My favorite Tex-Mex.
I have been to Ernesto's many times and have never had bad food or bad service. Not even mediocre. Their beef enchiladas are the best of anywhere I have eaten. The chips are always fresh and the salsa has just enough bite to keep me happy.
Tucked away in a strip mall setting near the intersection of Northwest Hwy and Centerville Rd, Ernestos isnt 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. Chips were in between the super-thin greasy ones and the super-thick cuts into your gums kind. They werent too greasy and tasted homemade. The salsa was thin (I like chunkier salsa) and lacked any significant flavors, wouldve preferred more cilantro, it was on the spicy side the way I like.
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 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 youve 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.
Service was friendly, attentive, and polite. Water glasses/chips/salsa bowl never got half empty.
No franchised garbage here!!!!.
I can't beleive that we've been driving past this place for years without having ever been inside. Ernestos is a quiet, (at least while we were there, 7:00pm Friday night), and cozy. We were seated immediately, and it seems that the entire waitstaff "covers" each other's back, so there was no shortage of attention. The food maintains the authentic taste that has been lost in so many franchised Tex-Mex places, and the prices are very easy on the wallet. I think thatr I've found my newest "favorite" place.