KAVAS Tacos + Tequila

2 Stars

Mediocre is the word that kept springing to mind throughout this meal. I really wanted to like this place, but I just couldn’t. From the moment you look at the menu and see that they charge for chips, and that tacos come on flour tortillas, you know you are in a tourist restaurant, not a Mexican restaurant. And with drink prices ranging up to $32 a drink, the pricing verifies that. But let’s give all that a pass.

The house Margarita, which is a mere $10, is one of the best house Margaritas I’ve had anywhere. If only everything else were as good.

The antojitos platter includes okay taquitos, a very, very thin queso dip, and weird beef empanadas. The empanadas were edible, but had clearly been prepared in advanced and then spent only seconds in a deep frier. As a result they were pale white, and the insides were still at refrigerator temperature. Surely this was a mistake?

The Chill Platter was a combination of a fairly tasty shrimp cocktail, an oddly spiced white fish ceviche that was okay, and a tuna tartare that seemed iffy.

Service was largely missing, even though we were there at lunch on a slow Saturday. Let’s just say the glass of chardonnay ordered before the meal was delivered as dessert.

Better options are available.

https://www.yelp.com/biz/kavas-tacos-tequila-orlando

Old Town Mexican Grill

Exterior
Exterior
Interior
Interior
Nachos
Nachos
Taco and enchilada combo
Taco and enchilada combo
Taco salad
Taco salad

**** (4 stars)

One of the measures of a good Mexican restaurant is the quality of the refried beans and rice, and they do very well on both counts. A other measure is whether the nachos are made with melted cheese, and sadly this is just liquid queso.

Still, this is overall decent food, and convenient to the highway.

Old Town Mexican Grill
116 Commercial Pkwy
Canton, MS 39046

https://www.yelp.com/biz/old-town-mexican-grill-canton

Taco Bell

Rancid chip fragments
Rancid chip fragments

* (1 stars)

I like Taco Bell. This is the only Taco Bell near us. Unfortunately, this is the worst Taco Bell on the planet.

I think it's really unfair when people have a bad experience at a restaurant one time and leave a one-star review. But when you have a bad experience at a restaurant literally dozens of times, it means… well, it means you like Taco Bell, it's the only Taco Bell near you, and it is the worst Taco Bell on the planet.

Of course there are the expected staffing issues when you don't pay a decent wage, and the resulting not being open when you say you are. I can give them a pass on that.

But how can the tortilla chips be rancid 20% of the time? Do they have a special process for aging them to imperfection?

How can they be out of major ingredients like onions, or lettuce, or–get this–taco shells?

Oh, and here's a helpful note: if you want Diet Mountain Dew, be sure to order MTN DEW┬« Baja Blast™ Zero Sugar, because they've been out of the latter for years and never updated the menu.

Taco Bell
7970 Winter Garden Vineland Rd
Windermere, FL 34786

https://www.yelp.com/biz/taco-bell-windermere-2

Garibaldi Mexican Cusine

Interior
Interior
Fiesta Sampler
Fiesta Sampler

**** (4 stars)

I've been to Garibaldi before, but this is the first time I've been to this location. I actually like it better than the original.

The menu is very extensive, with all the standard American Tex-Mex offerings. The fiesta sampler offers a pretty good selection of most of the menu, it is a very generous serving, more than enough lunch for two people.

This is one of the most extensive margarita lists in town. The house margarita is by far the best deal, and is an ample serving of a well mixed margarita.

Garibaldi Mexican Cusine
848 Sand Lake Rd
Orlando, FL 32809

https://www.yelp.com/biz/garibaldi-mexican-cusine-orlando

The Mexican Camel

Menu
Menu
Prep
Prep
Interior
Interior
#5 Nacho Tinga Fusion
#5 Nacho Tinga Fusion
Exterior
Exterior

***** (5 stars)

The easiest way to describe The Mexican Camel is as an upscale Chipotle that also incorporates Middle Eastern options to create fusion dishes.

Our party of four had very different items, which illustrate the diversity available here. One person opted for a vegetarian, mostly Mexican bowl. Another had lamb in his. And a third had spicy shrimp on a salad. I, on the other hand, went far afield, and had nacho chips topped with Chicken Tinga.

Everyone really enjoyed their selections, so there were no wrong choices!

One thing that really stood out to me was the friendliness of the two servers working behind the counter. This was definitely not a robotic Chipotle performance, they were really into it. Service was also very fast.

We all thought the bowls were a bit pricey, but I guess that's true of everything these days, and everyone agreed we'll be back soon, so that's what really matters.

The Mexican Camel
5752 International Dr
Orlando, FL 32819

https://www.yelp.com/biz/the-mexican-camel-orlando

The Pantry Rio

Patio
Patio
Interior
Interior
Exterior
Exterior
Breakfast Burrito
Breakfast Burrito
Breakfast Sandwich
Breakfast Sandwich

***** (5 stars)

This is a nice place right near the center of old Santa Fe, with quite a bit of patio seating, most of it well shaded by umbrellas.

We had the breakfast sandwich and the breakfast burrito. Both were good, and fairly similar, except that the sandwich was grilled and the burrito was covered in green chili sauce (which is optional, but was very good).

Service was friendly.

The Pantry Rio
229 Galisteo St
Santa Fe, NM 87501

https://www.yelp.com/biz/the-pantry-rio-santa-fe

Elote Cafe

Exterior
Exterior
Interior
Interior
Bar
Bar
Exterior
Exterior
Elotes
Elotes
Buffalo Mole Poblano
Buffalo Mole Poblano
Carnitas
Carnitas

**** (4 stars)

This trendy place offers a new take on traditional Mexican dishes such as Carnitas and Mole. For example, The Mole Poblano features Buffalo. The sauce is quite flavorful, but the accompanying rice and refried beans would not pass muster at the most pedestrian of Mexican restaurants.

Given that the dish is the restaurant's namesake, the Elotes are a particularly good appetizer. They are served in the increasingly popular deconstructed style (essentially really good creamed corn), which makes them much easier to eat.

There are a wide variety of made-to-order Margaritas.

Service at the bar was extremely friendly and attentive.

It's expensive but, hey, this is Sedona.

Elote Cafe
350 Jordan Rd
Sedona, AZ 86336

https://www.yelp.com/biz/elote-cafe-sedona-4