Saturday, January 07, 2006

Hacienda Restaurant

I met with a group of folks this evening at The Hacienda, a restaurant that's been open on Manchester road probably since the seventies.

I honestly was not that excited to meet there because I did not like the food the last time I ate there. Admittedly, it was probably ten years ago so I guess it was time to give it another try.

The company was was great meeting some new folks. The food that I had was OK.
I guess having spent time in Tucson, AZ recently, I was not prepared for the relative blandness of some of the "Mexican" food here in my town. The chips and salsa were brought out and I almost thought I was dipping into tomato sauce. I guess that some like it hot and I am one of those who do.

I got off very inexpensively, I'm happy to report, because I did not choose an entree but went with sides. I ordered some plain corn tortillas, roasted corn with herbs and spices and pico de gallo, the raw relish that is ubiquitous in Mexican restaurants. I actually enjoyed the corn tortillas with my sides but I could not say it was really the kind of Mexican I like. No one at the table was moaning with delight so what the heck does that say? If the food is really good, you'll hear moans.

What I can say is that the service was good despite the enormous crowd. This restaurant has consistently large crowds with parking spots being almost impossible to find on summer nights. As I drive by some evenings I think that a traffic cop would be helpful.

A friend of mine ate there a couple of weeks ago and highly recommended the margarita. I thought it passable. He also wolfed down a spinach enchilada. I did not try it so I can't comment.

I don't know...for me the restaurant is just too busy. The food is OK, not excellent and the service pretty good.

You might want to dismiss anything I am saying and pay attention to the huge crowds that frequent the place, however. I have always heard that to choose a good place to eat, you just search out the crowds. In my experience, that has been more often untrue than true. I usually think, I'm sorry to say, that the "crowds" are satisfied with less quality than I want so I cannot use that criteria to choose a place to dine.

Would I go to the Hacienda again? If there was a meeting or someone really pushed it, possibly. I would not choose it myself. It's not's just not for me.

Hey, try it yourself and let me know what you think...if you haven't already, that is. As I said, the place has been around for eons. Oh, one thing I did think stood up well...the chips served with the tomato-sauce salsa were light, crispy, thin and not too salty. So, there's my take. But that's just me.


At 8:21 AM , Blogger Urban Review - St. Louis said...

I has been at least 10 years since I've been there as well and I wasn't impressed enough to go back. South City has a number of good Mexican places that keep me happy including Chuey's, Lily's and Chimichanga's.

The one thing that impresses me about Hacienda is the patio --- it is amazing. Granted it is too cold now but over the last 10-15 years they've been building it up. I think it is one of the best outdoor dining spaces in the region.

At 12:01 PM , Blogger V said...

I've been to The Hacienda once in the past five years. Nothing special about the food, but then again, St. Louis brags on its Italian food and I haven't found anything that tastes like what I had in northern Italy.

Don't pull your punches, girl! No need to apologize for your palate.

At 7:14 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Your both wrong!!!!!
The margaritas are the best!
I have the recipe and everyone craves them at our parties!
The beef enchiladas are wonderful...imagine using real beef? I have been to so-called up-scaled mexican restaurants that cannot claim this ingredient.


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