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My partner in crime is doing his best to be a healthy vegan. I on the other hand could not begin to wrap my mind around not eating beef covered in steak gravy with Yukon gold potato’s and a nice honey porter. Of course I do not discriminate, if healthy is the only way certain places cook then I will do my best to keep an open mind and maybe even eat a vegatable…….. maybe.
Acapulco – Off of Victoria on the East end of Ventura
I was in the mood for Mexican food and everyone had been telling me this was the place to get it. I have to say that unless you’re a local you are going to be hard pressed to find the place. They are off of Victoria, not too far from the 126 Freeway. The entrance is a bit hidden and you have to take a couple back streets to find them. I did however manage to eventually surface in the front parking lot.
They have taken some time to make Acapulco very pleasing to the eye. The building displays a bit of old-world Mexico with its mission archways and stonework. The restaurant itself is very open and you have plenty of room. They have both a bar area and regular seating and definitely can cater to big groups. Being 260 pounds I’m a big group all on my own.
The servers are very pleasant and chips with salsa arrive almost as soon as you do. The chips are very fresh and warm and the salsa has a really great flavor. It has just the right amount of heat to it to provide that tang without over-powering your pallet, and best of all its not loaded down with onion and tomato.
The menu selection is mostly traditional Mexican cuisine with a few twists and turns. I had spotted a picture of a great looking chicken salad when I walked in but when I requested it apparently they were just teasing me as it was a special from last month and they no longer had it. Luckily, they have a great section on the menu where you can build your own combinations, which is what I decided to go for to get as much variety as possible and try and get over the fact they just punk’d me with the chicken salad.
I ordered the shredded beef taco, the chicken enchilada, and the taquitos. Most dinners come with their signature rice and beans and of course the “Hot Plate”, warning. The food came out very quickly which is usually something that scares me. Not that I want to wait two hours, but I was barely into my chips and salsa when here it comes 12 minutes after I order it.
The presentation is prototypical Mexican restaurant. The so called “Hot plate”, was luke warm which is another bad sign. Cool plates usually lead to cold food. The beans and rice were kind of warm. The rice had good texture and was cooked well, the beans were a bit bland and a bit cold. The shredded beef taco was tasteless; the beef had no flavor and was covered in lettuce, the shell though was very crispy. The dinner did begin to pick up a bit of steam however as the taqitos were really crispy and flavorful. The enchilada is what stood out the most. The sauce was spot-on. It was zesty with just the right amount of spice to make it a bit hot on the tongue, but blended very well with the chicken that also had a very good flavor. The chicken was moist and there was a lot of it. The cheese was a bit weak; I would have liked just a bit more flavor there to accompany the enchilada sauce.
The portion size is descent; the price is typical with dinners ranging from 7 to 12 dollars. They do have a kids menu but I have to be honest and say anytime I see a Mexican restaurant with pizza on the kids menu it makes me nervous. I’d try and have the kids eat from something you order. Dessert is limited, they do have the traditional flan, but after that it gets a bit shaky, they do however, offer a lot of margarita specials, so if you drink enough maybe dessert wont matter. They have a buffet going at lunch during the weekdays as well as a Sunday brunch. Brunch’s and buffets are a completely different topic we can get into later as I have a whole gripefest on today’s buffets. That, my friends will be for a different time.
I will say this, in today’s world of franchise Mexican restaurants and small taco stands, Acapulco does stand out as a descent contender, that is if you can find your way to the front door. The day Acapulco invests in a lit sign to put along the street may be the day they see a full dining service.
What I want to know is what ever happend to the Mariachi band? Are they a dying breed. You haven’t lived until you have heard “Nothing Compares to you”, performed in the traditional Mariachi style.