The Location: Chevys Fresh Mex, multiple local locations
The Taco: 3 taco combo. One Original Salsa Chicken, One slow-roasted Carnitas, One Picadillo Beef served with beans, rice and sweet corn tamalito.
The Price: About $12
The Verdict: What is there to say about Chevys? We've been there a number of times, but as I recall it has been a few years since we last tried them out. It's a major national chain, and as such has to cater to the broadest possible tastes. Unfortunately, that means that the food is not particularly authentic.
Getting straight to the details: the meal was delivered luke-warm. Not acceptable at a large, well-established restaurant like this. The beef taco contained some ground beef which lacked any interesting flavor. It tasted like something I could make at home in 10 minutes with powdered taco seasoning.
The chicken taco was slightly better, but it was too dry. I had to dump some salsa on just to liven it up a bit. I don't know where they get the name "Salsa Chicken" because the taco did not seem to have any salsa anywhere within.
The carnitas had a strange smokey, almost BBQ-like flavor. Very different from what I would traditionally expect from carnitas. With some complementary side dishes and a tweak to the seasoning it could potentially be sold as an acceptable bbq taco, but, as is, it was out of place at Chevys.
Conclusions: The simple taco should be the cornerstone of any mexican restaurant, especially one with years of experience and tens of thousands of customers a year. Somehow, Chevys managed to disappoint three separate ways on this trip.
The Rating: ★★ (out of 5)