Friday, March 25, 2011

Blue Coast Burrito is Open!

Open for Business - Blue Coast Burrito, Knoxville, March 24, 2011
In what promises to be a season of full of openings, Blue Coast Burrito became the first new business to open its doors. It's an exciting new opening on the square and continues a trend of Latin-themed restaurants on the west side of Market Square. It joins Soccer Taco, Cocoa Moon, La Costa and Sangria's. Ironically, given the large number of what you might expect to be similar menus, each place has its own twist on the theme and the prices cover quite a range. For Blue Coast Burrito the spot on that range is at the lower end, which is nice. I love the restaurants on Market Square, but it is difficult for two people to eat dinner for much under $30 and you can easily spend much more. It's pretty easy at Blue Coast Burrito.
The tiny notice that Blue Coast Burrito might open today.

It seemed as if the desire was for a low-key opening. The only indication they would open today that I saw was two small computer-printed notices in the window yesterday. Even the wording left some question in my mind. It said, "Please visit us on Thursday, March 24" in very small font beneath a notification that training was in progress. I thought maybe this was a second open-house, but we went there on hopes it was a quiet opening and it was.

Christy very helpfully explains the process and the menu
We were met at the door by Christy who explained how to order and gave suggestions and explanations of the menu. Everyone was exceptionally friendly and keen to see that we had a good experience. I chose two steak tacos in corn tortillas while Urban Woman tried a latinga chicken burrito. The service through the line was great, though folks are obviously still learning. The meal with drinks, food and tax came to just over $16. That's hard to beat downtown.

An Urban Woman makes her selections in the food line.
We took our food upstairs to the Margarita Room, which is cozy and features a nice view from the big windows beside each table. A bar is located upstairs which served only beer for the first day because the paperwork had not come through to serve mixed drinks, though we were told margaritas would be served starting tomorrow.

Seating area on the first floor, Blue Coast Burrito, Knoxville
How was the food? One small problem presented itself: the burrito was cold. I'm not sure how that happened since we watched them make it, but when it was pointed out to the staff, we were immediately given another one which, after being put together, was steamed. I'd recommend that you ask for that. After that small glitch we enjoyed each of our dishes very much. The burrito was spicy, which we love and the corn tortillas (you can have flour if you prefer) were very tasty and the steak also was very good.
Upstairs view from the rear - Bar and seating - Blue Coast Burrito
I also liked the fact that, with the structure of the food preparation, you can get your food, eat and get out quickly, yet it also seems like the kind of place (particularly upstairs) you wouldn't mind lingering. There are televisions mounted on the walls, which I realize is the expectation in a casual dining situation in 2011, but which I do not like. Still, and those of you who read this blog regularly know this would be important to me, the sound on the televisions is muted in favor of excellent music playing at a perfect volume over the sound system. It was loud enough to listen to if you are so inclined, and low enough to hold a conversation without shouting at the people across the table.

Cozy nook in the front of upstairs - Oldest facade on Market Square in clear view.
I think they fill a void in terms of price for the quality of food and I'm quite certain we'll be back. I'd encourage you to give it a chance the next time you are downtown. I'd bet you'll enjoy it.

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At March 25, 2011 at 10:37 AM , Blogger tthurman said...

I was surprised to see this on my way to lunch yesterday. I saw people in line, while at the same time construction equipment was still visible outside. As we rounded the corner, I noticed Christy writing "We Are Open" on the sign. They already had a good crowd in line!

At March 25, 2011 at 4:19 PM , Anonymous Greg said...

Yum. Fish tacos!

At March 25, 2011 at 6:26 PM , Anonymous KnoxvilleUrbanGuy said...

There was a decent evening crowd when we were there. Probably not as many as they hope for as time goes by, but I got the feeling they wanted to give their new staff time to get to know their jobs with fewer customers. As for the fish tacos, I've got to try those. I have a friend who loves them. The interesting thing is that makes at least three restaurants on that side of Market Square with fish tacos on the menu. Are they *that* good?

At March 26, 2011 at 12:13 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

I avoided fish tacos for years. Now I can't turn one down. I've never tried Blue Coast's. Maybe we'll storm the upstairs room to celebrate UrbanGuy's MetroPulse Best Of win.


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