I know I've professed my love for Mexican food and tequila many times on this blog, but as a California native, I just can't help myself. So you can imagine my excitement upon hearing that The Painted Burro, a gourmet Mexican restaurant and tequila bar, was opening in Davis Square. Owned by the creators of Posto (which I recently visited and absolutely loved), I knew I had to be there opening week.
Nestled a few blocks down Elm Street from the Davis Square T stop, where Gargoyles on the Square used to be, the Painted Burro has been decked out with an absolutely gorgeous interior decor. I love the framed mirrors, the beautiful bar, and, of course, the intricately detailed donkeys on the walls (pictured), hand painted by Somerville native Raul Gonzalez.
I have to stop and give a disclaimer: I may have had unreasonably high expectations for the Painted Burro. Not to say that I didn't have a great experience, but there were a few things I might change, hopefully kinks that get worked out as the restaurant finds its groove.
I was thrilled that on a Thursday night just over a week after opening, this place was busy but not too crazy -- there was a definite buzz in the room, but we didn't have to scream to hear each other, a perfect evening atmosphere. We had a reservation, and didn't need to wait at all to be seated, which I always appreciate.
Our waitress was very helpful in explaining both the cocktail and food menus -- the drink menu can be quite overwhelming, especially knowing that you can choose any of the 100+ tequilas listed for your drink. But trust me, options are a good thing.
I ordered the Bionicos margarita (pictured) -- made with pineapple, mango and grapefruit. I love fruity drinks (yes, I'm a girly drinker) so I was excited, but I have to admit it wasn't my favorite and the flavors I was hoping for just weren't quite there. Swati had the Hibiscus margarita though, and hers was delicious.
We ordered the guacamole to share, which was perfectly creamy and delicious. I also loved the salsa that came to our table almost immediately after we sat down, although the tortilla chips weren't great -- bland and not quite crispy enough. We split a chile relleno and an order of fundido with shishito peppers (pictured), which were both phenomenal. I do wish I'd gotten an order of the zucchini and nopales tacos -- they're on my list for next time!
Overall, I think the Painted Burro has a good thing going for it. I'm more prone to suggest dinner and drinks here rather than just drinks, but there was a sizable crowd hanging at the bar, and I'm curious what this place is like later in the evening. I will definitely be back!
Been to the Painted Burro? What was your experience like? What other tequila bars do you love in Boston? Comment!
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About the authorRachel Kossman is a California girl and New England transplant who graduated from Northeastern University in 2011. She has a penchant for discovering new restaurants and bars, devouring Mexican food, More »
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