Chipotle haters finally have a place to congregate and flip the proverbial bird to the taco man: Tres Carnes. We were told the Times dubbed it Chipotle's younger brother with a handlebar mustache, but we beg to differ. This place is the anti-Chipotle. It's the leather-pants-and-Timberlands wearing, punk-rock-and-rap-listening half-sister of Chipotle that attends art school and tags whatever surface she can find. That handlebar mustache? Totally ironic.
Our hats off go to Tres Carnes genius branding tool that has customers coming back for more: the weekly smoke. Every Wednesday an exotic cut of meat is served in a taco, and according to the PR team, the line goes out the door. There's nothing these guys won't serve up, from antelope (we were shocked to learn it was locally sourced) to the beef tongue tacos we tried last night (trust us, they were delicious). A significant customer base just shows up for their weekly smoke like a groupie showing up to a show.
When we walked in last night, 90s rap played over the sound system, taking some of the patrons back to their glory days. The exposed brick in on the back wall was decorated in a red, black, and white mural. There are tables that line the back wall, and two metal tables with stools. The atmosphere is laid-back and informal, but don't let that fool you. The food here is served with flair, and you can taste the blood, sweat, and tears that go into making every morsel memorable. In addition to the beef tongue tacos, we were served pork tacos with delicious cheese and white sauce. We topped the night off with churro donuts filled with chocolate caramel filling that had a ganache texture. Everything was fresh and amazing. For all we care, they can charge an arm and a leg, which they don't-- it's well worth it.