13233 Pond Springs Rd Ste 301
Austin TX 78729
Strip mall tex mex off 183.
Suggested by Mike Deans--thanks!
Poorly Structured Lunch Specials
Original Review Date: 11/11/2005
Rating: 0/+3(Ho hum)
Hmm, I'm detecting a disturbing tex-mex trend here in North Austin. My last two experiences both charged extra (and exactly the same amount extra, by the way) for a side of jalapeņos and onions. Harumph. That, as noted in the other review, is a Tex-Mex Crime.
As for the meal, the chips (thin like I like 'em) and salsa were quite good. It was a promising start. But the lunch specials confused things right off the bat. I found it odd and not very accomodating that none of the lunch specials comes with rice & beans. They cost $1.00 extra. It is not very tex mexy in my opinion to structure your specials this way. Rice & beans should be standard with all the "typical" tex mex platters. The specials do include a soft drink, though (as noted on the menu, "Soft Drink Includes"). I asked the waiter if I could substitute the rice & beans for a soft drink, since I had no interest in consuming a soft drink. He checked and they denied the request. So I forked over the $1.00 extra to get the rice & beans, which turned out to be pretty mediocre and certainly not worth an extra fee.
I got the #2 lunch special for $5.99--two cheese enchiladas, guacamole salad and chile con queso. The guacamole was good, the queso was good, the enchiladas were just ok. The cheese was a bit too velveeta-y (I realize velveeta style cheese is the norm for this type of tex-mex, and I embrace that culinary tradition decried by many-a foodie, but this cheese seemed just a bit too American-cheesy, for some reason), and the chile sauce was a bit thin. I like the chile sauce to be thick and rich. This was neither.
And then the check came, indicating 75¢ for the side of jalapeños and 50¢ for the side of onions. Truly disappointing. Add that surcharge to my rice & beans fee, and the meal approached $9.00. Quite a lot of pecuniary punishment just to try and assemble a decent plate of tex mex.
The service was just fair. My dirty plates stayed in front of me for several minutes and witnessed the passing of numerous servers before my waiter came by to retrieve them. The credit card bill was given to me without a pen.
So overall, the food is not bad, but there was nothing notable about my dish, and the extra nit-picky fees for tex-mex essentials leave a bad taste in my mouth, so Crown Garden is therefore certainly not worth another 10 minute drive from my office.