Nicholas Barahona, Contributing Writer
Join me this week on the final stop of our journey this semester through Richmond where I review and showcase the different cuisines and restaurants around campus from the perspective of a VCU student.
Today we are headed to Pancho’s Cantina and Grill, a female-owned Mexican restaurant that believes “a good day should always start with a good taco.”
Catch Pancho’s open noon to 10:00 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday. Pancho’s closes on Sundays at 4:45 p.m. and is not open on Mondays.
Located on West Main Street, Pancho’s lies a mile away from Monroe Park and is about a 20 minute walk from campus. An advantage Pancho’s has over many restaurants along West Main Street is the parking lot they provide for customers.
Pancho’s has big glass windows at the front of their restaurant that allow you to see a glimpse of everything going on inside, whether you’re about to walk in or just passing by.
When dining at Pancho’s, expect an atmosphere that is buzzing and lively. The lighting inside makes for a vibrant experience when the sun goes down. This makes Pancho’s a great spot for date night, dinner with friends or maybe even a few drinks (if of age) while watching TV above the bar. On my trip here, I saw many crowds of people from all age groups dining in, which makes it an attraction to the entire community.
One tip I have is if you are planning to come with a group bigger than four, call ahead and make a reservation. Pancho’s has limited seating, so you may find yourself waiting for some time on busier nights.
There are two words that come to mind when it comes to Pancho’s: Taco Tuesday. On other days of the week, you can enjoy tacos that are about $5 each. But come Tuesdays, you will be delighted to learn that Pancho’s serves tacos for only a buck a piece. That’s right, you can get a taco for the price of the change in your wallet.
The options for the $1 tacos are either shredded chicken or beef tacos. You may think that since these tacos are only $1 that they may be small and plain, but they in fact come in a considerable size, with toppings of lettuce and cheese.
While there is no vegetarian option for this $1 taco deal, there is a vegetarian taco on the menu that comes with roasted corn, green bell pepper, onion and mushrooms topped with vegan cheese and avocado for the standard $5 cost.
The only catch to the Taco Tuesday deal is that you must order three tacos to start off with, but after that you can order single tacos until you’re satisfied.
For my meal, I ordered two beef tacos and one shredded chicken taco to start. I then ordered an additional chicken and beef taco before I happily tapped out for dinner.
I was a little disappointed when I found that chips and salsa were not complementary, like most Mexican restaurants. However, considering the restaurant is serving you $1 tacos, it is still a great bargain.
For the price of the tacos, this is an absolute deal for the size and flavor that you get from the taco. I personally enjoyed the beef tacos more than the shredded chicken, as the beef was more juicy and flavorful than its counterpart.
Pancho’s Cantina and Grill earns itself a four star rating out of five. Providing a meal for college students that won’t break the bank, Pancho’s is an excellent option for all students on any Tuesday that they are free and hungry for tacos. Considering that the tacos are $1, the value you get is incredible and will leave both your wallet and stomach full. It’s not exactly gourmet, but a deal like this is hard to come by anywhere.
For more things food, feel free to check out @nxreview on Instagram or TikTok for many more recommendations and reviews around town.
Stay easy Ram family and as always, eat up.
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