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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.

Permalink: http://news.fredericksburg.com/entertainment/2014/02/05/eats-big-welcome-for-poco-loco/

  • Rick

    Well you were certainly generous with the niceties in your review. Compared to other Mexican restaurants in the area there is plenty of work to be done before I go back a 3rd time. I have certainly tried to support my new local Mexican but so far it’s worth driving a little further.

  • Dave

    I tried it a couple of months ago and wasn’t satisfied in any fashion. The facility was weak. when someone would walk by the seats we were in would rock. The food was cold and not good at all. The wait staff when told said sorry and walked away. Even the owner came out to ask how our food was, we told him and again, “sorry” and walked away. They wont be in business long. I’ll drive to Poncho Villa if I want good Mexican food.

    • Bill Blevins

      Since it opened in late November, you must have been during the first week if you visited a couple of months ago. We were there then too and it is much improved on every visit.

  • Jen

    We had a very positive experience there. The food was really good and reasonably priced. The service was great. The building has been nicely rennovated. We will be back!

  • Bill Blevins

    We are now regulars and have been at least 7 times. They have their act in gear now. Good food every time. Haven’t had the same thing twice.

  • Tracie

    Agreed! We love it! Great food and great service!

  • Matthew Wiens

    Hear that ladies and gents? My service was “helpful” and “excellent.”
    Thanks for the positive review, Linda! No doubt it’ll bring in plenty of new people to enjoy the fantastic food our cooks work hard and lovingly to prepare.

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