Bonfire-A Smokin’ (Good) Taqueria

The Conway restaurant scene has a newbie and boy, what a surprise! Bonfire-A Smokin’ Taqueria has now been open a few months and I wish I had gotten there sooner. Great food, nice ambiance and a scenic location-what’s not to love?

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Envisioned by the same folks as Rivertown Bistro, Bonfire definitely fills a void in the Conway restaurant scene. Bonfire is a Southern take on a taqueria, using smoked meats aplenty and fresh Mexican flavors. After having fell into a deep food depression, I tip my hat to Bonfire and Charleston Flats for shakin’ me up enough to get back blogging.

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Not wanting anything too heavy for lunch, yet not wanting to NOT order an appetizer, we ordered the jar of picked vegetables to start. We got a mini (emphasis on mini!!!) Mason-type jar filled with pickled onion, cauliflower, and carrots. These veggies were still super crunchy and redolent with vinegar and dill. I definitely enjoyed this tasty and healthy way to perk up my taste buds, but the price point was way too high! It set us back 3 dollars for a really tiny portion. (This seems like an anomaly; everything else we ordered was reasonably priced!)

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The decision making process was rough y’all, let me tell you that. I was undecided between getting a platter of ribs, a BLT or the tacos. The final decision was made and I ended up with three fully loaded tacos! An ‘Al Pastor,’ ‘Street Corn,’ and ‘Down South’ were the winners, though choosing from their 10 tacos wasn’t easy. The ‘Al Pastor’ (pulled pork, pineapple salsa, lettuce, cotija, cilantro) was definitely my least favorite, but it was by no means lacking in anything. The ‘Street Corn’ was amaaaaazing! The roasted corn was the star on top of pulled chicken and the lime crema added a fresh pop of flavor. Seriously good, though next time I am thinking about ordering one without the chicken-just corn! Then came the S.C.-Mexico fusion ‘Down South’ taco. This baby had pulled chicken, slaw, house smoked bacon and crispy, crunchy pork rinds crumbled on top. The mixture of textures was nothing short of heavenly!

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My mom ordered the taco salad and was that thing HUGE! Shredded iceberg, pulled chicken, guac, smokey beans, tomatoes, cucumbers and sour cream were piled high into a fried tortilla bowl. Topped with their homemade BBQ ranch dressing, Bonfire does the tastiest, best taco salad on the Grand Strand.

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Anyone who knows me well enough knows I am a condiment freak, so I had to try out all of their homemade sauces. Yes, I loaded up my knife and tasted all four of their BBQ sauces showing absolutely no shame in my game. Traditional, mustard-based, vinegar-based and spicy-oh my! To be honest, my favorite was the traditional style sauce though all would be more than welcome in my fridge. They even make their own Jalapeño hot sauce! It literally has the perfect amount of spice so that you can still taste the smokey flavor of the jalopies, while getting a burst of heat.

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So, even though I was more than satisfied by what we had already eaten…The allure of banana pudding was too strong for me to resist. (Hey, I have been living in the South for over 6 months and have yet to try it!) Nothing fancy here, just fresh banana pudding and some crushed up Nilla Wafers. Nothing fancy, but it sure was good! There were chunks of nanners in the pudding and the wafers were still crunchy, not a soggy mess. Would I go back just for this? Yes. Would I swim in a pool of it? Break out the swimmies.

Other than the pickled veg, I think that the prices were quite reasonable. Tacos cost right around the 4 dollar mark, sandwiches and salads about 10 and plates range anywhere from 10 to 23. Our pudding was 5 dollars. Everything we had was fresh, well prepared, and just really good.

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Even the location was top-notch! I can definitely see this becoming a local favorite. Perched right on the banks of the Waccamaw, you get dinner and a great view! The outside porch is an ideal place to sip on a cold one and listen to some live music. The inside has a rustic, industrial-y, hipster vibe. (What? Does that even make sense? Trust me, it’s a good mix!) The walls are decorated with kooky illustrations and knick-knacks. There is no better (or truer) way to end this post than this:

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