We wanted some Mexican food. There’s a Mexican restaurant near us we haven’t been to with a 90% rating in Urbanspoon. You see where I’m going here?
6825 Graham Rd
Indianapolis, IN 46220
We have been quite interested in trying this place for a while now. We looked up this place in Urbanspoon to see what kind of reviews they got. Mostly rave reviews, with one or two negative comments and one neutral comment. It also had a 90% rating. Needless to say, we were excited to see for ourselves the supposed goodness this place gave out. The anticipation went even higher when we noticed how busy this place was on a Saturday night (hint: the parking lot was full and their small lobby/waiting area was crowded).
Of course, the standard chips and salsa. The chips were ordinary: warm and not-so-crispy. Not that it was incredibly stale, it just felt as if it was a little old. The salsa, on the other hand, would have been decent if it wasn’t so runny. It was also loaded with cilantro and was very mild in terms of spiciness (Wade and I added a few drops of Cholula to give it some kick).
Since the salsa was so unforgettable, we ordered a small bowl of queso to go with our chips. Judging from its appearance, I thought it would be promising. It looked smooth and creamy. But you know how the saying goes, don’t judge the book by its cover.
The queso was a little on the salty side. Yes, I admit, it was creamier than the usual queso we get from other places, but this was the saltiest one by far. It was nice for a chip or two just for a change of pace, but eventually the salt reminded us of its presence.
My choice was a big one, perhaps one of their biggest (if not their biggest) combination platter: aptly named El Combo. It consisted of a Chile Relleno, Chalupa, Taco, Burrito, and Enchilada, served with Mexican Rice and Refried Beans. I get to sample almost everything in one plate!
Pictured above was one of the two plates that contained my gargantuan order. This plate contained the Chile Relleno (that brown dome at the bottom left of the plate surrounded by molten cheese), the Taco (that open hard taco shell filled with shredded white cheese on its mouth), and the Chalupa (covered with the pile of tomato, shredded lettuce, guacamole, and the hint of refried beans you see at the corner).
- Chile Relleno: I have never seen it done like this before. I thought the meat was supposed to be stuffed inside the pepper? This version is the other way around. That brown dome was the meat and inside it was a teeny tiny green pepper that was mushy and barely recognizable. The “meat” was a sticky glob that felt like a mixture of beans and ground beef. The cheese was the same as our cheese dip. Yes, it was salty.
- Chalupa: I’ve never really liked Chalupa anyway. I just thought I’d give it another try. Some odd beans on a soggy tortilla.
- Taco: That shredded cheese was… le gasp… the same as our cheese dip. Do I need to remind you how that tasted? The hard, borderline stale shell was also filled with ground beef. Granulated, mushy, tasteless ground beef.
This was the second plate containing the burrito, enchilada, rice, and refried beans. I’m guessing the left roll was the burrito and the longer one on the right was the enchilada. I couldn’t really tell the difference, they tasted the same and had the same ground beef inside. They were also lying on the same red sauce. Other than the outside appearance, I don’t think there was any difference. The rice was alright, and the beans were beans. I think you already know how that cheese on the beans was.
I assure you, there’s a chimichanga under all that pile. La Hacienda offers fried and soft chimichangas. Wade opted for the fried one, because isn’t that how a chimichanga is supposed to be? Well, let’s see what he has to say:
The past chimichangas I’ve eaten had shells that were flaky, crispy, and sweet, which became my ideal shell. The shell here, however, tasted as if it wasn’t in the fryer for as long as I thought it would be. I couldn’t quite tell if I was eating a burrito, a taco, or maybe a nacho. Because of the oddity of the shell, it had little to no flavor.
The meat, on the other hand, didn’t taste distinguishable. Very grainy and no other taste to it.
Wade also ordered a chile relleno a la carte since La Hacienda only offers this as a side item outside of the combination platter. There’s a closer picture for you, and here’s his opinion:
The meat had the same problem as the chimichanga. The cheese also had the same problem with its saltiness, but it was actually made worse by the meat. The plate was greasy and the chile in the middle just blended in with everything and didn’t have any taste.
Typical Mexican restaurant decor. Nothing to worry about. Move along…
As I mentioned earlier, we came in during a busy Saturday dinner service. Sometimes, being busy is a good gauge on how efficient the staff is. Yes, they were efficient as they got food out on time. However, we felt as if we were being rushed the whole time. The lady who dropped off our chips and salsa didn’t say a word after leaving hurriedly. Our server, while she got everything to us within a reasonable amount of time, seemed as if she just wanted to get everything over with and move on to the next table. The host at the front, who was busy juggling multiple tasks at once, never even smiled.
Any other thoughts:
I don’t really see what the whole rave is all about. I ended up taking home more than half of my food not only because there was a lot, but because everything tasted the same with all that cheese and granulated beef around. Thank goodness they weren’t that expensive.
I give this place a 2 out of 5.