Last year, restaurateur and Master Chef Tom Catherall got back in the kitchen, literally, when he opened a new restaurant in the original Noche location in the Virginia Highlands. But it didn’t take long for his ex-wife, who had won the business in their divorce, to sue him for using the name Tom Tom, named after his wildly successful Lenox Square cafe.
So he just said screw it, and changed the name to Taco Cowboy. Having opened many renowned Atlanta restaurants over the years under the Here to Serve umbrella, Catherall’s menu at Tom Tom was a collection of his guests’ favorite dishes, and lots of those survived the name change. Unfortunately, so did the string of lights beneath the bar that illuminates everyone in a most unflattering light.
LC and I revisited after the name change and decided to stick with the taco theme, starting with margaritas and guacamole. Drinks here are well done, however, the guacamole didn’t have much kick so we requested fresh jalapenos on the side. Although tacos are now the star of the menu, Catherall still offers tapas like grilled octopus and Spanish meatballs.
We ordered a variety of tacos including this fancy-pants lobster taco. Succulent lobster meat in cascabel chili sauce reminded me of Kevin Rathbun’s groundbreaking dish at Nava. On the opposite end of the spectrum was this spiced ground beef taco, with shredded lettuce, tomato, and cheese, just like Mom used to make. Gobs of sour cream and guacamole added to the sloppy American deliciousness.
Two more tacos, fork-tender Korean beef with kimchi, cilantro, and pickles, and pork carnitas with green chilies and a handful of shredded jalapeno jack, were overstuffed and tasty, despite being served on generic corn tortillas. A very generous side of Mexican style street corn with cotija cheese, cayenne, and lime was almost too much for us to eat.
But that didn’t stop LC from ordering dessert, a cute banana pudding parfait. Not a fan of this Southern favorite, I ordered another cocktail to sip while I watched him eat it all by himself.
1000 Virginia Avenue 404-815-9155