Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Don Pablo’s – Eden Prairie, MN

I went here once before when I started my new job. It was decent Mexican food. So when Gerd had the day off of work and I didn’t, we decided to go there since it was pretty fast for a lunch place. This proved to be not the best choice ever. Plus this place is a challenge to get to - you can drive past it multiple times, but never find the entrance.

Again, the food was palatable, but truly, not the best effort at Mexican food – but par for the course for the Minneapolis area. After the waitress called me a girl (See, I told you this happens all the time), we ordered one of the lunch specials, which includes a drink, a salad or soup, and a smaller entrée.

To be honest, the chips are pretty good at Don Pablo’s. Not stellar, but they were one of the highlights. The salsa is pretty standard, but better than a lot of places in Minneapolis, so I won’t complain about it. The salad was pretty good according to Gerd, so go Don P. for that. And I honestly liked the Tortilla Soup. It was waaay better than most tortilla soup I’ve had before. Again, not the best, but I’d get it again, for sure.

Gerd got two beef enchiladas with a chili sauce. They were pretty plain and non-special. The rice on the plate was the most gringo-infused rice ever. But apparently, that’s how the Twin Cities does it as we’ve seen it a lot in this area. It’s super basic and not even Kansas-ian, let alone close to the border. I got one of the beef enchiladas and one chicken one. The chicken ones were better than the beef ones, but that was all pretty relative.

This is a place I’d take someone who hates Mexican food. Finicky eaters could eat here since these foods are whiter than your mom used to make on Thursday nights when you were a kid. This place won’t ever be my favorite Mexican food, but I’ll eat here if someone asks me to. I wonder if I should maybe get the nachos next time or try a couple of margaritas before eating.

Top 5 things about Don Pablo’s
1. Tortilla Soup
2. Chips
3. Decent lunch menu combo meal deal for cheap
4. Able to get in and out of there on a lunch hour
5. The décor is actually kind of cool for a gringo meskin restaurant

Bottom 5 things
1. Plain flavored enchiladas
2. Plain salsa
3. Plain rice was rubbery
4. Only have enchiladas on the lunch menu (mostly)
5. TWO waitresses called me a girl

www.donpablos.com

1 comment:

Maria J said...

I'm idly poking around for info on the mysterious closing a year or two ago of the Don Pablo's in Minnetonka. The manager at the (closing) World Market across the vast parking lot told me he'd seen a bunch of cop cars pull up there one night, lights a-flashing, and the next day they were closed. "Maybe they were 'dealing' out of there," he mused. I've been wondering about it, as it always seemed full-- and it turns out lots of them have closed with no explanation in other places (they're franchised across the midwest & southeast, mainly), following a declaration of bankruptcy (Ch 11).

Meanwhile, my thoughts about the place echoed yours-- good chips, decent (and fresh) salsa. A vegetarian could do OK there, and that's something I'm always on the lookout for, especially in restaurant wastelands like Eden Prairie (although that's improving). My biggest gripe, though, and the thing that cured me of going there, was the housefly graveyard on the windowsill by our table, which led to me looking a little closer at the rest of the place, and deciding it was a bit too grimy for even a lousy housekeeper like myself. ;-)

That, and the huge, day-glo ads they used to slap up on their windows. Eew.