Good things come in small packages — this idiom is true for new kid on the block Westover Taco, which maximizes its tight quarters to bring an affordable, family-friendly neighborhood option to Arlington.
Dining out is an holistic experience — sure, it’s about the food, but the surroundings, the neighborhood, the service and so much more go into creating success.
Westover Taco, opened last December, seems to have found a winning formula. Taking over what used to be the Forest Inn, a dive bar on Washington Boulevard, the taco spot is wedged between Toby’s Homemade Ice Cream and Ayers Variety & Hardware.
“The neighborhood itself is absolutely amazing. We are surrounded by families that support the shopping center so much, it’s a real community,” says co-founder and managing partner Sarah White, a longtime local and first-time restaurant owner.
The menu offers solid Baja California-inspired fare with tempting cocktails, wines, and beers. Diners can nosh on an impressive array of splurge-worthy starters, including zestful spicy guacamole and a sumptuous trio of salsas.
You’ll be impressed with the simple but flavor-packed tacos here. Pay $4 for classics like pollo tinga, carnitas, and pescado fish tacos, but save room to sample signature offerings like the surf and turf, abundant with gulf shrimp and carne asada, for 50 cents more.
Westover offers two salads and by accident, we tried both. We ordered the roasted vegetable and corn salad, but our server delivered the taco salad by mistake. Our advice? Stick to what Westover does best — the tacos — they’re the stars of the show, with a flurry of flavors for every appetite.
For side dishes, we sampled an order of fried plantains, and the jury was split on the question of “Would I order it again?” The vote was unanimous, however, when it came to approval, raves, high fives, cheers, and pats on the back for the irresistible churro doughnuts, accompanied by sublime Toby’s vanilla ice cream and drizzled with chocolate and caramel sauce.
Delightful as the casual cuisine may be, the owners, who all reside in NoVA, believe Westover Taco’s best attribute might surprise some.
“We love the tacos we’re serving, the space is beautiful, the food is great,” says co-founding restaurateur Scott Parker. “But when I’m honest, what I think is most special about it is the location in that neighborhood — we just absolutely love it.” 5849 Washington Blvd., Arlington
See this: Massive illuminated wall of outdoor photography
Eat this: El Classico tacos and churro doughnuts
Feature image by Dawn Klavon
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