The next time you’re beach bound, forgo the fast food in favor of, fresh fare at Bravo Tacos instead. The taqueria, tucked away in a humble shopping strip, is far from flashy, but the food is flavorful, all-natural and inexpensive. “We wanted to bring authentic Latin flair to Pleasure Island as an alternative to ordinary Tex-Mex you see everywhere, ” says chef and co-owner Brett Best. “We make all our food by hand every day.” The eatery specializes in a variety of tacos and burritos. You build your own tacos, featuring a trio of tortilla choices and a slew of seven housemade salsas, ranging from tomatillo avocado to pineapple habanero. Best says the top sellers are the seared marinated catfish, the chipotle stewed chicken and the classic grilled carne asada. Any of the tasty combinations can be turned into a really big, incredibly filling burrito with a copious addition of rice and beans. “This is a hefty item for our hungry patrons. They weigh anywhere from 1 to 1 1/2 pounds, depending on which type you order.”
The chipotle mushroom and tomato is a perfect pick for vegans, as is the stellar, super-healthy quinoa salad with grilled summer squash. The taqueria offers a children’s menu with several quesadilla variations. For dessert, choose between Best’s Key lime pie with a thick homemade granola crust or a gargantuan fudge brownie. Bravo Tacos doesn’t serve wine or liquor, so if you’re looking for a margarita, you are out of luck. However, they do offer a bevy of beers. “We have basic domestics as well as imports that reflect the brews you would find in Latin America – Pacifico, Negra Modelo, Sol, Corona and Dos Equis Especial.” (You can bring your own wine with no corkage fee.) They also serve a daily liquado – a delightful, refreshing fruit beverage that Best calls “a cross between an agua fresca and a smoothie.” You can dine in or out at patio tables along the sidewalk, and drive-through is also available. It’s a far cry from fast food, but still prepared mighty speedily so you can get in and out and on your way to the beach.
ON THE MENU
A fresh, traditional version featuring chunks of avocado flecked with cilantro and diced tomato.
Bolivian red quinoa is studded with chopped, roasted pecans and sweet-tart dried cranberries, all topped with delightful grilled squash slices. Terrific all by itself or splashed with their snazzy, fire-roasted tomato vinaigrette.
Pork Carnitas Taco
Nicely spiced, tender pieces of stewed pork paired with crisp cabbage slaw served with hot arbol chile salsa on the side. Try it with the tomatillo avocado for a cool combination.
A fudgy brownie laced with a bit of marshmallow cream and a surprising ingredient: dark beer
Bravo Tacos • 11 a.m. – 7 p.m. M – Sa, 11 a.m. – 4 p.m. Su.
4575 Orange Beach Blvd. Suite 6, Orange Beach. 981-TACO (8226).
Text by Sallye Irvine