I won’t write too much about the quality of food, service or lack there of, but when craving a fish taco and only having limited resources from which to choose, On the Border Mexican Grill and Cantina provided some relief.
Unknowing, and really not caring much of they did, we inquired about any recognition the franchise was offering to say thanks to Veterans on this holiday Monday before Thanksgiving. The wife and I had joked about taking advantage of something during the day, but had discounted our desires to fulfill the multitude of Veteran freebies (not something we have frequently ever used to our advantage) being offered because we were just going to hang at the house and move forward with the various home projects we had started, yet had yet to complete. Then realizing we needed a few produce items for the remainder of the week, we decided to head out to the local market; then the wife decided to throw in the idea of getting a quick haircut, so we found ourselves in need of sustenances to get us through a couple of hours before heading back home.
As we ventured toward our marketing destination we saw many restaurants and places to get some food, but I was in the mood for fish tacos since we had just about every other protein planned for our evening’s meal at home. As we traveled along our path, nothing and nowhere seemed to scream ‘fish taco’ so we kept going hoping to find something before hitting the mall for the haircut or the market for our week’s worth of vegetables. In the parking area of the Westfield Shopping Center mall, we happened upon On the Border Mexican Grill and Cantina. We have eaten here before and were a bit skeptical, but I emphatically said, “They’ll have a fish taco”. Again we joked about them not being on any of the lists of ‘Veterans’ freebies this day but decided to give it a go since our only remaining food options lie in the food court inside the mall.
Although the simple Veteran’s day menu in the picture was provided, there was nothing for a fish taco being offered. I asked if the simple menu was all that was being offered for Veterans. The server said, “We will also take $12.49 off of any combination menu item”, or something to that effect. So I ordered a couple of Ok fish tacos and the wife had a 3-item combination in which she selected a salad, enchilada and a carnitas taco. Her plate arrived with only two items, minus the salad; and by the time our server had checked up on us, we had already completed both of my tacos, and most of her remaining enchilada plate. Needles to say, we didn’t even get into touching the salad which arrived a couple minutes later. We we hoping the salad was to be served before the entrees. We didn’t complain about it as we were already getting one meal for free, and we can just take the salad that was served with the dressing on the side, home for a lunch later in the week. No big deal. I’m not holding my eggplants back because of that.
The food was really not something to get worked up about. The tacos were just Ok. The chips, fresh-made in the restaurant and salsa were just Ok. The chips are not the same as the bagged good sold on the shelf of your local grocer. The enchilada and carnitas taco were flavorful but the plating on both plates was unimpressive, calculated and rather . . . Americanized with the taco here, the beans there, carefully isolated by the perfect portion of rice. It resembled a frozen TV dinner with everything in its place and nothing overlapping or blending with another. Very blah!
On the Border Mexican Grill and Cantina gets 3 eggplants as a solid review because they did recognize Veterans, but they almost lost one for the lack of creativity and cuisine. I think I again learned my lesson to eat Mexican food at the car wash down the street from our house. At least I know I can get some darn good food, at a price yet still cheaper than On the Border’s Veterans special; AND I can get my car cleaned while eating. Doesn’t get much better than that.