Bros Tacos

It was Alumni Weekend for the mister. This meant a lot of hanging in the student ghetto in Albany with his fraternity, and eventually getting hungry. One of his brothers lived in California for a few years, and we figured a trip to Bros Tacos (319 Ontario St, Albany, NY) was right up his alley.

We talked the place up, since it was “new” for alumni, and whenever we’re in the area Albany John and I like to stop by.

We ordered. It was empty, but it still took a while for our food to come out. So that problem’s still there at Bros.

Albany John got a chicken torta. Chicken was fine, but the bun was, for lack of a better word, terrible. All dense and uniformly soft, and tasted kind of stale/old. A sad excuse for a torta bun. I mean, they couldn’t have toasted it up a little bit to get some crunch? Or grilled the outside?

He also got a vegetarian tamale. The masa for it was great – nice corn flavor, moist, and not too dense, but the vegetables looked like they came out of a mixed bag of frozen veggies. Cubed carrots, corn, and peas. Lame. I wouldn’t advertise that as a special. I mean, that’s it? It looks like something hastily put together with some random leftovers. It also came out lukewarm. I guess they couldn’t bother heating it up enough, either. That made it doubly disappointing. We ended up tossing about half of it.

I got a shrimp burrito with sour cream chipotle sauce. I’ve had it before, and it’s a pretty good combo. I like that they cook the outside of the burrito, too. Adds some nice crunchiness to it.

Unfortunately, the burrito innards were also lukewarm. The shrimp was cooked well, but was pretty sparse. But my main complaint is that this burrito is JUST rice, beans, shrimp, and chipotle sour cream. That’s it. I mean, it’s basically a carburrito. And I thought Bombers was heavy on the rice. But man, Bros takes the cake.

I love carbs, but the shrimp gets lost in the burrito with all that rice and beans. Plus, it looks impressively sized, but when it’s mostly rice and beans? Major let down. I would have thought there’d be something else in there.

Albany John’s friend got a pork tamale. He ate it, so I guess it was better than the veggie tamale. He also got a taco plate, which is two tacos, plus rice and beans. I probably should have just ordered some tacos, because these looked the best out of everything else we ordered.

They didn’t even have hot sauce out. When Albany John asked for some, they gave him some of their spicier salsa, but said they didn’t have hot sauce… weird, right? Tacos, but no hot sauce? Heck, they have hot sauce at all of the fish fry places around here.
Overall, I wouldn’t say our experience was terrible, but just meh. It was definitely a let-down from times past, and I wish we hadn’t hyped it up to our friend from Cali. It almost seems like it’s basically geared toward students, in that it seemed so much different since we last went. I really hope we just went at an off time, where they were like “Oh, whatever, it’s not busy so who gives a crap” because I would be seriously bummed to hear it’s like this all of the time.

  1. renée said:

    sadly, the food is consistently meh. i always go in expecting greatness, and leave disappointed. el mariachi on washington has amazing tamales for $2.50.

  2. Wow-ed by you said:

    Maybe you should just stay home and eat seeing as you seem to have such a refined palate, you always nit-pick everything! I hope someday somewhere you have a good meal. And renee, without the fancy mark above, If you are always disappointed, WHY DO YOU ALWAYS GO BACK?

  3. renee – Bummer, I think something changed. I'll have to ck El Mariachi. Haven't been in years.

    Wow-ed – I just write my own experiences as they occured. I wrote in the hopes that this was just a one-off experience, and others will be all “Dude, you went at a bad time, they're usually good”. I can see how I may come off as a nit-pick, but I pick both good and bad. While the torta bun was “terrible”, the masa and shrimp were also highlighted as positive experiences/flavors.

    I am curious- what is your favorite thing on the menu? I still maintain that preparations have changed since I last ate there, and would like to try something you enjoy there.

  4. Cookie said:

    I have to agree with “Wow-ed”- you do usually nit pick things to the point of my eye rolling. I just had Bros today, nachos with beef, American taco plate, Yaki plate, and there semi-new chorizo taco that has a cabbage slaw with the Habanero Papaya salsa and it was all EXCELLENT. They were swamped today, and I still got great service and food. And not to blow my own horn but I think I'm a good cook and have never had a bad meal there.

  5. Joshua said:

    Look, this place makes great food. But, the service is simply terrible. Typically there are long waits and orders are slow. But, tonight, when we complained that our take-out order still wasn't ready 65 minutes after it had been placed and 30 minutes after we'd been told it would be ready, we were told to “f**k our order” and hung up on. Simply unacceptable. Will never go back.

  6. Whole Truth? said:

    There's a reason there are long waits- it's f-ing awesome food!! That is CRAZY that your order was 35 minutes over, maybe the tag got lost? maybe dropped on the floor?, who knows? They could definitely benefit from a 3rd person always behind the counter BUT, I find it hard to believe that you just innocently called to complain about your order not being ready and there automatic response was to”f**k your order” and hung up. I been here a hand full of times and have had to wait on occasion, but can't see them carrying themselves or representing there business that way. Like they say there is 3 sides too a story yours, mine, and the truth

  7. Cookie – thanks for the rec – maybe next time I will try the Chorizo. Can't pass up a good chorizo. The habanero salsa wasn't really my style, but I appreciate the other recs.

    Joshua – yikes! That's craziness.

    Whole Truth – I like that: Three sides to every story. Haha, I'll have to remember that. It's a good one! I've heard some other stories similar to Joshua's, too. Always makes me want to be a fly on the wall.

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