Located in the City Walk center, Teela Taqueria is just the kind of place that Sandy Springs needed. Interesting choice for a name, maybe someone should have told them about the porn star. Teela Taqueria took the place of what was once The Grape. While I did love the Grape, I am thrilled with it’s replacement. I coerced my bro into making the trip to Teela Taqueria with me.
Upon entering we were greeted by the owner who was helping out the hostess as there seemed to be a flurry of customers that had all arrived at the same time. I noticed her accent and inquired as to where she was from – South Africa. Interesting that a South African would open up a taqueria, the cultures seem so different.
Specialty drinks here are their mojitos and margaritas. Bro had the regular mojito, while I chose the pommegranite margarita. Neither one of us were blown away by the drinks. Mine tasted more like lemonade than anything else and Jonathan said the mojito didn’t seem mixed right, as if the mint wasn’t properly crushed or infused into the drink.
We started off with the trio of salsa, guacamole, and cheese dip ($8.50). I think some visitors here would be put off that a “Mexican” restaurant would charge for chips and salsa. I think that they’ve been too indoctrinated into the belief that chips and salsa are ALWAYS complimentary. Keep in mind this is a taqueria that charges only $2.50 to $3.50 per taco, not a Mexican restaurant that charges $7 – $10 per meal. It would really cut into their margins to provide free chips and freshly made salsa.
Having said that, I do think the price point of the trio is a tad pricey at $8.50, but the salsa and guac were incredibly fresh. The salsa had a sweet taste that really complimented the seasoned chips. Here’s a tip: go for either the salsa ($2.75) or the guacamole ($3.50). Those price points are much more reasonable.
Trying not to get completely full on the chips, I perused the menu. Being a seafood lover, I opted for the Bang Bang Shrimp (shrimp with a chili aioli) and the Shrimp and Crab (crab and shrimp cake with chipotle cream cheese) tacos. Not wanting to give meat the cold shoulder, I opted for the Southern BLT taco as well. I tried to take pictures, but they just didn’t turn out well. I’ll try again on my next visit.
The Bang Bang Shrimp taco was by far the best out of the 3 with a spicy sauce and 4 medium sized shrimp. What a welcome change from Lime where their shrimp taco at $4.50 has 1 shrimp, albeit the jumbo size. The Southern BLT taco was decent but didn’t live up to the hype – bacon, lettuce and fried green (that’s where the Southern part comes in) tomatoes with feta cheese and smokey chili aoili. I was expecting something with a little more umph. Jonathan ordered this as well and had the same sentiment.
In addition to the BLT taco he ordered the Chicken Mole Enchilada and the Chorizo taco. I didn’t have taste of his enchilada, but he said it was solid. Then he bit into his Chorizo taco. I didn’t have to ask what he thought -he loved it – it was all over his face. I took one bite and thought I was in heaven.
That one bite wasn’t going to do it for me. I absolutely HAD to order one for myself. The marriage of flavors is divine. The spicy chorizo, salty feta, and sweet dates are a perfect blend. Even the bacon gives it another dimension that, you would think would be too meat heavy but is just right.
I hear good things about the brisket, which I plan to try next time. All tacos range in price from $2.50 to $3.50.
Can you believe after I ate all that food (4 tacos + chips), I had the audacity to even look at the dessert menu? Yep. I really wanted to try the Tres Leches Cake and Jonathan really wanted to try the Flan. So, we ordered one of each to share. The cake was moist and sweet but not too sweet. I didn’t taste the flan but Jonathan gave it a thumbs up. We didn’t have more than 3 bites each before we had to make the decision to stop eating or just explode.
Upon first glance, the restaurant may appear small, but there is an additional room for seating which was completely full by the time I was leaving. And the outdoor patio has a fair amount of tables as well.
227 Sandy Spring Place
Sandy Springs, GA 30328