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Sep 9, 2010 11:59 AM

Return of Raul's in Des Moines

We ate at the "reopened" Raul's Mexican restaurant two weekends ago. My husband tells me it was quite the Des Moines favorite before I lived here. Apparently there were two hour waits the first few weeks it reopened. But-

I was totally underwhelmed. Nothing really stood out and my enchilada sauce was so salty, it was inedible. Did I misorder? Anyone have a old vs. new comparison? I'm curious.

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  1. I have never heard anything good about the place, but I understand it was one of the first mexican restaurants in the Des Moines area. Its location has been a death knell for new places, with constant openings and closing on that street for the last ten years.

    1. No, Raul's is just utterly disgusting.

      5 Replies
      1. re: jhojati

        Haven't been to the new one. Enjoyed the old one years ago, but the other options back then were places like Garcias and Chi chi's. They did that type of Mexican better. Truth is, many much better places have opened here in the last few years that they won't compete well with the very Americanized version anymore.

        1. re: Bobfrmia

          It is harder to find good Mexican food in the region, so those that exist might get inflated reputations. I'm sure things will improve though.

          1. re: DukeOfSuffolk

            You mean to say it is harder now to find good Mexican food than when Raul's was the place to go? I strongly disagree with that. If you speak from experience, you must be on the wrong side of town. There are some fantastic Mexican / South American spots these days in Des Moines and surrounding areas.

            Of course, there are also places like El Rodeo where you get decent food, but it is super cheap. Then there are places like El Chisme, Taco Loco, tamales Industry...and many more...that are quite authentic.

            Give em a try.

            El Chisme
            2920 Merle Hay Rd, Des Moines, IA 50310

            1. re: Inthewater

              I'll throw in La Pena. A gem on Indianola Rd, just South of downtown. Fresh made tortillas, and hands down best homemade chips and salsa.
              I also love the Chili Colorado at El Rodeo. Maybe not "authentic", but damn good.
              While threading Mexican in Des Moines, Tequila liquor on Des Moines st and E.15th is the place to go for tequila in Des Moines. Huge selection, great staff, they will be happy to show you the lovely attributes of tequila.

              La Pena
              2010 Indianola Ave, Des Moines, IA 50315

              1. re: Bobfrmia

                Ahh, have to remember that. I love good ta-kill-ya. :)

                Haven't been to La Pena, but have always heard great things. point being, there are some fantastic Mexican places in the area, allof which are much better than the old Garcia's / Chi-Chi's / Raul's stuff, that seems like it is from another era now.

                Can't wait to see what Jesus does with the old Cafe Su location in Valley Junction. I am excited to see what they end up with.

                La Pena
                2010 Indianola Ave, Des Moines, IA 50315