Last Updated on March 17, 2020 by Jeremy
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202 Hometown Tacos opened in Bellevue in mid-2019 and focused on having short order tacos in Tex Mex / modern American style, as well as a robust bar stocked full of Mexican and domestic beer (plus an array of liquor).
During my visits to this one, I was able to sample my way through several of their tacos plus their aptly named Bellevue Bowl. While I walked away somewhat disappointed by the tacos, the bowl is something I'll be thinking of time and time again.
202 Hometown Tacos are Somewhat Conventional
During my visit, I decided to go with three tacos- one carnitas (with tomato salsa, beans, onion, avocado, and cotija), one spicy shrimp (with pico de gallo, avocado crema, cabbage slaw), and one pulled BBQ jackfruit (with cabbage slaw and onion straws) all on flour tortillas.
When they came out, the first thing you'll notice is that these are fully loaded with toppings and are most certainly not skimping on any of the proteins, either. But when I took a bite, I have to say that the flavors of the toppings didn't come together like how I'd expect with the ingredients list- although I will also say that the meats were cooked quite well to go along with them.
This is not necessarily a bad thing but the tacos here definitely taste like a short-order taco similar to what you could put together at home. There was just something about the flavor profiles of most of the tacos (the BBQ jackfruit especially) that felt like an ingredient was off in the topping choices. In fact, an extra spoonful of salsa, more avocado crema, or a squirt of their aioli could go a long way in bringing these tacos together.
But all this being said, one of the best aspects of the tacos here are the price- most run just a few dollars and you can get a full plate of three generously sized tacos for just about $10. So if this style of taco is for you, you really can't go wrong here all the same.
The Real Winner is the Bellevue Bowl
While I walked away from 202 Hometown Tacos thinking their tacos fell a bit flat, the one dish that I was truly impressed with was the Bellevue Bowl.
This bowl is a behemoth, and I don't use that phrase lightly. I ordered this one for takeaway in a separate visit and it filled a standard to-go style package edge-to-edge and almost its entirety deep. From a sheer volume of food aspect, this one delivers several meals worth of value for its price.
So, what all is included? This one is more or less a garbage plate of everything. Think of it like putting three of their tacos together in a single bowl with proteins like pulled pork, ancho chicken, and shrimp, and toppings of caramelized onions, corn, queso fresco, onion straws, and avocado aioli.
Take one bite and you may be getting rice, pulled pork, and caramelized onions. Another, ancho chicken with queso fresco and the aioli. Another still, a mix of it all. It sounds like something that could very much not work, but this one somehow does.
I think my concern with the regular tacos is that the two or three ingredients do not come together to be much more than the sum of the parts, but the flavors of this bowl meld just a bit more into a really great offering (and an abundance of the avocado aioli doesn't hurt, either). While I'd definitely order tacos from here again due to their size and price, I have to admit I find myself thinking the bowl will be my regular go-to every time I visit this spot.
It is just that good.
202 Hometown Tacos is located at 407 Lincoln Avenue in Bellevue, PA.
For more of the best tacos in Pittsburgh, check out our guide by clicking the previous link!
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