Saturday, April 20, 2013


Mexican restaurants around here are kind of like churches. You learn what to expect and categorize them once you've been to a few. There are the restaurants with the hot sauce on the tables and the ones without. You have your restaurants with the white sauce in addition to the salsa. The salsa itself is really a good indicator of how your experience will progress.

Then you have your margaritas.

La Carreta likes to tell you how far superior their margaritas are to Mi Patron. This may be the case but if it weren't for the location being so tremendously convenient, I'd choose Mi Patron any day because of the superiority of the food. Their salsa is full of chunks of onion and cilantro. La Carreta's salsa is essentially ketchup with some spice. Plus you have the feeling there's extra tequila because they're trying to get you drunk and possibly abscond with you after work for a very lascivious siesta time.

Ernesto's is located in the old Swenson's part of the Plaza for those of you who have been long term natives. A few of you may remember going there after Sunday night church service. I distinctly recall three ice cream parlors in Lynchburg that harbor memories from childhood or High School: High's Ice Cream, Swenson's, and Billy Joes. None of them are around any longer. Swenson's reminds me of my cousin and church. He must have liked going there and I believe we did go after church. High's Ice Cream reminds me of my Grandfather since he took me there often (it was only a few blocks from the church he pastored) and I always ordered rainbow sherbert.We went to Billy Joe's often during High School and I have way too many stories to share most of which involve various best friends.

But let's stick to the new Mexican Restaurant.

The salsa was not good. There are a few reasons this may be the case. One, it's homemade and someone put in the wrong amount of pepper, because, you see, all you could taste was pepper. The second option could be they reuse their salsa and someone dumped a load of pepper into it. Let's just assume that's not the case. Third, they could just really prefer salsa that tastes like pepper. If there are other options, feel free to insert them.

The margarita, which was definitely not strong at all, came in a martini glass. If you have OCD this is the point where you would have needed to make an exit. I feel that all my liqueurs, drinks, wines, and beers, need to be in the appropriate glass, plus I like a lot of salt, but I decided it wasn't that big of a deal.

The establishment was clean, however, and I liked the color of the walls. It felt like more of a tropical Mexico with Mayan artwork and pineapple selections on the menu.

I also prefer Mexican restaurants that offer more than just the Speedy Gonzales (I find this dish's name offensive on many levels, perhaps the king of which is a menu item named after a rodent). When I see plantains, pineapple, and other more creative selections on the menu, I feel that they're trying to branch out and be their own unique class of Mexican (which doesn't work around here of course since this town often prefers the sheep mentality which results in dining with the herd--I could expound on this but you either know what I mean and you're offended or you're laughing). I ordered the quesadilla Texacana and Erik ordered the fish tacos (which I wanted but he ordered so, you know).

My thing was huge and as far as I know it was decent but I was so full of chips that I could barely eat it. The fish tacos I really liked. They arrived with a side of lime and chili sauce plus they were prepared with cilantro. Yum!

Ernesto's has a buffet Monday-Friday and on Sundays that sounded affordable, diverse, and healthy (fruit for desert, salad, etc).

I would be interested in trying other menu items when I'm very interested in having Mexican food that is more than just your taco and enchilada.