Whether you’re new to an area or just visiting from out of town, when you want great Tex Mex food you’re at a bit of a disadvantage because you don’t know whether a restaurant is good or not. It may say it’s great in its advertising, but how can you know if it what it says is true?
We’ve put together a short list of tips to help you find a really good Tex Mex restaurant, wherever you may be.
- Look for local residents eating there.
Of course, you can’t just look at someone and know he or she is a local, but if you see cars in the parking lot with local license plates, decals with names of local high schools, sports teams, etc., that’s a good indication that the locals like to eat at the restaurant. People wearing local t-shirts (also touting a high school, local attraction, saying, etc.) also is a good sign you’re in a good restaurant.
- Do people who appear to be of Mexican descent eat there?
A Tex Mex restaurant catering to tourists doesn’t have to be a great restaurant. But people who appear to be of Mexican descent eating there often is a good sign that the Tex Mex/Mexican food is good.
- It’s lunch or dinner time and the parking lot looks empty.
If the Tex Mex restaurant is in an area near lots of businesses and there are few people eating there – or you notice there are more people eating in a place nearby (especially if it’s another Tex Mex restaurant), is a good sign the food’s not that great. The same goes for dinner time on Thursday, Friday and Saturday: these are the main “Let’s go out tonight!” evenings, but if no one’s eating there, you may want to stay away.
- Does your wait person appear to be “excited” about the food?
No waiter or server needs to be bouncing for joy for serving you the restaurant’s food, but does the server appear to light up somewhat when discussing the night’s special? Ask for which dish he or she would recommend and then be sure to ask if the waiter has actually eaten it before. Simply asking for a recommendation should tell you a lot because if a waiter has actually eaten the dish, his attitude about it will tell you tons about its quality.
- The restaurant serves only one type of salsa, and it’s bland.
Many people don’t like really hot salsa; but many people do and good Tex Mex restaurants know this. If your restaurant serves only one type – and especially if it’s very bland – you may not be in a great Tex Mex restaurant. If the salsa’s too tame for you, always ask the waiter if he or she can bring you a hotter variety. If there’s nothing hotter available, you may want to skip this restaurant next time.
The next time you’re near one of our five Mattito’s locations in and around Dallas, we hope you’ll stop by for some terrific Tex Mex cuisine. See you soon!
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