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Opinions on Esparzas?

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It has been at least 2 years since I've been to Esparzas Tex Mex cafe, and in my last experiences there, I've enjoyed the worst of food and service, and some of the best. Has anyone been lately? Recommendations on the menu, or should it be avoided all together?

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  1. We feel the same way. Not sure what happened, but the last two times we went there (one within the past year) the experience was not good, from food quality and temp to service. So many other great places to experience in the city, we're not planning to go back for a long while.

    1. I've always thought it was fairly inconsistent. I stick to dishes I've really enjoyed, like their BBQ pork nachos.

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      1. A report back on Esparzas. We went to Esparzas on Wednesday evening a few weeks ago with a group of 5, and the service was surprisingly prompt, and I enjoyed their evening substitution of mashed potatoes for rice. One person ordered the tongue, which was amazingly tender and flavorful. Another ordered the beef madallions, which were very flavorful but a little tough. Finally, I ordered the buffalo enchilada, which was savory and filling, but not knock-your-socks-off-good. The food arrived promptly and was hot. The service was attentive, timid (holy cow....what is up with all of the video cameras? That is creepy), and my only fault with our waitress is that she could not describe the tongue when asked about the dish. Overall, not a bad experience! While I wont be rushing back, I'm not afraid to go like I was previously after reading so many negative reviews. This restaurant reminds me of that friend that you're always nervous about spending time with, and then you are pleasantly surprised when you go home having had a fun time and no stomach ache.

        1. This is very surprising to me. I've been going to Esparza's virtually since their opening. I go a minimum of 5 -6 times a year. The worst I can say is there were times with a less than knowledgeable server or two (usually new), but the food has been uniformly good. I've eaten pretty much the entire menu. While I don't care for the Trailblazer enchiladas or the Thursday chicken fried steak, (though faithful to the Texas style, it's just too underseasoned), I've enjoyed mostly everything else. Favorites include their posole, the tongue, the catfish and snapper, either Veracruz or Galveston, and their smoked pork dishes. Smoky,garlicky and rich, I think their salsa is one of the best in town. I still think it's the best Tex-Mex in PDX. The best Mexican, to my palate, is definitely Nuestra Cocina.

          1. I ate there once--had high hopes--and was very underwhelmed. The meal was so forgettable, I literally forgot what I had. I just remember that it was nowhere near as good as I had expected. And I wasn't expecting fine dining, just tasty Tex Mex. I didn't get it.

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            1. re: antrobin

              I have to agree to bigrey! I'm shocked that you guys haven't had good experiences there. Ezparazas has always been delicious and fast for me, and I go there with my large family A LOT... I would recommend the cactus appetizer to anyone!