UPDATE: Willow is now closed.
About a year and a half ago, I went to Willow in Fells Point with some friends and we were disappointed to say the least. The restaurant was completely empty and it’s more of a lounge (full bar with plenty of great options) than a Mexican restaurant. After our underwhelming meal, I had no plans on ever returning. However, recently I stumbled upon this restaurant review of Willow and I decided to give it another shot even though I love Papi’s and it’s right around the corner.
When my friend and I arrived at 6pm on a Wednesday, Willow was empty. We were the only two patrons in the restaurant and I was having flashbacks from our first visit. I was still determined to try Willow again. Because we were the only diners, our waiter hovered over us a little bit but I don’t blame him for trying to be attentive. My friend and I decided to start with an order of the Fingerling Papas Bravas. They were crispy fingerling potatoes served with mustard seed aioli, chipotle aioli and parmesan aioli. My favorite of the dips was the mustard seed aioli, but we also asked for a thing of ketchup which was also delicious. It was homemade and had some nice spices in it.
As I mentioned, it was 6pm, which meant it was still happy hour. At Willow during happy hour there are half priced tacos. We were at a Mexican restaurant, what better thing to order than tacos? Plus they were super cheap. My friend and I decided to each place an order for tacos and share. One set of tacos we decided on was the BBQ Chicken. These tacos were beautifully presented with tender chicken marinated in house made mango bbq sauce served with fresh tomato salsa, house cheese blend, shredded lettuce fire roasted corn and creme fraiche with a jalapeño. These tacos were very good but I wish they had less of a smoky bbq taste and more of a fruity mango taste that would mix better with the salsa.
The other tacos we decided to share were the Hanger Steak Tacos. These tacos were marinated hanger steak grilled on an open flame topped with house cheese blend, cucumber slaw and roasted red pepper. We ordered the cucumber slaw on the side because my friend didn’t think that she would like it. It ended up being delicious. These tacos had less filling than the chicken ones making the tortilla a little overpowering, but I preferred the flavor in these more.
By the time we finished our meal, Willow had picked up a little bit and there were some other patrons in the restaurant.
Is Willow my favorite Mexican restaurant? No, it’s not even my favorite Mexican spot in Fells Point. But it has improved significantly over the year and a half since I last visited. I would also consider this more of a Mexican fusion restaurant based on some of the funky taco fillings they offered. If I was in the area and there was a long wait time at one of my other favorite restaurants, I wouldn’t hesitate to go back to Willow (it’s also significantly better than Blue Agave). Because we went during happy hour, the bill totaled to under $20 making it a great deal!
Know of any other Mexican restaurants in Baltimore I need to try? Let me know in the comments below!
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Looking for a place to eat? Check out Rachel’s Baltimore Restaurant List.