” ten times better than the electric-orange stuff on most Tex-Mex plates. Fat spring onions (tops not included, unfortunately), lightly fried until buttery-crunchy and begging for lime. Esquite, grilled corn removed from the cob and served in a bowl with mayo, queso fresco and a light dusting of chile powder. There was more and everything was good.

People who dislike idiots and squalling children will be happy here. Like the Vortex, the restaurant outlaws both. It claims to be an “idiot-free zone” and the menu warns the parents of “rug rats” that “this isn’t Señor Chucky-Cheese’s.”