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Thursday, September 30, 2010

Greenville Eats: Plaza Azteca Mexican Restaurant

How many Mexican restaurants are there these days? Coming in all shapes and sizes, these restaurants have flooded the American landscape with tortillas and salsa done a million ways, so much so that it becomes difficult to separate the best from the rest. It's tough being in this genre of business, especially in a city full of them.Plaza Azteca does have one thing that helps put it over a few of its peers, but was it enough to warrant a second helping?

Located at the tail-end of Greenville Blvd, Plaza Azteca may be one of the most deceptive buildings on the strip. Borderline-Taco Bell on the cheese scale, you almost want to just keep on passing by on first sight. Two steps in, however, reveals a completely different location from what you might have expected. The dining area contains hints of the cheesy interior you may have been looking for, but with a contemporary seating that will surely surprise anyone on their first trip.

Getting to the food, our dining group dived straight into a variety of dips. If memory serves me right, there was a cheese dip along with some salsa on the table and ranch on the table (Ranch!? Really Plaza Azteca?), but those were immediately cast aside in favor of the highlight of the night - the fresh, made a table guacamole. Plaza Azteca's claim to fame, the guacamole easily was the winner of the nite. It's hard to argue with when the restaurant is confident enough to make it in front of each and every guest who orders it.

As great as the guacamole was, the meal quickly came back down to Earth as we hit the entrees. My Azteca special came with a flurry of items from a tamale to a couple of tacos. Unfortunately everything came without any salt or real flavor that you'd come to expect from quality Mexican food. Everything needed a good shot of salt to chow down, and was just similar enough to taste like a big pile of the same stuff rather than being individual flavors in the dish. Reviews around the table were about the same: lots of food, perhaps, but none of which really peaked our interest long enough to finish.

No Reservations, The Shakedown on Plaza Azteca
Atmosphere: Comically bad on the outside,
surprisingly trendy on the inside with a hint of cheesiness.
Cost: Average dinner prices, slightly high even. $8-12
Try: The tableside guacamole.
Don't: Get bother with anything else. A bland affair.

The Final Verdict
If you want delicious, freshly made guacamole, come to Plaza Azteca, find yourself a nice, comfortable seat and order yourself not one, but two orders of their specialty. And steal the recipe. Those looking for the complete Mexican meal to fill your late night cravings may want to consider looking elsewhere.

Plaza Azteca on Urbanspoon


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