|Restaurant:||Los Cabos Mexican Grill|
|Locations:||7030 Smith Corners Boulevard|
|Rating:||1 out of 5 spoons|
Mike and I were trying to visit the University location of Thai Taste (for an upcoming review!) one Sunday but alas, it was closed. We hopped into the small, colorful Los Cabos Mexican Grill instead. To preface, we have a pretty sad history with Mexican restaurants in Charlotte. There are a few great Tex-Mex places we love (including my favorite, the chain On the Border), but all of the little Mexican places we’ve tried have been disappointing. With such a substantial Hispanic population, you’d think we’d have some great little restaurants here and there, but Mike and I haven’t found them. Unfortunately, Los Cabos only added to our frustration.
We started our meal with some unremarkable chips and salsa. I hold everything up to On the Border salsa standards, and this didn’t measure up (nothing ever does, though). It was kind of watery and tasted just okay. They were good about refilling the salsa when it ran low, though, which I appreciated.
Los Cabos Chips and Salsa
The ordering process was the first part of our experience that bothered me. Sometimes when trying a new restaurant, especially if the menu is long, I like to ask the servers what they recommend as their favorite dish. Unfortunately, a server sometimes interprets this as me asking them to use psychic powers to recommend a dish they know that I would like, which understandably puts them in a bind since they don’t know me from Eve. Dear servers of the world, when I ask your favorite dish, I really am just asking what you like as a foothold for choosing my own meal. I’m not going to be upset if I try your recommendation and it doesn’t suit my individual taste! No psychic powers needed.
At any rate, the server at Los Cabos suggested I get a 3-way combo to try a little bit of everything. Good advice if my problem had been how to try the most food and see what I liked. Bad advice if what I wanted was simply her opinion on what tasted the best. Because I wanted to try an entrée instead, I went with the Enchiladas Verdes, described as “three corn tortillas folded and stuffed with chicken; topped with tomatillo sauce, melted cheese, lettuce, and sour cream; and served with rice and beans.”
Unfortunately, it wasn’t good. It was a pretty plate full of the exact same repetitive, tired, bland food found at so many of the little Mexican restaurants I’ve tried. The enchiladas tasted like someone had opened a can of chicken, warmed it up, dumped it on a corn tortilla and dumped some tomatillo sauce on top. I suspect that’s exactly what happened. The taste was terribly monotonous by the third enchilada. The rice and beans were, eh, rice and beans (I know I’m starting to sound like a fangirl, but On the Border actually does excellent rice and black beans). The slightly tart tomatillo sauce and the grated cheese sprinkled over everything (not a very authentic Mexican touch) were the only pinches of flavor in the whole dish. I’m serious about good eating, and so I actually considered stopping the meal after a few bites, cutting our losses, and trying to find a different restaurant (or even making a grilled cheese at home)! I should clarify that the food wasn’t horrible; it was just paying money for nothing!
Los Cabos Enchiladas Verdes
Ordering Mike’s meal was complicated as well. He ordered the Enchiladas de Mole and the server asked (in an elementary school teacher tone), “Have you tried mole before?” When Mike said he hadn’t, she said she’d bring some out for him to try, obviously skeptical about whether he knew he wanted mole or just thought he wanted mole.
Mole is a “different” flavor — the sauce combines chiles with a deep Mexican chocolate — but I can’t decide if it was insulting or nice to second-guess Mike’s order. I think it was both: a nice gesture delivered in a patronizing way. As it turned out, Mike didn’t like the mole and neither did I, because it was more bitter than the other mole I’ve tried. It was odd how discouraging they seemed about it, though. The server was urging Mike to choose another entrée and recommending alternatives before he had even acknowledged that he wasn’t keen on the mole!
Anyhow, Mike ended up with the Enchiladas Mexicana, described as, “one chicken, one beef, and one cheese enchilada, topped with green sauce, cheese dip, and red sauce.” His choice turned out better than mine because at least the monotony was broken up by the three different flavors. It was still a bland meal, though, and he was dissatisfied as well.
Los Cabos Enchiladas Mexicana
All in all, Los Cabos was quite unsuccessful. The servers are nice and they serve alcohol, so maybe people visit for the margaritas? Being a tee-totaler, I couldn’t tell ya, but it sure doesn’t seem like the enchiladas would keep you coming back. Even with the inexpensive prices, I wouldn’t waste time visiting Los Cabos.
Have you been to Los Cabos Mexican Grill? Found any great Mexican restaurants in Charlotte? Share your thoughts by clicking on the “Comments” link below.