On Valencia Street

I’d always wanted to try West of Pecos, but for some reason, I thought it was a BBQ joint. Basically, though, this is straight-up Southwestern fare, with standards like fajitas, queso and chips, and good ol’ San Antonio-style puffy tacos. And they did have a BBQ brisket puffy taco, so I had to get one, right?

Our takeout dinner.

It was definitely puffy, and withstood the walk home without deflating, but the queso had kind of congealed on the shell. The flavors were good, and the puffiness puffy.  The BF got the fried chicken, which remained crispy and hot, but unfortunately was pretty bland.

Be warned – their homemade red salsa is very mild, so we used our own hot sauces to doctor up the chicken and the side of green rice and beans I ordered with my taco. The BF’s mashed potatoes and spinach were filled with flavor and buttery goodness.

The coconut creamed corn, however – well, besides not knowing what coconut creamed corn is doing on a Tex Mex menu – was an odd-tasting mush.  On the other hand, the Brussels sprouts (that I hadn’t even ordered – they’d accidentally made an extra order and kindly gave them to me on the house), with lemon aioli, were great – nicely browned, flavorful, and plenty of them.

West of Pecos’ menu includes an Impossible burger, a “regular” green chili burger, various enchiladas, fish tacos, and even a jackfruit taco.  They’re also serving cocktails and beer/wine to go, and you can order via Caviar for delivery, or call in your order, like I did, and avoid the middleman.

Before the lockdown, whenever I’d stroll past the inviting, big open windows of West of Pecos, it was always a lively, festive scene. Even now, on a Friday evening, with Valencia Street closed to traffic and bustling with youth, they seem to be doing pretty well.  Here’s hoping every place in our neighborhood does well, survives the pandemic, and even thrives.

West of Pecos
550 Valencia Street

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  1. Wow, THIS is the review you leave of a local business during a pandemic??? While they’re struggling to stay afloat, you use a bougie tone to complain about mild salsa and fried chicken not being “bland” because it’s not the BBQ joint you thought it would be when you walked in?! Shame on you! And to your readers: I’ve dined for YEARS at West of Pecos, with friends, family, and my partner. I cannot think of a single time i was disappointed by the food… And nor was anyone I’ve dined with! In fact, this is my neighborhood go-to restaurant to bring friends, because they always enjoy it! The dungeoness-crab-heaped guacamole is plentiful and delicious, the queso is perfectly cheesy and not oily, can be made spicier by enjoying the slices of chili pepper on top, or less so, simply by asking those to be delivered on the side! They also can make the queso gluten-free! The margaritas are the best I’ve had in the entire city, the puffy tacos are perfectly balanced and super-tasty, and the seasonal salads are always creative and addictive to eat! The fried chicken is PERFECTLY crispy, well-seasoned, and very juicy. The creamed corn is so good, my partner and i always fight over it (we share multiple items together when we go)! And you should always save room for the ultimate New Mexican dessert: sopapillas!!! Served hot and fresh, these fried dough pockets come with a bottle of honey to drizzle in them, and are TO DIE FOR: sweet, warm, and crunchy and doughy all at once!!!! We always let the server know at the beginning of our meal we’ll be ordering this for dessert, so they can time it perfectly… And they DO! It should always be mentioned that i have always received wonderful, friendly service here, and the restaurant is wheelchair-accessible. I highly recommend West of Pecos and hope this beloved local business is able to survive the Pandemic!

  2. Went here for dinner with my mother, they had outdoor seating and it just felt nice to get away from the norms of daily life and COVID but unfortunately that did not happen.

    Almost immediately upon arrival, the two woman up front started giving massive attitude. As if they were purposely trying to make us feel uncomfortable, my mother said forget it. She wanted to leave but I spotted a fire roaring in the front and I asked to sit there.

    The dark hair lady whose name is Lisa decided to lie and say that we wouldn’t be able to sit there because the 3 people I saw having an Intimate conversation were part of another table and having a party.

    ALL LIES, I walked over with my 2 face masks on. I spoke loud enough for the party of 3 to hear me but not loud enough to interrupt anyone else. Btw, the check was on the table and they had no food on the table as it had been cleared. I let them know that we would wait for the table but to not feel rushed BY ANYONE and that we would wait until they were finished.

    They were SO SWEET AND CONSIDERATE and said no no no, we are finished and I said no no no, take your time. It was a complete love fest until Lisa sent a young blonde girl over to yell at me and scold me like a child.

    It was embarrassing and completely uncalled for. She yelled that I needed to stop harassing their guests. The table started to tell her to back off because there was no issue but she wouldn’t back off. Instead she went further and made it seem as though my very presence was starting to upset people. Everyone actually looked concerned for us because we were the only Black people there. I walked back to the front and demanded an apology but instead, LISA told the girl that everything was okay and that she did nothing wrong.

    Ummmmm…… Am I crazy here or did this host just yell at me when all parties involved told her that there was no issue!!!!!!

    At that point things got taken to another level when Lisa decided to confront me. I pulled my phone out at that point and the blonde girl turns and walks away but Lisa continues her unprofessional behavior by trying to grab my arm and push me out.

    I will never eat here as long as I’m alive, this person needs to be retrained or fired. Especially with what’s going on in the world, DO BETTER!!! Stop treating people like crap, stop treating black people like crap… Ate here a year ago and food was SHIT and because of what was going on wanted to support and try again but very dissatisfied with the behavior.

    1. Came here to say think you for the nice review, the extra nice comment from Frankie Katz (we love you Frankie!) and a leave a quick response to the commenter above.

      We have tried to reach out to the individual to address the issue above but received no response. The version of events is similar to what they describe, they asked to be seated at an occupied table, were told they could wait, and proceeded to approach the guests to discuss sitting at the table. We definitely informed this person that it was not ok. We stand by our policy of not pressuring seated guests to leave ever. We stand by our policy to maintain safe distances between parties during the pandemic. It should also be said that we firmly stand with Black Lives Matter, anyone who knows Lisa knows how much she personally is devoted to the movement.

      As it is our aim to create harmony and community in our neighborhood, we have an offer for ‘BLM’. Come sit with your mother next to the fire place and dinner is on us. We will have a real conversation about everything that is going on and how we can all do more. You have my email address.

      Dylan, West of Pecos

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