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
This I-Drive Tex-Mex restaurant is certainly an improvement on the counter-serve concept that was here before. Now there is full table service. While the menu seems to be a bit tourist priced, there are some excellent lunch deals.
The best deal of all is the house margarita, which is very well made, generous, and is about half price during the day. Plus, it comes with free queso which was quite tasty.
We enjoyed all the menu items we tried, and the service was pleasant.
A great little dive bar with excellent food and 16 beers on tap.
The place is really small, but there are also some larger tables on the back porch.
The Gnar-BQ Taco was a nice portion of savory shredded pork offset by crisp, tangy slaw.
The Grown Up Grilled Cheese combined cheddar, Swiss and goat cheese with bacon, but the real highlight was thin, crisp apple slices. It was perfectly grilled. I had it as “Mom’s Special”: a half sandwich with a side salad. The blue cheese dressing is VERY chunky.
It’s nice that their tap beers are available in half portions so you can try more. Service was friendly.
I’d been to one of these in Chicago, and they are pretty similar. There’s a bit of a corporate feel to them. We had a large party, so I can’t really comment on the service, because that is always difficult, but the food was all pretty good. There isn’t really a standout appetizer or entree, although the spicy seared tuna tacos that I had were probably the best item. One person complained they were cold, but since they’re almost raw tuna and slaw, it seems appropriate.
Their unique item is the chocolate pinata, a suspended sphere of chocolate that you break open with a bat to scatter fruit and churros into the whipped cream moat below. It was fun for the group to scavenge through the debris and find their favorites.
This is a pretty good Tex Mex chain. The menu is quite extensive, and there should be something to please almost everyone, as long as you’re not looking for authentic Mexican food.
The trick is to order items done on the mesquite grill, as they are very nicely flavored. I had the shrimp tacos (I ordered the fish tacos, but that’s another story). My companion had the chile relleno, and didn’t care for the clumsy breading and flavorless stuffing. But the accompanying brisket enchilada was pretty good.
Our favorite item was actually the queso cheese dip. It’s not something I would normally order, but it was a Yelp freebie, and it was excellent, a large serving, filled with lightly spiced peppers. It went well with the complimentary chips and salsa.
Also included in each meal are unlimited black beans and yellow rice. The rice is nicely seasoned and was much better than typical chain restaurant Mexican rice.
Our server was well trained but not a good listener.
The interior build-out is quite nice. It’s hard to imagine that this space the plaza was once occupied by card stores and sunglasses shops.
Elvis green chili fried chicken (green chili festival)
Valley combo (green chili festival)
**** (4 stars)
This location of Chuy’s is a bit easier to get to than the one in the very crowded stretch of International Drive. The decor is the same funky coolness, but with different themes and pictures.
We went during the annual green chili festival, which offered some different menu items, although they didn’t have the promised complementary fresh green chilis.
The best thing to get at Chuy’s is the appetizer combo, which makes a great and economical meal for two people. Another excellent selection is the taco salad, one of the more healthful (as in “more healthful than extremely bad for you”) items. Get it with the creamy jalapeno dressing. You can also ask for that as a chip dipping sauce, which is delicious.
Speaking of chips, perhaps the very best thing about Chuy’s is the ultra-thin chips served when you sit down. They are always crisp, and despite their thinness they are sturdy enough to support a big scoop of salsa.
Margaritas are also excellent.
Our server here seemed like she was still learning, but she was a bit busy.
This chain’s food is consistent from location to location. This location is a bit larger than some of the others, and has more outdoor seating. The hot sauce bar here has more selections than the one on Kirkman.
If you order the Mexican pizza, ask for the red sauce on the side, as it is rather odd.
Because of its size, it can be quite noisy, especially at lunchtime on Taco Tuesdays.
This is the Chili’s you’re looking for. Assuming you’re looking for a Chili’s. And if you are, then you know why, so I don’t need to tell you. And this one is just like that. Same floor plan, same decor, same menu.
This one has excellent service, too. Perhaps better than you’re expecting.
Of course, the struggle at Chili’s is to have a meal that contains less than an entire day’s allotment of calories. There are limited options in that regard. I like the ancho salmon, which is pretty good. And only about 500 calories. I have to say the broccoli that came with it was perfectly cooked and delicious… dipped in the ranch dressing… that came with the loaded boneless chicken wings. But that’s another story.
Metrowest really needs a sit down Mexican restaurant since the sorely missed Taquitos Jalisco closed several years ago. Habaneros fills the bill adequately, but it will need to overcome the same liabilities that put the last three tenants of this space out of business: namely, location, location, location. The building is invisible from the street, there is almost no signage space, and the parking lot is across the street and behind a fence. (Why the developer put the parking lot on the lake, where it has the best view of the entire development is beyond me.)
Anyhow, the food at Habanero is freshly prepared, looks appealing, and tastes good. The salsa is a bit bland, but the chips are very good.
I had a dinner combo that included an enchilada, relleno and taco. The taco shell was particularly good, a crisp house-made tortilla completely unlike the fast food kind you find most places.
Service was quick and friendly, and the interior of the place (unchanged from previous tenants) is still gorgeous. I wish this small, family-owned chain luck in this terrible but lovely location. Habaneros is definitely worth a visit if you can find it.