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“Not sure what the fuss is about....very average food” 3 of 5 stars
Review of Pablito's Taqueria

Pablito's Taqueria
140A First Street, Friday Harbor, San Juan Island, WA 98250
(360) 378 3317
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Ranked #24 of 53 restaurants in Friday Harbor
Price range: $5 - $15
Cuisines: Mexican
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Families with children, Local cuisine
Dining options: Lunch
Melbourne, Australia
Top Contributor
163 reviews 163 reviews
105 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 50 cities Reviews in 50 cities
121 helpful votes 121 helpful votes
“Not sure what the fuss is about....very average food”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed July 29, 2013

I was only in Friday harbour for a few hours for a stop over while on a whale watching tour. As we were docking in the harbour I got my smart phone out, hit the TA website, positioned myself at the front of the crowd ready to make my way to the number 1 place on TA, as it very rarely lets me down. In this case I am sorry to say it did....

Firstly, this is really a fast food / take away type place, not a restaurant. Think Chipotle but without the flavour. So I go in, order my meal (Pork Taco, Fish Taco, beans and rice) and wait for my name to be called. Seriously, there are maybe 10 tables in the place but you have to go up and get your own food.....even when its not busy. But hey, some of the best places I have eaten are take away / hole in the wall places.

When the food arrived there was a HUGE mound of dry flavourless rice next to a HUGE mound of completely flavourless "meaty' beans. Really not sure where the meat was but I kept looking....When the taco's. Firstly I have to say the hand made tortilla's were lovely, light and perfectly cooked. The fillings though....hmmm....think dried out pulled pork with not flavour and a couple of small pieces of fried fish that did not taste very fresh.

Then there is the salsa bar. Here I was, having read all the wonderful reviews about this amazing salsa bar, licking my lips in anticipation. But alas, disappointment again. Firstly, they are suppose to have little bowls to put your salsa in but they seem to have run out (of course I only notice this as I see someone else with about 10 of them on their table, guess I know where they all went). But I selected a little of all of them in the hope they could add some flavour to my meal, again, disappointment ensued. All of them were very bland and lacked any real attention to getting the flavour out of the ingredients.

All in all its not a bad place. The servings are large, the price was not "that" bad ($17 for the meal and a beer) and everything came out hot. The real problem I have with this place is the complete lack of any distinctive flavours in any of the food, including the salsa's. Perhaps it was just me, perhaps it was a bad day but for this reviewer it was just very bland food that I would not rush back to....

  • Visited July 2013
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
    • 3 of 5 stars Food
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88 reviews from our community

85% Recommend
    55
    18
    8
    5
    2
Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
San Francisco, California
Top Contributor
82 reviews 82 reviews
21 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 18 cities Reviews in 18 cities
46 helpful votes 46 helpful votes
“Amazing Mexican food”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 22, 2013

And the margaritas were terrific too. I think we have pretty good Mexican food in California...turns out it's not as good as in Friday Harbor. A local suggested we try this place, and I am forever grateful. Food was excellent, innovative and happily received.

Visited June 2013
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Montana
Senior Reviewer
10 reviews 10 reviews
3 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
“good food”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed July 20, 2013

seemed a bit pricey but probably reasonable for a resort town..took our to-go food down to the waterfront to enjoy

Visited July 2013
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Olympia, Washington
Top Contributor
122 reviews 122 reviews
84 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 51 cities Reviews in 51 cities
86 helpful votes 86 helpful votes
“Best fish tacos ever!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 20, 2013 via mobile

We stumbled on Pablito's while looking for a quick, late dinner after pulling in to the marina. The service was friendly and attentive, and the food was fantastic. The menu isn't huge but there were plenty of great options for us. Our group had the turkey mole tacos, pork taco, chipotle cod tacos, goat cheese and chile tamale and a house salad. The handmade tortillas were wonderfully soft. The house salad had a very light dressing, pepitas and a roasted tomato and was the perfect accompaniment. The nicest surprise was the side of lightly sautéed, still slightly crunchy snap peas and zucchini that came with each plate. A salsa bar on the counter had 6 flavorful salsas, including an absolutely amazing rhubarb and sorrel salsa that added a tart, tangy bite to the cod tacos. We will be back in town next weekend and have already planned another dinner at Pablito's!

  • Visited July 2013
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Food
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
california
Senior Reviewer
10 reviews 10 reviews
6 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
“delicious”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 18, 2013

We had a cuban stew and coffee braised pork. Both were very good and large portions. We had guacamole which I did not see on the menu but asked and it was very good. Beans and rice were good-not seasoned but there is a salsa bar. We shared a salad that was superb. Fast friendly service, casual atmosphere. Loved it. Consider sharing a salad and entree.

  • Visited July 2013
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Food
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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