Upon arriving to Palomino, tucked in a spot near the Lake on 2491 S Superior St, I was excited to dine at this establishment. I had heard a lot of good things about this place, and John, the other person joining me to eat, (also a MU graduate from back in the day) decided we would try our luck at one of Bay Views' most recognizable venues.
When I sat down, I heard James Brown hits and other old school songs entering my ear stream and the aura of Palomino was a bit retro (wooden tables, retro-like decor on walls) with a modern approach to eats. (I'll dig in soon, trust me.) My friend John brought to my attention the large TV in the back of the restaurant, serving as a great place to watch sports. Lots of liquor sat under a red neon sign that read "Don't Stop Now" was plastered against the glass mirror that sat near the bar, something that I thought was a bit clever but also serves as a moniker for when people are eating, leading me to experience at the plate from the on deck circle.
I could not decide what I wanted to eat, which barely happens to me when I am eating out since I scan menus weeks before going somewhere. I originally was going to get the Veggie Po' boy, a falafel sandwich, but after seeing vegan "not wings" on the menu and vegan pulled pork, I could not help myself and opted to try the latter options. That said, Palomino is known for their fried chicken so for anyone reading this who does eat meat, try that option, as you will not be disappointed. The reviews for this option are stellar and is famous at Palomino! As an aside, Palomino has brunch (how I heard about Palomino initially) on the weekend starting at 10AM with options including vegan biscuits and gravy and special Bloody Mary's to try out.
For my food, I thought that the "pulled pork" that was made with jackfruit and drenched in Carolina BBQ sauce would be better than the vegan "not wings" to be quite honest. However, the jackfruit and Carolina BBQ was too sweet for me, as I would have opted for a sauce that was little less intense. Jackfruit, which is prevalent in South Asia according to our server Alex, is a very sweet fruit that did not make my taste buds too happy. My "pulled pork" option was not bad, but I have made a "pulled pork" with lentils and shredded carrots with Sweet Baby Ray's barbecue, and it has tasted less sweet and more like an original pulled pork. The coleslaw also added a unique element, and although this sandwich did not taste terrible, it just was a bit pungent for me.
John chose Palomino's brisket burger option with mustard spaetzle, pulled chicken and spinach, and he said the burger was delicious even though they did not ask him how he wanted it prepared. (They cook it one way.) He spoke more about his burger, stating "While the Brisket Burger was perfectly done and very juicy, the bun that it was served on did not live up to the waiters effusive praise."
The vegan "not wings" were extremely tasty, and the consistency of the tofu provided me with a similar experience to wings that I ate when I consumed animal products. The sauce they used on these "not wings" was spicy and was coated nicely on these tofu treats. The french fries had an amazing in-house seasoning and had a nice crisp to them as well. Palomino's desserts, ranging from blueberry pie to oatmeal cream sandwich cookies, were soft and chewy and can be found at Palomino's sister store, Honey Pie. Palomino has an extensive drink menu, as you might guess from their restaurant name, and is a place I'd recommend for drinks, as my friend John thoroughly enjoyed his beer.
The service at Palomino Bar was PHENOMENAL, as our waiter answered the fifteen questions my party had about vegan eats and what were some of the more popular vegan options at Palomino. He never got annoyed with us once, made great recommendations and gave us valuable background information about some of the ingredients they use and where they get them from. (Yuppie Hill Farms, Wilson Farm Meats are a few places.) Overall, Palomino's wide variety of eats for both vegans and non-vegans (almost one vegan option for every regular option) makes this spot a go to for anyone looking for unique eats during any time of the day. That's how you raise the bar, Palomino.