Ask anyone I know, and they’ll tell you that as much as I love to eat at high end places, I truly love the holes in the wall. The mom-and-pop-pinch-you-in-the-cheek sort of place where you know the owner is in the kitchen every day. In particular, as I wrote last week, I like taquerias — a LOT. Now I’m guilty as much as the next guy in getting a burrito instead of the tacos every once in awhile because sometimes, I like a more hefty meal (hey, I’m a hefty guy). And so it is that years ago I fell in love with the “restaurant location of death” at 805 West Peace Street in Raleigh. I can’t keep track of the names of the different Mexican restaurants at that location — Taqueria Mi Mexico, Taqueria La Zacatecana, and now, Brisas de Acapulco. Although the place has been called Brisas de Acapulco for several years now, I had given up on this place when the prior owners tried too hard to fancify the place, and sacrificed flavor and authenticity. When I saw a discussion on ChowHound that the place was new and improved, I had to give this old friend another chance. I’m glad I did.
Folks, Brisas de Acapulco is under new ownership, and in addition to standard taqueria fare, they make Dominican food. For lunch today, I had Comida Criolla, a Dominican chicken stew served with rice, beans and roasted yellow plantains. The owners were somewhat skeptical when I ordered this special of the day, but they came out at least 4 times during my meal to check on what I thought of the food. It was damn good was what I thought. When they knew I actually was serious about my eating (it’s only at the Latino and Caribbean restaurants where people question my eating abilities), they told me I needed to come back for their Pescado con Coco — a whole fish cooked in coconut milk. Just tell me when, and I’m there.
A couple of other points: the chips and salsa are very good, but not completely memorable. But this is the only place I know where they serve a bottomless glass of horchata. That alone would make this a place to go regularly, but the solid food makes it a true destination.
Brisas de Acalpulco
805 W Peace Street
Raleigh, NC 27605