By day, Yucatan Taco Stand is a casual eatery serving up fresh, tasty Tex-Mex. At night, the place becomes Yucatan Lounge, a hotspot of DJ music and exotic drinks.
Now, the word “lounge” can mean a couple of different things. Could be swanky cocktails in a swanky, classy, jazz-infused environment, which is right up my alley. Or, could be a nightclub for the under-30-only crowd. Oddly and happily enough, Yucatan Lounge falls somewhere in between.
The impetus for my visit actually came from Yucatan-by-day: At lunch in December, I enjoyed what I thought was a made-from-scratch margarita and had noticed an ad for $2 margaritas on Thursday nights after 9 p.m. Cheap and fabulous ‘ritas were enough to tempt me, but I didn’t make it in to the Yucatan Lounge until last month. Sadly, I discovered that the cheap ‘ritas are soooo 2008. Yucatan’s current happy hour is generous — from 1 to 7 p.m. — but if you show up late, you’ll miss it. You will, however, get to enjoy DJ Ray Funk, who spins a peculiar mix of rock, soul, and hip-hop from his Mac centrally situated in Yucatan’s seating area.
Because the place evidently gets so crowded on DJ-Ray-nites, I had only two seating options: at the bar or wait for a dining-room table. Yucatan’s nigh-legendary pillowy booths, along the perimeter of the restaurant, were occupied by TCU coeds. I don’t know about the service they got, but mine was dreadful. At one point, another female customer and I exchanged a polite conversation in which we likened the service to what the average customer would get in — gasp! — Dallas. Not only were the bartenders slow and reluctant to acknowledge anybody, but there were only two of them, tasked with handling drink orders from tables as well as covering a bar that seats a couple dozen customers. Perhaps the barkeeps’ less than speedy service was their way of saying to their bosses, “Schedule more freaking employees!”
When I finally got it, I found that the margarita, which had tasted so sparklingly fresh at my lunch, actually comes from a Slurpee-type machine. Still, it was good. In the interest of “research,” I tried to talk my friend into ordering the Horizontal Mambo, made with Bacardi, Triple Sec, schnapps, Gran Reserva Silver tequila, grenadine, pineapple juice, and Sprite. She eyeballed it and said, “That’s trashcan punch.”
“No,” I said. “Trashcan punch has Crown Royal and Everclear in it. This is much classier.”
Fortunately, as we eventually learned from one of the bartenders, the Horizontal Mambo can be served only to a group. Hmmm, I thought. A couple of sorority sisters over there are sharing one. Maybe I should chance it? … Nope. No. Back when I was a coed, trashcan punch made my clothes disappear. And it destroyed my stomach. I’ll stick with the screwdriver, thank you very much, as heavily vodka-ized as it was. Yucatan also offers a diverse variety of bottled beer, including Land Shark Lager. Brewed by Anheuser-Bush and marketed by Jimmy Buffet, it’s the beer for people who are on spring break or wish they were.
As for that “lounge” thing, some — OK, most — of the patrons were probably there to be seen, what with their finely coiffed ‘dos and chic clubbing duds. But some customers were truly into DJ Ray’s progressive music. Maybe a little too much. One guy did a shot from Yucatan’s extensive tequila menu and proceeded to play the worst air-guitar ever. Dude, Metallica and tequila just don’t mix.
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Yucatan Taco Stand
909 W Magnolia Av, FW. 817 924-8646.