Neighbor Roy & I continued our Friday outings post-pandemic by going to Boca Tacos & Tequila on 4th Avenue in Downtown Tucson. We wore a face mask going in the building but abandoned the practice once seated. The wait staff wore theirs throughout our meal, which made it hard to understand our server when she spoke.
The first thing we noticed was that there was no menus offered. A QR Code card on our table announced that we had to use our cell phone to access their menu. My phone would not work with the QR Code until our waitress tried it. That brought up the menu on my phone and we proceeded to order.
I ordered a margarita and two BISTEK tacos: Braised beef simmered in a spicy ranchero sauce ($3 each). Roy ordered two MAR Y TIERRA tacos: Steak and beer-battered shrimp. He also ordered hot tea, which they didn't have, so he made do with the complimentary water. We also ordered Baco Balls: Chipotle mashed potatoes rolled in Panko bread crumbs and fried, served with Boca dipping sauce.
The next things I noticed were the hard, small chairs we were sitting on. Very uncomfortable, and the large bay windows in front of the building, great for people watching as they walked along 4th Ave. The other thing I noticed was my margarita glass was large, not the small ones I get in most places in town.
The reason we went to this place was that the chef, Chef Maria, had been written up in a local newspaper. She's from Tucson but was raised in Sonora. So she says her food is a combination of these two places.
My tacos were extraordinarily delicious, as was my margarita. Following our adventure, Roy wrote back to me commenting:
"Today we dined in the former Delectables on 4th Ave, now called Boca. The decor is a bit of a disappointment, kind of shabby chic, 4th Ave style. They do not seem to have printed menus, one must point one's cell phone at a card on the table with a code on it--seems to be a coming phase of how to de-personalize older citizens. Despite this, the wait staff was polite and helpful in overcoming the tendency of wannabes to marginalize older patrons. I ordered A carnaseco taco and one with mixed Canseco and shrimp--both were on corn tortillas. and both were filled with chopped vegetables--quite tasty."
"We had a large bag of very fresh chips, and a Tucson first, there were 5 bowls of (different) salsas--a nice touch. One more gripe, I do wonder why few if any Tucson Hispanic-themed restaurants have hot tea. I have lived in Tucson for 49 years and do not care if it is over 100 degrees, a proper gentleman has hot tea with his lunch or dinner. Other than these items, I found the noise level a bit high. I would reserve future visits until they make the dining experience more pleasant for elders. Could not give it more than 3 1/2 saguaros."
I too give Boca three and a half saguaros. The tacos were excellent as were the chips, but the rest of the experience was lacking, perhaps designed for the college crowd. However, Boca is very popular currently. We suggest a reservation.
Monday–Thursday: 12pm - 9pm
Friday–Saturday: 11am - 10pm
Sunday: 11am - 8pm