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“Incredible Food”
Review of Tasters Taco Emporium - CLOSED

Tasters Taco Emporium
Price range: $3 - $6
Cuisines: Mexican, Fast Food
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Families with children, Business meetings, Local cuisine, Special occasions, Romantic
Dining options: Late Night, Lunch, Breakfast, Dinner, Delivery, Reservations
Reviewed February 8, 2013

I am so glad I decided to give Tasters another shot. I went when it had first opened a few years ago, and they were a little unorganized and the food I had was average. I hadn't gone back because of my original impression until recently, but I'm glad I did. What a difference! My boyfriend and I ate outside on their back patio, they had live music playing (just one guy with a guitar, who took suggestions). We ordered their octopus appetizer and a couple of their specialty beers. WOW. It was the best octopus I've ever had in my life. So tender it melted in your mouth, and the sauce it was served with was divine. I recommended it to all the surrounding tables, I was so impressed. Seriously, even if you're freaked out by things like octopus or calamari, give it a try. You won't be disappointed. It's not slimy or anything, it's fried. Yum.

For our main course I got a flatbread with chicken and basil (I think), which was good. Simple, but delicious. My boyfriend got some sort of asian Duck Lo Mein and I was secretly a little jealous. It was awesome. Definitely getting that again next time. We skipped dessert because we were in a rush for a movie, but I really would like to go back and take my time there and try some dessert.

You can definitely tell the difference down here between restaurants where the owners are actively engaged in the business, and places where they've left it up to the employees to run (into the ground). The owner was present and came to our table to check up on everything (I think they're chefs who designed the menu, which is even more impressive and personal). He seemed genuinely appreciative of every guest dining at his restaurant.

The place is a bit small though, so make a reservation on busy nights, if possible, or go on an off-day. I'd recommend sitting outside in the back, or at the bar. They have a nice selection of wines and beers (more than your usual Keys Bud Light crap).

If you've got time and you want the Tasters experience but less of a "romantic evening out" and more of a "I want great food and awesome beer" with no frills, visit their other restaurant, M.E.A.T. in Islamorada. It's incredible, too! I like to think of it as "manly gourmet".

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2  Thank illusoryme
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviews (377)
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93 - 97 of 377 reviews

Reviewed February 8, 2013

This is the second time we visited Taster's Grille. Our first time was almost a year ago, during our first stay in the Keys. The food was very memorable, so we returned. I'm sure this will now be an annual pilgrimage ---- both to the Keys & to Taster's.

On this occasion, it was too breezy & chilly to eat out on the deck, so we settled comfortably inside. Service was friendly & efficient. I had the scallop dish which featured jumbo succulent scallops in a yummy corn butter sauce. My husband enjoyed the shrimp & grits, a dinner uniquely combining his favorite breakfast food with large fresh shellfish. He's a big eater, but even he couldn't finish all of this "big plate" entree.

While we were there, we saw a gentleman who we swore was working in a restaurant we had tried 2 nights before --- M.E.A.T. in Islamorada. We learned that Chef George owns both eateries. M.E.A.T. is another special restaurant positioned in a little strip mall. (See review of this place also)

If you love amazing food combinations and surprising takes on what might have been mere traditional dishes at lesser restaurants, then please don't miss the opportunity to dine at this gem!

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2  Thank hersheykissk
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 5, 2013

The food is yummy- especially the cerviche! This seems like a great spot if you want a cozy bistro atmosphere off the beaten path for adults only and have plenty of time to linger. Locals seem to get special treatment; can see why they would love it here. The restaurant could benefit from a dedicated bus and water person. You will have to wait for drinks but they serve a delicious pimento dip while you wait. Also may take some time to get the check. Would not recommend for families with kids.

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2  Thank Elliottsmadre
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 29, 2013

Though I was skeptical at first of a restaurant tucked in the back of strip mall, this place is great. The owners are welcoming and attentive. The food is top notch and fresh. The atmosphere is lively without being overwhelming or too noisy. Definitely make a reservation in-season, as the dining room is small and you don't want to be left out.

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2  Thank missburrito
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 26, 2013

We have been reading Trip Advisor reviews on Tasters for two years and finally decided to give it a try. We're so glad we did! The dishes are creative combinations of flavors, beautifully prepared and served. The staff couldn't have been nicer from the time we walked in the door through our entire meal. They obviously wanted us to enjoy our time at their restaurant. We tried a few small plates which were great for sharing. We enjoyed everything but our favorites were the Cantonese ribs and the Spinach and arugula salad with goat cheese. The ribs were the best we've ever had. By far, this is now our favorite restaurant in Key Largo!

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1  Thank scupper52
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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