Not Your Standard Stand

The Brazilian Steak Chimichurri ($14) was a thick, well-seasoned slice of certified Angus skirt steak grilled beautifully. The mashed potatoes were light and fluffy, and the meat had plenty of flavor.

If you have never been there before, the best way to describe Yucatan Taco Stand is that it is a lot like Fuzzy’s — but with a full bar.
by Courtney Dabney

This happy hour magnet on Magnolia is typically swarming with characters. That makes for fun people watching, which is a good thing because with hard surfaces from floor to ceiling (featuring both concrete and tin tiles), you won’t be able to hear the person sitting right across from you. Honestly, it is an acoustical nightmare that makes me wish I had hearing aids just so I could turn them off. But this is a minor issue that never seems to deter the fun-loving crowd.

Rumor has it that they serve a potent margarita here, and based on the howls coming from the long table set up near the musician, full of office workers who had obviously just been let off their leashes for the day, it must be true. Either that, or they got lost on their way to yell practice in College Station and wound up sitting just a few feet from me. They were singing karaoke-style along with Michael Jackson’s Don’t Stop ’Til You Get Enough, but I’m pretty sure they had rounded that corner a few drinks ago.

The Nachos ($8.95) are popular and are a huge portion perfect for sharing with the table or as a meal for two.

The menu items are similar to many Tex-Mex hotspots around town with the addition of a few South and Central American entrées, but the busy bar area is truly what sets this place apart. Colorful concoctions were being sucked through straws everywhere you looked. There is also an inviting patio dressed up with red umbrellas.

On a past visit, I recall the Brazilian Diablo Shrimp as being fiery hot, so be warned. They are actually marinated in Tabasco sauce. As my father is famous for saying, “They will put hair on your chest.” (Diablo means Devil in Spanish. What was I thinking?)

On this trip, I tried the Brazilian Steak Chimichurri ($14). A thick, well-seasoned slice of certified Angus skirt steak was grilled beautifully and served with a pink center. A large portion of chipotle mashed potatoes was piped on the plate along with thin slices of zucchini, yellow squash and asparagus hot off the grill. The mashed potatoes were light and fluffy, and the meat had plenty of flavor. A side of fresh Chimichurri sauce, with its mostly parsley, garlic, olive oil and vinegar notes, was nice for dipping.

The busy bar area is truly what sets Yucatan Taco Stand apart with its variety of colorful concoctions.

I had to sample an order of the popular Nachos ($8.95). The nachos are a huge portion, perfect for sharing with the entire table as an appetizer or enough to make a fine meal for two. They come in many varieties, including garlic shredded beef, ground sirloin, tequila lime chicken, grilled veggies or Carne de Puerco (shredded pork), which is the style I chose. The huge mound of mostly corn chips is topped with queso sauce and shreds of red cabbage and lettuce. It is garnished with a dollop of both sour cream and guacamole, your choice of meat and then sprinkled with dices of red onion, tomato and queso fresco. The roasted pulled pork was juicy and robust. Looking around, most tables sported at least one order of nachos.

To finish, I sampled the fried cheesecake for dessert, but a server told me that none of desserts are actually made in-house. It was your standard deep fried overindulgence with a heavy coating of cinnamon sugar. If you accidentally breathe in while taking a bite, you could wind up on You Tube under the heading of Cinnamon Challenge, so be careful.  

Located at: 909 W. Magnolia Ave.
For reservations call: 817.924.8646 $-$$
Open: Sun.-Thu. 11 a.m.-10 p.m., Fri.-Sat. 11 a.m.- Midnight (kitchen closes at 10 p.m.)