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Restaurant review: Poco Loco Mexican Restaurant
You don’t need to be a “little crazy” to enjoy Thornburg’s new Poco Loco Mexican Restaurant, owned by chef Jose Israel Ramirez.
Located in the beautifully renovated Mudd Tavern, former home to Angela’s Restaurant, Poco Loco is distinguishing itself with its food and its service.
My Dining Partner and I stopped by for an early dinner on a rainy December Saturday and were pleased to see many other customers at that hour. The vibrant yellow, lime green and red colors in the various dining rooms and the background mariachi music create a festive ambience.
As our helpful server, Matthew, answered questions, we were plied with the typical basket of tortilla chips and two dipping sauces, one a fresh salsa and the other a bean dip with a mild kick. We did not see spicy dishes on the menu, or at least they were not marked as such, and there is lot of variety, from the typical burritos to a hamburger.
We began with the Poco Loco sampler ($8.50), which included chicken quesadilla, chicken taquitos and beef empanadas, served with homemade guacamole, sour cream, queso fresco and a refreshing portion of pico de gallo. The food’s temperature was appropriately hot from the kitchen. We liked the sampler’s variety and found there was plenty to share.
For my entree, I ordered Puerto Vallarta fajitas ($15). The sizzling platter was filled with grilled tilapia, shrimp and scallops and a mix of yellow and green squash. I was pleased with the freshness of the seafood cooked to perfection and the vegetables. My meal came with a large dish of refried beans (temperature, lukewarm, however), yellow rice, tortillas and delicious pico de gallo, more guacamole and sour cream. The fish and scallops reminded me of authentic Mexican dishes, ones in which not everything is topped with cheese and sour cream.
MDP decided on arroz con pollo ($10.75), and was pleased that the large dish it was served on was warm to the touch. The rice and chicken mix included chorizo for a savory contrast in texture and flavor. This dish was not served with the extras, such as tortillas or beans, but I had plenty to share with him.
We decided to split flan ($3.50) for dessert after Matthew gave us an indication of its size. The custardy treat, drenched in a caramel syrup sauce, was about the size of half of a large orange, and topped with whipped cream.
Readers have recommended this place, and we can see why. Its atmosphere is inviting, and the food we tried was excellent.
What: Poco Loco Mexican Restaurant
Address: 5414 Mudd Tavern Road, Thornburg, at the intersection of U.S. 1
Info: 540/582-5084; facebook.com/poco.loco.va/info
Hours: Monday through Thursday, 11 a.m. to 10 p.m.; Friday and Saturday, 11 a.m. to 11 p.m.; Sunday, 11 a.m. to 9 p.m.
Prices: Appetizers: $3.75–$8.50; Soups and salads: $3.50–$10; Sandwiches: $8.50; Dinners: $8.75–$15; Children’s menu: $4.50; Desserts: $3.50–$4.25; Beer, wine and mixed drinks available.
The Scoop: Family-owned and family-friendly. Noise level easy for table conversation. Excellent service. Plenty of parking.
Payment: Major credit cards accepted.
Linda Salisbury is the author of the Bailey Fish books, an award-winning adventure series for kids.