I was in Shreveport on business, staying near the airport and wanted a place to eat that was very close to our hotel, the Best Western at Monkhouse and I-20.
I arrived to an empty restaurant, two employees, both aparently Mexican, watching TV. I mention their aparent nationality as my experience has been that if Mexicans are not running the Mexican restaurant, the odds of acceptable food are pretty low. I went to a Mexican place in ToIedo once that was run by a friendly African American couple, nice people, nice place, hideous food. Growing up with what you’re preparing is amazingly helpful.
I was seated and given a menu. Almost immediately I was provided chips and salsa. Maybe salsa isn’t the correct term, tomato something, but not salsa as it would have been perfectly safe for a person that had been advised to avoid hot or spicy food, not even the faintest hint of heat here. I got the attention of one of the people and asked, “Where’s the salsa you eat?” Yes I wanted te real stuff which arrived momentarily. Rather than the bland red tomato stuff, I was brought some much nicer tomatillo based salsa with some respectable heat. I despise salsa that’s hot but otherwise flavorless, this was not the case.
I hoped to see some combo with a shredded beef taco, chili rellano and maybe an enchilada, no such luck. I ordered the #6 combo over the chili rellano (my personal favorite) as I didn’t want to be disappointed. It was funny because when I arrived, they asked what I wanted to watch on the TV, suggested the baseball playoffs which I agreed sounded good, then they sat there flipping through channels, stopping briefly here and there. I saw parts of two different football (soccer) games, a bit of news and a few minutes of some telenovella.
Dinner arrived, hot plate. Several minutes after I arrived two Mexican gentlemen arrived, there was some friendly chit chat, they were asked what they wanted to watch and guess what was turned on, I laughed a bit My food, I was relieved that the taco did not contain any sliced American cheese, I’ve been given that before, seriously. My combo also included a cheese enchilada and a rolled beef taco along with rice and beans. The taco was strange, almost like it was a combination of finely shredded beef and hamburger and had a slightly sweet flavor? Cheese, tomatoes and lettuce were on it. Maybe it tasted strange because I grew up on Sonoran food, but I found the meat consistency really odd.
The cheese enchilada, unless you put some bizarre sauce on it, is pretty bulletproof and theirs was good. The rolled taco or whatever they called it was a flour tortilla with chunks of beef. It was fine but would have been better on a corn tortilla with some white onion and cilantro.
Rice and beans, I find it unforgivable when a Mexican restaurant can’t make good rice or beans and unfortunately, these were about the blandest beans and rice I have ever experienced. Beans must have been straight out of a can, no cheese, spice, milk, nothing! The rice had virtually no flavor, even rice! It was slightly red and probably had a a dash of the red salsa they originally offered. I intentionally cleared my palate and tasted the rice alone, no flavor to speak of at all.
Now as I said, I grew up eating Sonoran style Mexican. My wife is Mexican and cooks Sonoran so maybe I have unrealistic expectations, but this said, I do find a lot of Mexican restaurants in my travels that I really enjoy. I come home and try to describe to my wife anything interesting I had in the hopes that we can figure out how to duplicate it.
This is by no means the worst Mexican I have had, far from it! If you are a casual enjoyer of Mexican and need to avoid serious heat, try it, you may enjoy it more than I did, just remember to ask them for the green sauce.