What is the best Mexican Restaurant chain?
I used to go to Chi Chi's and Casa Maria's a looooong time ago. More Recently, I've been to Don Pablo's and Chevy's. The first time I went to Chevy's, the store just opened and the food was pretty spicy, but not too hot and I loved it. The last time I went to that same store, the food was bland and disappointing. Is there any chain that has great Mexican food? Or REALLY HOT Mexican food?
Chain Mexican is almost always bland and gloppy, but at least most of them now provide a nice array of hot sauces to give the stuff some flavor.
In SW Ohio we have some decent small chains. El Toro and El Rancho Grande. I'd take those or any other local regional chain over the nationals, and that easily includes the burrito places. But as the influx of Mexican immigrants grows, we are also seeing a lot of small taquerias open up which, while they don't cram the concept of huge high-octane margaritas down your throat, have more authentic food at reasonable prices.
When I was in Vegas a couple of years ago I hit a place called Loco Pollo (or maybe it's Pollo Loco), I thought they had pretty decent chicken and sides.
Mexican is one of my favorite cuisines, anything from gourmet to street stands as long as it is appetizing. I am quite particular on how things should be prepared and have been taken to just about every mexican chain.
The best are Pappasitos and Uncle Julios. These places you can get authentic beans and sides, not just scary gloopy refried beans and rice that I always skip. They both have all the gringo type dishes- burritos, tacos etc. But, we're usually more adventurous. Pappasito's has an amazing selection of grilled foods; shrimp, lobster, quail, and scallops. Those are my favorite mex chains.
For more middle of the road and america chains, on the border is fairly good for what it is.