.....and we are OFICIALLY open at Black Bear Evansdale!!!
— Black Bear Burrito (@BlackBearMotown) July 16, 2012
When we walked in, I was almost overwhelmed by the amount of space. Not only was it gigantic, but it was kind of sparse, which only added to that effect. The downtown location is, well, cluttered. This one is more streamlined and neat. That may also be because they haven't accumulated memorabilia yet.
There are menus up front and large paw prints that you can follow to the register to order. It guides you over to the orange wall. I already knew what I wanted: Fish Tacos. Black Bear has changed their menu slightly - I think they offer one or two less burritos than they had before. That's not to say you couldn't make it yourself; it's just not pre-suggested for you tied up in a cutesy name. But fish tacos are now a regular on the Black Bear Burrito. It used to only be a special (if you don't like Black Bear's Facebook page to see the specials, you aren't living), but I assume, after much positive feedback, it's now a regular. What better way to celebrate than to order it?
For $8.75, you get "two soft taco tortillas filled with Monterey Jack cheese, a crunchy cabbage blend, fresh roma tomatoes, and a generous portion of seasoned Tilapia. We add an awesome 'Best Coast' dill sauce...we serve 'em flat. You fold and eat!"
It's the same order-at-the-counter, get a toy, fill-your-drink-up-at-the-fountain, find a table and have the server come find you. Is it sad that I was excited to see a new crop of toys? For the record, we had a toy bus. The fountain machine is really tall, so if you're pretty short, you might actually have trouble reaching it. Our food came out fairly quickly, especially considering it was the first day. While one member of the group had a slight mix-up with her order, the rest of ours were perfect.
I hadn't had the fish tacos before, but I was happy with my decision. They were full of tender pieces of fish, and the dill sauce was a perfect complement. A little crunch with the cabbage added some more substance to this dish. I enjoyed it. I made a mess eating it, but it was worth it. I can see how this would be a big seller. I must say, though, I might have to stick with my Irie Member or Bear Trap or Good Calypso. Love them and can't get 'em anywhere else.
I hope this location does well. It seems like it can serve a different crowd. While we were there, there were lots of children. I don't know if that's any indication of the future, but it may seem more "restaurant" -like, as opposed to the sort of loungey/bar/restaurant the downtown location has going on. It still has local art and even some of the decor is locally produced. But only time will tell what this will morph itself into.