Cazadores Mexican Grill

31 Oct 2010
Average Cost ($8-$14)
Jones Valley/Hampton Cove
4 out of 5

Melanie’s Take

Shane and I headed over the mountain and into Hampton Cove to try a place I had heard about called Cazadores. It is a few years old and is located in a shopping center behind Publix. As soon as we arrived, we were greeted and seated by the hostess, and our drink order was taken promptly by the waiter. Right off the bat, I was impressed with the friendly service. As we tried to decide what we wanted, we nibbled on their chips and salsa. The salsa was the traditional, thin variety but with a healthy dose of salt. I decided to order a combination plate with an enchilada, combo burrito, and a chile relleno. Shane tried their special, the enchiladas suiza, which included four enchiladas: bean, cheese, chicken, and ground beef.
When our food arrived, it was obvious that Shane had chosen the better meal. In a classic move to prove that I married the right man, he took a few bites of his and a bite of mine and offered to trade. I’m no fool, so I took him up on the offer. Unfortunately, the batter on the chile relleno had soaked up the oil it was fried in (a sure sign of oil at the wrong temp), leaving it soggy and ready to pour oil into your mouth with each bite. In addition, all three items on my plate were filled with the same mediocre ground beef. This was not what I anticipated, assuming a combo plate would offer a variety. All this aside, Shane’s enchiladas were delicious. The tortillas tasted homemade and the tomatillo sauce was the right balance of sharp and mild. At $6.99, it’s hard to beat four enchiladas with rice and beans. Cazadores definitely had some bright spots, but it has a long way to go to compete with Phil’s chile relleno.

Shane’s Take

There are a zillion Mexican restaurants in town. Many of them serve essentially the same food—plain refried beans, a smattering of rice, and some cheap beef wrapped in a generic tortilla smothered in a ton of cheese—with the same taste and little variation. If you like cheap Mexican food, that’s fine, but it’s always nice to find something better than average, and, except for a caveat or two, Cazadores is above average. The service was good and the atmosphere friendly. The hostess was friendly when she seated us, and our server was quick to help us and offered recommendations with enthusiasm and without hesitation. He returned numerous times to check on us and was exceptionally cordial. Plus, the person who took the check was friendly. The store had a comfortable, unpretentious, and friendly atmosphere. If I were looking to be a regular at another Mexican restaurant (we’re already regulars at a place we’ll review in the coming weeks), I would consider Cazadores.
The food showed potential for being exceptional. Melanie’s chile relleno obviously was fried in cold oil, which ruined it but is easily remedied, and her enchiladas struggled to be tasty, but everything else tasted good. The beans had a nice smoky flavor, the rice was better than other local joints, and the waiter-recommended suiza enchiladas were uniquely and flavorfully spiced. I’ll definitely order them again. We left Cazadores impressed and satisfied. It’s comfortable, feels family-owned, and seems to be run by people who really care about their customers. I hope we can return soon. A few more notes:
  • The night we visited, the store was decorated with cool Halloween ornaments. This excited me a lot.
  • An old Ms. Pac-man arcade sits in the corner. This excited Melanie a lot…and she nearly matched its high score!
  • The restroom was clean, which is always appreciated. I also appreciated the black-and-white photos on the wall leading to the restroom.
Cazadores on Urbanspoon

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