Don't believe the hype. I'm also a Texas transplant, and my wife and I consider ourselves experts in the realm of chips, salsa, and queso. One of the first places recommended to us for a Mexican food fix was MadMex, and we were eager to find a decent replacement for all the great restaurants we left back home. This was not it. I'm still surprised to hear how often it is recommended - the chips were hard and flavorless, the appetizer dips were gross (even the queso that combines two otherwise sure winners, Dox XX and cheese!) and the burritos they are famous for were really disappointing. The ground beef had almost no flavor, the tortillas tasted store-bought, and it had hardly any of the fresh "fixings" you would find at any taco truck on wheels closer to the border (lettuce, tomatoes, grated cheese, etc.). I'd recommend El Campesino instead if you're looking for good, affordable food or Franklin Inn if you want tasty margaritas and would prefer a cozy ambience (their food is less authentic but still good).
Ho Hum. I lived in south Texas for 30 years, so I've got an idea what Mexican food is all about. This isn't it. The salsa reminds me of Pace Picante and the chips are more like corn shingles than real chips. The food was good, but highly Americanized, which is a shame.
A local, Mexican restaurant chain finds flavor in its quirky design as well as its moderately priced entrees..
Customers won't find pink stucco or sombrero-wearing waitresses here since this Pennsylvania-based chain abandons South-of-the-border cliches for a funky, Southwestern-flavored art deco. Dark and cavernous, these restaurants are generally illuminated by tabletop candles and a string of red, chili pepper lights; grimacing Aztec masks stare from walls decorated with cave paintings while metal sculptures dangle precariously overhead.
For those who tend to forget the differences between burritos and fajitas or enchiladas and quesadillas, handy diagrams of each dish serve as helpful reminders. Pictures aside, the burrito is the best bet. Whether diners choose chicken, steak, shrimp or portabella mushroom, these giant wraps of Mexican rice, black beans, and Monterey Jack keep the lettuce, salsa, guacamole, and sour cream on the side. Mixing is left to the muncher. For those eating light (and drinking heavy), the chip-ready Big B Cheese Dip is a spicy queso sauce flavored with the house beer.
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