Ponchito’s Taqueria

Categories: Casual, Eat-in, Mexican
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Published on: August 10, 2010

I’ve heard of Ponchito’s Taqueria from friends who enjoy their takeout and large portion sizes. While out with some friends, one of them suggested we go there for a good, quick meal. This tiny eatery definitely has a authentic Mexican feel to its food. When we arrived there was a line right to the door, and we made it out the door. Don’t be alarmed if you get there and are in this same situation because the service is fast.

In just a few minutes we were up to the counter, as you order and get your food there then seat and cleanup yourself. This place is the epitome of casual. I decided to try a steak Super Burrito with rice, beans, cheese, and salsa — all included at $5.99. Not one for spicy, I left out the hot sauce. This burrito was HUGE. At only $.49 more it is well worth it as compared to their normal Burrito, which I was able to compare since a friend of mine purchased it. It was at least twice the size if not more, and has the added option of rice.

I decided not to go for the guacamole ($.95 extra) or sour cream ($.40 extra), as I was hoping the food would be good enough without. I did add a side of Salsa & Chips for $1.75 and a Goya Strawberry soda for the experience. After a short wait, they gave me my food in a to go bag, even though I was eating in. In the future, I’ll have to mention I’m eating in. In that case, they give you a paper plate and lunch tray. I sat at one of their cafeteria-type tables with barely enough room for 4 people and pulled up a chair for the 5th person. This place isn’t too great if you have a large group eating in. Unless you don’t care about sitting at separate tables.

I started with the Salsa & Chips, which involved a small bag of extremely greasy chips with a small container of very good salsa. Although very greasy, I did enjoy the chips. I just wish the bag hadn’t had oil seeping completely through from top to bottom. The bag was a little smaller than expected, but for less than $2.00 I really can’t complain.

Onto the main course — the Super Burrito. This was easily large enough for my fiancé and me to split, and actually fill us up. The burrito wasn’t horrible, but it wasn’t that great. It was pretty messy, being so large — which doesn’t bother me. It was kind of annoying that they didn’t give us plates, and we only had the aluminum wrapper that covered the burrito to eat over. I realized later they did have paper plates behind the counter, you just have to ask for them. I assumed we would have been offered when ordering the food if they had them.

For the price, the food was decent. I think if I got sour cream or guac it would have added some flavor. There was limited flavor in my Super Burrito; it simply didn’t have that oomph to knock it out of the park for me. My fiancé noticed large chunks of steak in his half that were dried out. He assumed that the meat may have been re-heated several times, and those were possibly left over from an earlier batch mixed in with fresh meat. Only a guess though.

Since Ponchito’s Taqueria is really a do-it-yourself place, I can’t say much about the service other than that it was fast. The cleanliness I can say more about. Although it seemed fairly clean overall, there was just a griminess about the place. It didn’t look filthy or anything, but there were a few annoying flies and mosquitoes buzzing around inside. This may have had to do with the line being out the door, and the place being so small. It made it so that just a few bugs were more noticeable. Most of the food can be seen through the glass front counter, and it sits in big trays buffet-style. I don’t have a problem with this, since it seemed like the constant flow of people meant it wasn’t sitting there for too long. The overall atmosphere is casual. A place for a quick, filling meal. The place is pretty small with about 6 tables inside and 2 picnic tables outside. The outside tables seemed preferable on the nice night, where I can only assume the bugs are probably more attracted to the lights outside than you and your food.

Many friends rant and rave about this place, so I will definitely give it another shot in the future; I hope that this was just an off-day. Although, I think I would prefer delivery instead so I don’t actually see the place. I think the grimy feel made the meal less appetizing.

Top Pro: Huge portion sizes
Top Con: Felt grimy inside/Flies were annoying

Restaurant: Ponchito’s Taqueria 3800 New Court Avenue, Syracuse, NY 13206
Phone: (315) 218-0292

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