Thursday, May 1, 2014
A Chain Restaurant With "NOT BAD" Mexican Food
I usually do not review chain restaurants, but I was pleasantly surprised on a recent visit to On The Border, a Mexican restaurant chain found many places across the country.
I decided to go because I was havin' a hankerin' for tacos that evening and recalled hearing the TV commercial about their "Endless Tacos". I am not usually a fan of "all you can eat" restaurants and promotions because I tend to to just that ... eat all I can...AND MORE!
It was a Saturday night and the place was packed, but only had to wait ten minutes for a table. I was greeted by Kelsie, a lovely and personable young lady who just graduated from Northwest Missouri State and is planning on becoming a registered nurse...BRAVO Kelsie!
I ordered a house margarita, the Guacamole Viva!, and Endless Tacos, but being rather busy it took ten minutes or so to get my margarita. It was tasty enough, but a little "light" on alcohol for the price.
Kelsie arrived shortly thereafter with my Guacamole Viva! which she prepared tableside with two ripe avocados, a little salt, fresh cilantro, diced red onion (I would have used white onion), a splash of lime juice, and chopped tomato. I am "The Guacamole King" and famous for my delicious guacamole. A guacamole purist at heart, I normally ditch the tomatoes (usually a filler in restaurants to make it look like you are getting more, but paying mostly for the much cheaper tomatoes), use finely chopped white onion, and added a clove of garlic or two. Guacamole Viva! was good nonetheless, but the chips (and salsa) that came with my meal were too thin and broke half the time I dipped...very unnerving!
The Endless Tacos come with spanish rice and beans, black or refried. You get three (your first go-around) and get to choose from three meats, ground beef, shredded chicken, or pulled pork (carnitas for you non-gringos). You also get your choice of tortilla, corn or flour, soft or deep fried. I chose two ground beef tacos in fried corn tortillas and one pork in a soft flour tortilla. I also dispensed with the rice, knowing that I was not going to waste a bit of room on the cheap "filler" and go for the gusto with the tacos ... AND I DID!
The beef tacos were excellent, coming with plenty of meat, some shredded cheddar cheese, and a small amount of lettuce and tomato on the plate (for all three tacos - more tomatoes required!). I added some refried beans, guacamole, and salsa to the beef tacos and they were excellent! Unlike Jalisco, which I reviewed a week or so back, the taco shells remained firmly in one piece, a sign of an expert taco maker and the way I prefer them.
The pork (carnitas) tacos were also very good. The meat was bountiful and cooked just right, there was a little cheese (I would have liked a bit more), and the tortilla much larger than the corn and toasted just enough to remain pliable, but soft enough to contain the beans, guacamole, and salsa I added.
In all, the meal was very good and I ended-up getting seven tacos. You should know that after the initial "three" tacos, subsequent "endless tacos" come only in pairs of two, so my second order was a replica of the first, but I only ended-up getting two beef tacos. I had to order the other pork taco later, but when it arrived there were two, so I took home the seventh taco along with the extra guacamole fro lunch the next day.
I must say that the highlight of my meal was Kelsie. She was sweet and attentive, following up just enough and not too much to make my meal enjoyable and stress free. Best of luck to you Kelsie in your nursing career! If you are as good a nurse as you are a server, your patients will be in very good hands!
CombatCritic gives On The Border 6 BOMBS OUT OF 10 ... BOMBS ARE GOOD!
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