Tried Los Corrales Mexican in Detroit today
Metro Times did a review of this place in their current issue, so I decided that, since it was only about 20 minutes away from my parents' house (housesitting, dontchaknow), that I'd give it a shot. Please keep in mind that, on the whole, I usually find Mexican food to be relatively bland, so it's hard to get me excited about it.
While they certainly didn't do themselves any harm, I found the food I had to be pretty typical of generic Mexican fare. Mind you: I tried the baseline food as a decent measuring stick. Friday's special was chicken fajitas at a whopping $3.75 (with refried beans and rice!), and while one certainly can't complain about that price point, I was honestly disappointed with the entree. It was, indeed, quite bland, as were the complimentary salsas and chips that were served beforehand when I was seated. Please don't misunderstand me: I ate, I was satisfied, and I didn't think that the price structure was bad...but bland is bland to me, and I calls 'em as I sees 'em.
I did end up asking for some pico de gallo to go with my fajitas, since the blandness was pretty strong. I thought that the pico was good, but when I found out afterward that the small serving I was given was $2, I thought that it was a pretty high price for flavor that should be there in the first place. No lettuce, tomatoes, cilantro...nothing came with the fajitas other than chicken, some onions and peppers, and the rice and beans (and some tortillas, obviously). That's it. I'd rather they up the price by a couple of bucks and include the basic stuff to go with them than nickel-and-dime me to death.
One nice thing they do offer is chilled Mexican Coke, made with actual sugar, and it's under $2 a bottle, which I thought was quite a nice thing to have, even if it isn't all that unusual. They have domestic Coke as well, and it's a bit cheaper, but the glass bottle, the actual sugar...it's worth the little bit extra, I think.
The servers/staff were quite nice and eager-to-please. When my beans came topped with a small amount of cheese (I'd asked for no cheese or sour cream), my server immediately offered to take it back, but I refused to let her, since I wasn't going to be eating that much of the beans, anyway. I tried my bite of them, wasn't impressed (never have liked refried beans from *anywhere*), and left the remnant, cheese and all. The rice was typical Mexican rice, and it's as bland here as anywhere else. When I paid my bill and asked how it got into the $9+ dollar range, they adjusted the price downward a bit, since I hadn't known about the (what I consider) excessive cost of the pico de gallo. My out-the-door cost ended up being around $9 after the $2 tip for the server, which I thought was more fair.
While I won't be rushing back to do it, I will probably try it again if I'm headed down that way, and I'm hungry, and I happen to think about it. The whole tilapia that the Metro Times reviewer spoke of certainly sounded intriguing, but I wanted to use a baseline (fajitas, tacos, chips and salsa) to use as a measuring stick. As it stands, the food at this place didn't go very far in changing my general opinion/expectations of Mexican food, but they certainly are earnest, they're pretty darned inexpensive, and I definitely felt like a gringo out of his neighborhood, but was welcomed all the same.
Uhhh, if you basing your opinion on Mexicantown restaurants on refried beans and fajitas then that's probably a bad criteria to start with. Actual Mexican food is nowhere near bland ( prepared correctly of course) I'd suggest inquiring around herer about good Mexicantown recs., because it sound like you might be missing out on what actual , good Mexican food embodies.