The Painted Burro

I was ecstatic when I first heard that the owners of Posto had a Mexican restaurant in Davis Square in the works. They do wonders with pizza, so I couldn’t wait to see what they would do with Mexican food (and margaritas, of course).

I finally made it to The Painted Burro on Tuesday, about a week after they opened. I was happy to see that they were fairly busy, but not too busy to get a table. It’s always nice to see a new restaurant in my neighborhood getting a lot of business.

If you ever went to Gargoyles, you’ll hardly recognize that this is the same space. They really did a great job of opening up and brightening the room.

We were given chips and salsa right after being seated. The chips tasted freshly fried and were nicely salted. The salsa was mild but bright and flavorful.

We started with an order of Guacamole with Fire Roasted Poblano and Onion Rajas. The portion was generous and the avocados were fresh and ripe. Unfortunately, the poblano didn’t really add the spice I had hoped for. I think we’ll go with the traditional guacamole next time.

We each ordered a Margarita De La Casa. While the margaritas were spot-on, they do seem to have some kinks to work out with their bar service. They didn’t arrive until after we ate our guacamole. To be fair, the waitress was really nice about it and kept apologizing. I’m hopeful that they’ll find a way to fix the issue.

Matt ordered the Zucchini and Nopales Tacos with a Charred Lemon Mayonesa. The vegetables were faintly smoky from the grill, the acidity from the lemon brightened up the flavors nicely, and the creaminess of the mayonnaise brought it all together. In other words, they were fantastic.

The description of the Enchilada “Del Paraiso” really drew me in: zucchini, maitake and oyster mushrooms, charred onion, kale, herb goat cheese, salsa verde, and cotija cheese. I don’t know about you, but this freakishly warm weather has me craving vegetables! The enchiladas were actually layered instead of rolled, and were loaded with beautifully cooked vegetables. There was just enough cheese to provide some creaminess but not overwhelm everything else, and the salsa verde gave it a nice tang and kick of spice.

We ordered the Tres Leches Cake for dessert. I was taken aback by how dense it was at first. But then, it really grew on me. I was in love after the first couple of bites. The dense cake was really flavorful and really held up to the soaking liquid. The orange whipped cream on top provided nice texture and acidity. As good as it was, it was definitely rich. I recommend sharing!

The day after our first trip to The Painted Burro, I saw on their Facebook feed that they got their first ramps of the season. I was bummed that we had missed them by one day.

We just couldn’t say no ramps, so we went back and split the ramp tacos for an appetizer later in the week. The ramps were simply grilled and topped with cilantro and cojita cheese. I enjoyed the simplicity. We may or may not have also gone to Posto and split their ramp pizza. Totally normal.

Aside from the kinks with the bar service, we were very impressed with the food, drinks, and atmosphere. I especially enjoyed that the food was so fresh and didn’t taste too heavy. It’s going to be tricky now to have to decide between Posto and The Painted Burro!

The Painted Burro
219 Elm Street
Somerville, MA 02144
The Painted Burro on Urbanspoon

See my favorite dishes at this restaurant on Tasted Menu

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