First Taste

Joyride Taco House in Gilbert Starts Out Sputtering

When a new spot opens in town, we can't wait to check it out -- and let you know our initial impressions, share a few photos, and dish about some menu items. First Taste, as the name implies, is not a full-blown review, but instead a peek inside restaurants that have just opened, sampling a few items, and satisfying curiosities (yours and ours).

Restaurant: Joyride Taco House Location: 302 North Gilbert Road, Gilbert Open: About a month Eats: Mexican Price: $11 to $30 per person

Joyride Taco House, like most projects from restaurateurs Craig DeMarco and Lauren Bailey -- think Postino, Windsor and Churn, and Federal Pizza -- does an excellent job of being stylish without coming off trendy, all while making you feel as though you belong there.

Located in downtown Gilbert's Historic Grainbelt Building (along with sister restaurant Postino East), the space, featuring a color-splashed room with garage doors on either side, two patios, and a centrally located bar, would be hard-pressed to be any more inviting. And décor items such as orb-shaped copper lights, graphic-patterned wallpaper, and eclectic artwork put a bit of funk in the Joyride trunk.

But the eats, which put a modern twist on traditional Mexican favorites, could use a bit of a tune-up.