20 August 2011

Tio Juan's Margaritas Mexican Restaurant

This is the first time I've been to a restaurant without being able to actually see the food I'm eating. I lost my glasses at the beach today, literally 8 minutes after entering the water. So, when we went to dinner some 8 hours later, I gazed longingly at my past, when I had neat vision (with glasses). Anyway. My dad thought it was a good idea to go to the new Mexican-themed restaurant nearby. I didn't really want to go, actually, because the reviews seemed pretty negative and the menu looked overpriced (compared to Chipotle). We went anyway, because I think it gave my dad some satisfaction. I'm not really sure why, and I can't tell, but I guess it might just have to do with how "going out to eat" frequently is an integral part of the "American Dream". I don't know. It just doesn't make sense that my dad eats any non-Chinese food-at-home with reluctance and much complaint, but tries Mexican-themed (and other) restaurant food with zeal.
So, we got free tortilla chips. They were warm.
My sister got a plain flour tortilla filled with melted cheddar with fries. She also got chocolate milk and vanilla ice cream. Oh, sure, this is so "Mexican". So, problems I have with this Mexican-style place:
1. Fries? Really?
2. American cheese...?
3. Where are the soft corn tortillas?
4. Chain restaurant... is quite distinctly American.
5. American portion size. American restaurant prices.
6. American operating hours.
7. Looks and feels like TGIF/Applebee's/Outback Steakhouse.
My brother got a steak make-your-own-taco kit.
Appetisers filled with chicken. The sauce with cilantro-y and tasted pretty nice.
Spicy fish tacos. The dip was... smokey. It tasted like smoke from the bustling, polluted streets of Wuhan. I'm not sure how it could taste like something that I used to smell, but it definitely tasted like that.
Ice cream.

The place was nicely decorated, but as people who read this blog know, I don't care about plating, the customer service, or the restaurant atmosphere. There were a lot of lights but the place was dark. There was a lot of music, including a loudspeaker playing a hearty tune to the car park, devoid of people but full of cars. The food arrived quickly but at twice the price and half the speed of that at Chipotle. I don't know why I'm comparing food here to Chipotle burritos, but I'm guessing Chipotle burritos taste better than the vegetarian ones here. I don't know since I didn't order anything (AND WE STILL WENT HOME WITH LEFTOVER FOOD. I DO NOT UNDERSTAND THIS.)

372 West Mt. Pleasant Ave.
Livingston, NJ 07039

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