Acadiana Business

Jap for Dat

by Heather Miller

Acme Tacos, Lafayette's newest Mexican eatery on North University, adds a funky menu, cozy atmosphere and the right spice - jalepeno - to the Hub City's Mexican dining scene.

Q: What do you get when you add pineapple and fresh jalepenos to tequila, ice and a blender?
A: A slightly confused - and very satisfied - set of taste buds.

Acme Taco at 1605 North University Ave. (tucked away in a hotel parking lot nearing the I-10_overpass) opened this week as Lafayette's newest Mexican eatery. Co-owner Chip Rooney, a recent Dallas transplant, says the concept was borne out of his visits to Lafayette's Mexican dining scene, where he saw the need for "something different."

"I find that most of the [Mexican] restaurants here pretty much have the same menu," he says. "I want this to not be like all the others."

Self-described in its logo as "not your typical Mexican," Acme Taco is introducing a fun twist to the traditional Mexican options in town, and it starts with the most crucial indicator of your Mexican experience: Salsa.

The restaurant boasts six homemade specialty salsas for patrons to sample. At $1 a pop, you can have your pineapple salsa and eat your zucchini crema salsa, too. Other flavors include ancho chile (chipotle-based and spicy), red brick (kettle cooked), warm verde (roasted garlic and jalepenos added to the green glaze) and salsa ranch.

Upon sitting at the bar, you're greeted with a friendly smile and a signature margarita list that's six recipes strong and covers a wide spectrum of margarita essentials - including jalepenos.

Jalepenos, you'll find, are an underlying theme at Acme Taco, and a touch of the peppers can be found in almost every section of the menu. Desserts (Japple Cobbler) and margaritas (J.A.P.) are no exception.

Whether you're getting "bricked" for happy hour or squeezing into the larger and more secluded seating available for bigger parties, the cozy dining room and offbeat decor reflect largely on Rooney's goal of a mod-Mexican theme where taste trumps presentation, fresh ingredients are comfortably priced - and the unique offering of Mexican side dishes is deserving of its own blog.

Acme Taco is open from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. Tuesday through Thursday, 11 a.m. to midnight on Fridays and Saturdays and from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. for lunch on Sundays.

View the full menu on the company's website or "like" Acme on Facebook for more information.