Hand painted Mexican tiles of soft blue and burnt orange cover the walls at Poquitos. Large ironwork decorations, gigantic lanterns, and intricately framed mirrors compliment the colors. Orange light bulbs delicately illuminate cement rosettes. The large oval bar is surrounded by high bar stools. But it’s the patio which steals the show. This outdoor/indoor seating can’t seem to make up its mind if it’s a patio or an extension of the bar. It doesn’t need to. Its nearly translucent ceiling and large windows let you feel like you’re outside while its radiant heated benches and floor keep the room warm year round. The two fire pits and strings of orange lights give the patio an additional touch of fun and comfort.
Did the food live up to the restaurant’s decor? I was so pleased on the first visit, I made a second, and have little doubt I will make a third. The menu varies depending on when you go. They offer a limited lunch menu, full dinner menu, small happy hour menu, and a selection of late night choices.
The brisket tacos are always available and consistently a good choice. The tender beef is topped with onion, cilantro, and salsa roja. All tacos are served on handmade tortillas, rolled and pressed from fresh masa. (The open kitchen gives a full view of the tortilla making process. No matter where you’re sitting, it’s worth taking a look.)
The chicken tamales are also available, no matter the hour. They are topped with mole negro, cotija cheese, and crema, they hit the spot for the slightly hungry.
My menu favorite is the Ahogada Torta (available for both lunch and dinner). The pork carnitas are tender and flavorful no matter what dish they’re in. But, in the Torta, they come drowned in a guajillo red sauce. It is sweet, spicy, and might make you run your finger over the cast iron dish it’s served in. Pickled onion brings a briny touch to the meat. The avocado and chipotle mayo add a smoothness and the oaxacana cheese brings a touch of salt. The pork carnitas are also available as a platter, but the price for the portion size leaves something to be desired.
For the drinking minded, a selection of wonderful Margaritas are available, served with an optional salted rim. (I highly recommend the salted rim.)
The staff is friendly and unassuming. When I had a bit of bone in my goat dish, they quickly apologized and comped my drink. Side note on the goat dish I had – its flavor was good, especially when eaten with a healthy helping of sauce. But, the meat was slightly tough and it was on the pricy side. With so many other wonderful and less expensive items on the menu, I’d look elsewhere.
Brisket Tacos: $8.95 (Happy Hour $7.50)
Carnitas Platter: $15.95
Chicken Tamale: $4.95 (Happy Hour $4.00)
Ahogada Torta: $9.95
Poquitos Margarita: $7.50 (Happy Hour $5.00)
Pursit Margarita: $7.00
Lunch: 11:30am – 3:00pm
Happy Hour: 3:00pm – 5:00pm
Dinner: 5:00pm – 11:00p
Late Night Menu: 11:00pm – 1:00am
1000 East Pike Street
Seattle, WA 98122
Poquitos was opened by James Weimann and Deming Maclise, owners of Ballard hot spot Bastille. They were inspired to open a Mexican restaurant since salvaging a vintage neon sign saying, “Poquitos,” over five years ago.