Tuesday, December 7, 2021
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Guy Fieri’s Dive and Taco Joint struggles in execution

Lucas Cuni-Mertz

Caleb Wilson

Get ready Kansas City—Flavortown has arrived.

Guy Fieri’s Dive and Taco Joint, the celebrity chef and TV personality’s newest restaurant, opened in the Power and Light District last week.

With two bars and a menu offering everything from Cheeseburger Tacos to Trash Can Nachos, the restaurant packs just as much personality as the mayor of Flavortown himself.

Although we appreciated Dive and Taco Joint’s ambition, our visit left us wishing for much better execution.

Upon entering, you’re greeted with harsh red light and loud music, creating a vibe more akin to a nightclub than a restaurant. This may not be too out of the ordinary for a dive bar, but along with the restaurant’s disorganization, the resulting atmosphere is a bit chaotic.

Although it’s a sit-down restaurant, you order your food and are served your drinks at the front counter, which is also part of the main bar. The menu isn’t on display anywhere, and customers must instead find a printed-off copy or go through the menu with the bartender when they order.

Diablo Shrimp Tacos

Once seated, you realize no waiter or waitress is actually assigned to your table. Instead, servers go around shouting your name once they have your food, a hectic system only compounded by how loud the music is.

If a server is unable to find you (this happened a lot), they simply set your food at the bar, leaving the customer to eventually figure this out and grab it themselves.

For our review, we ordered the Diablo Shrimp Tacos, Real Cheesy Quesadilla and Trash Can Nachos.

The most striking thing about the Diablo Shrimp Tacos is their size. For $10, customers receive three small tacos that seem more like a snack than a full entrée. Served on a corn tortilla with avocado, pico de gallo and chipotle-aioli on top of shrimp, the tacos were less than enjoyable. While the shrimp itself was okay, the other toppings combined to form an unpleasant taste, which wasn’t helped by its semi-cold temperature.  

We did, however, enjoy the Real Cheesy Quesadilla and Trash Can Nachos.

Although the temperature of the food was still an issue, both dishes were flavorful and pulled off their unique combination of ingredients. Served in an upside-down cup (trash can) with toppings ranging from borracho beans to bourbon brown sugar BBQ sauce, the nachos were the best example of Dive and Taco Joint putting a tasty twist on Tex-Mex.

Despite our less than stellar experience, we realize much of the disorganization and issues with food temperature could be the result of opening day woes. While many of the online reviews for Dive and Taco Joint have been negative, management has quickly answered dissatisfied customers and assured them the restaurant will work these kinks out. Whether or not this is true remains to be seen.

Rating: 2.5/5 stars



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