Donna Cooks


Standard Tex-Mex Fare at Ernesto’s
August 20, 2006, 12:16 pm
Filed under: DFW Restaurant Reviews

Southern Garland/northern Mesquite isn’t exactly the mecca of great food finds.  Ernesto’s turned out to be slightly above average Tex-Mex fare.

ernestos-exterior.jpg

Tucked away in a strip mall setting near the intersection of Northwest Hwy and Centerville Rd, Ernesto’s isn’t much to look at from the outside.  The inside turned out to be much more festive with carved wooden chairs, large colorful wall murals, and comfy booths.

Onto the food!  Chips and salsa were promptly brought out upon arrival (and the margarita quickly after drink orders were taken).  Chips were in between the super-thin greasy ones and the super-thick “cuts into your gums” kind.  They weren’t too greasy and tasted homemade.  The salsa was thin (I like chunkier salsa) and lacked any significant flavors, would’ve preferred more cilantro.  But the salsa definitely had a bite to it.  Frozen margarita was very standard, not too strong, not too weak.

ernestos-chips.jpg

For entrees, we tried the Mexican Flag combo ($9, three enchiladas, cheese with verde sauce, shredded chicken with sour cream sauce, and ground beef with red sauce) and the Puntas Monterey ($9.50, beef tips stewed in a tomato-based sauce, choice of corn or flour tortillas, served with a dollop of guacamole).  Both came with the standard rice and beans.  Unlike at many Tex-Mex establishments, the rice was actually moist, a pleasant surprise, and the refried beans tasted rich thanks to sufficient use of lard.  The sauces on the enchiladas were above average (salsa verde had a good bite) and the fillers good quality: tender shredded chicken and nicely seasoned ground beef.  All in all, the Mexican Flag plate is just a slightly above average rendition of a Tex-Mex standard dish.  The Puntas Monterey, however, was a surprise.  The beef tips came in a tangy, spicy, slightly smoky sauce that had unexpected intricate flavor, reminded me of the Chile Colorado dish available at other Tex-Mex joints but with a more complex flavor.  Wrap it all together in a homemade flour tortilla with some refried beans and you’ve got a real Tex-Mex treat.  You have the option of chicken or beef with this dish, I think the red sauce complements the beef better.

Mexican Flag Plate:

ernestos-flag.jpg

Puntas Monterey:

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Service was friendly, attentive, and polite.  Water glasses/chips/salsa bowl never got half empty.

All in all, Ernesto’s is a reliable Tex-Mex find for the neighborhood.  If you’re in southern Garland and don’t want to drive far for Tex-Mex, Ernesto’s will cure your craving and I would recommend the Puntas Monterey for the trick.

Rating: 3 /5

Ernesto’s
1202 Northwest Hwy
Garland, TX 75041

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