Sunday, May 19, 2013

2447 Ashley River Rd., Charleston, SC

I have a new favorite Mexican restaurant...3 Matadors Tequileria.    Recently opened (on Cinqo de Mayo) in the  creatively renovated space that once housed Pinachio's Italian restaurant, 3 Matadors offers both indoor and outdoor dining.  We opted for a table inside, and were very comfortable.  The restaurant is open air,  brightly decorated and even had a pleasant breeze inside.
Our server, Justin, was friendly and efficient, giving us detailed descriptions of many menu items.  The menu is divided into four sections- Appetizers, Salads, Specialty Tacos and Sides.  Justin brought us taco chips and salsa to start, then recommended the Blackened Mahi-Mahi Bites as an appetizer.  We ordered both the Mahi Bites and an order of Queso Blanco dip with chips.  The mahi bites, delicious chunks of blackened fish, were served with a creamy jalapeno ranch dip, which was quite tasty- not too spicy.  The queso dip was the best I've had anywhere in Charleston, made with fresh jalapeños, minus the seeds, and cilantro.
3 Matadors gets their shrimp fresh from the docks at Rockville, SC , so we had to try the "El Capitan" Shrimp tacos.
(All of their specialty tacos are prepared with 6" soft tacos.)  The shrimp in the "El Capitan" was deep fried, then dipped in a signature hot sauce- crispy and hot, inside and out!  Mexi-slaw cooled the fire a bit and complimented the shrimp perfectly.  We also tried the Veggie Taco, adding chicken, just for fun.  The sautéed veggies were clearly quite fresh, and were topped with mexi-ranch sauce, finished with cilantro.  A very good choice, even if you don't add chicken.
         The prices at 3 Matadors are very reasonable and the portions proved to be just right.  I will definitely return soon to try a few more of their house specialties, like Lemon Pepper Mahi or perhaps their Sante Fe Salad- both looked very good.   The restaurant is open daily for lunch and dinner, starting at 11am.  See you there!

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