In honor of the popular American holiday, Cinco de Mayo, I’d like to highlight Mexican restaurants in the Austin area that I’ve eaten at that suck. (disclaimer: I’m not Mexican) Granted, a lot of the restaurants here are “Tex-Mex” but I’m not judging on Mexican authenticity here, I’m just judging on whether it sucks or not. There’s a couple common traits among terrible Mexican restaurants which stick out to me:
- Overpriced – Nothing else raises the flag more than expensive Mexican food. If you’re putting ingredients that cause you to charge an arm and a leg, it’s probably not gonna taste like it’s worth what you paid because it’s Mexican food.
- Weak-ass salsa – If the restaurant you are eating at serves some salsa that you can feed to a two month old baby, the rest of your order that you’re waiting on is probably going to be terrible.
- Are there other Mexican people eating there? – If the answer is no, it’s probably no good. This goes for any ethnic food. If their own people won’t even eat there, it probably sucks.
- Do you have to pay for your chips and salsa? – If yes, leave.
Ok onto my list of Mexican Restaurants that suck in the Austin area. You could’ve probably guessed some of the options on this list
- Abuelo’s (in the barton creek mall parking lot) – We went here a while ago for lunch one time and I just remember it was overpriced and snooty. I told myself I wouldn’t come back again.
- Hula Hut – This place should’ve burned down last 4th of July when it caught fire. Consistent 45 minute wait for mediocre food. This place really fits down the same line as Chuy’s since I’m pretty sure they’re owned by the same people, but I wanna say this place is more expensive cuz of the fact that it’s on Lake Austin. It’s like Chuy’s but add shrimp and a dollar sign. We saw one table of Mexican guys and they stuck out like a sore thumb.
- Serrano’s – Again, overpriced, not that great. Terrible service on our one visit there.
- The Oasis – Probably the greatest offender of crappy food, but great views of Lake Travis. The food is really crappy. I remember paying 8 bucks for a weak margarita served to me in a dixie cup while we waited. We’ve only been once, but I’m sure we’ll be back for the view.
- Iguana Grill – Also has decent views of Lake Travis, but I’ve had terrible food on every visit. This was actually the very first restaurant we’d eaten at here in Austin when I was a junior in high school. My sister had a fly in her enchiladas. Lovely.
- Matt’s “Famous” El Rancho – This one I struggle with because the salsa is actually pretty good. The food is decent and generous and they serve you an egg on your enchiladas (reminds me of New Mexico), but it breaks my overpriced rule. There’s always a wait as well. Service is hit or miss.
So that’s my run down… I’m in no way a “foodie blogger”, but these are just places that I complain about if we have to eat there. All the places I’ve listed will probably be packed today, so you won’t find me at any of them.