We’ve only been to Mextopia once and I left with mixed feelings about it. The dining room is great. Nicely decorated and more modern than most Mexican food places. The drinks were good. But, the food…
It wasn’t bad. I usually like to try a chile relleno when I go to a new Mexican food restaurant. This one was a little odd because the pepper wasn’t fried. It tasted pretty good. But, it was basically just a poblano with a handful of cheese in it that went into the microwave. Well, it looked like he was sticking it in the microwave.
The microwave was right there beside the window to the kitchen. Right up front. Why? I really don’t want to think of going out to eat just to have something that was nuked. I’m sure restaurants use them all the time. But, I don’t want to actually see the thing.
Another thing that kind of bothered me was the fact that the salad was in the middle of the plate surrounded by beans and relleno sauce. And the beans were basically flavorless. A little better with hot sauce all over them. The website said the 2nd entree would be half price all day on Mondays. That didn’t happen when we got the check. It also said happy hour was 3-7. When we got there, it was only happy hour at the bar. I thought that was a little strange. They did have $5 margaritas that they served at the table. They were actually very good. So was my Dreamcicle shot.
I wanted to like it more. Hubbard said his combination plate was fine. I guess I’ll have to give it another try later.
After seeing the Dallas Morning News Best Tex-Mex article in the Guide, Hubbard realized there was only one restaurant on the list in Dallas that he had not visited. Our lunch choice was clear. Desperados has been in the same spot on Greenville Avenue for over 30 years. We have lived within a 15 minute drive of Desperados for the last 20 years. Don’t ask me why we never ate there. Maybe it’s the hokey name. Let’s just say we were remiss for skipping it.
They have a cute little patio with a shaded area and a view of the parking lot. We sat inside. As you walk in the door, on the right, there’s a narrow room with three booths. We called it the “grown-up” room. The ceiling is high in this area and it’s nicely decorated. Doesn’t really lend itself to highchairs. Perfect for us. In general, the restaurant is very kid friendly.
We were barely seated before the chips and salsa arrived. Always a good sign. We started with a couple of “La Margaritas”. I’ve never had a margarita in a parfait glass before. But, it sure beat a rootbeer float. Hubbard mentioned that the color of the drink was a good indication that it actually contained some tequila. Very tasty. In fact, it’s one of those margaritas that you shouldn’t drink if you’re particularly thirsty or it will be gone in a heartbeat. We munched on some Queso Bandito while we waited for our meal. The queso itself was a little bland, almost needing salt. Thankfully, the taco meat and pico de gallo on top made it into something interesting. I don’t think I’d order the queso without the “Bandito”.
I chose the chile relleno. I’ve done this for years. The first time I visit a Mexican restaurant I’m very likely to try the relleno. I never order beef because it’s almost always ground beef. Desperados only offers a beef relleno. Theirs is shredded beef. Big difference. The relleno consist of the shredded brisket, raisins and toasted almond slivers, topped with ranchero sauce and melted jack cheese. Very good.
Hub had their signature Desperado Tacos. The menu claims this is the most ordered dish on the menu since 1976. They fry flour tortillas into taco shells and stuff them with, in this case, beef fajita meat, pico and a slice of avocado on top of the filling. Hubbard loved them. He said, “If this is what you were craving, Desperados would be the only place to come”. The unusual fried flour tortilla taco shell held together perfectly, unlike a lot of corn tortilla shells. The meat was tender and flavorful.
Desperados also serves breakfast on the weekend from 11:00 to 3:00. I bet we’ll be going back for that soon. Overall, I really enjoyed the atmosphere and the food. The service was efficient and friendly. Funny how a little gem can be right there in front of you for twenty years before you go and check it out. Thanks for the heads up, DMNews!