Tony’s Sombrero offers satisfying off-campus alternative to Taco Tuesday

If you’re like me, you spend Wednesday through Monday waiting for Taco Tuesday (by far the best day of the week) at Whitman’s. The College encourages students to think beyond its campus and become citizens of not just the College, but the world around it; to let their imaginations roam without restrictions or obstacles. In true Williams fashion, I (and surely many others) have done just that, journeying to Tony’s Sombrero to experience the world beyond Taco Tuesday.

Disclaimer: I will eat practically anything with little or no hesitation, but the only food I cannot handle is avocado (yes, even in guacamole form). I figured it would be unfair to review a Mexican restaurant without trying its guacamole, so I brought along my friend, Justin Gross ’21, and his self-professed “high standards of guac.”

That night, my sidekick and my appetite accompanied me to Tony’s. We ordered the carnitas  burrito, the chicken tacos and the tostadas with a side of guacamole. The prices were maybe a little steep, but they were far from absurd and the portions appeared sizable.

I started with the burrito, which was stuffed with delicious slow-cooked pork and all the staples of a burrito: rice, beans and cilantro. It was served cut in half, with one half elegantly leaning on the other. The restaurant almost achieved the impressive feat of making a burrito look fancy.

The taste, for the most part, matched the presentation. The ingredients themselves were sort of segregated, but when they mixed, the flavor combinations were exquisite. I was especially pleased when I got bites of cilantro and lime with the pork, bringing some freshness to the meal. The burrito was very oily, which I like, but I realize others might not, and the cheese could have been a little more spread out. Other than that, there’s little to complain about. As a final note, despite being rather thin the tortillas are remarkably sturdy. This time, for once, everything stayed inside the tortilla.

The chicken tacos were just as scrumptious. Like the burrito, the cilantro and lime combination was fantastic, only this time it was a much more prominent flavor, giving the whole taco a delightful tanginess that was only augmented by the addition of onions and green salsa. My friend and I agreed that the taco could have used a bit of spice, which unfortunately the green salsa failed to provide. The chicken itself was tender and juicy. The chicken wasn’t particularly flavorful, but with everything esle in the taco it didn’t need to be.

After the high of the tacos, the tostadas came as a bit of a let-down. On paper it actually seemed like it would be my favorite of the three, with the chicken tinga among the ingredients to pique my interest. Disappointingly, the tostadas tasted overwhelmingly of beans. I’m all for beans usually, but in this case I might as well have eaten a bean sandwich.

As far as the guacamole and the side sauces go, Tony’s fared neither especially well nor too badly. I observed that the guacamole didn’t have any tomatoes and was more liquid that usual, with guac-loving  Gross confirming that it was indeed subpar. It was fruity and creamy (“tropical”, as he described it), but overall it didn’t live up to expectations.

All in all, I would definitely recommend heading over to Tony’s Sombrero if you’re in the mood for some good-to-very-good Mexican food and Taco Tuesday is still six days away. It won’t blow your mind, but you’ll definitely enjoy it.

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