EDITOR’S NOTE: The Dining Duo are a couple of foodies who enjoy eating out and sampling the local cuisine in the Mid-South. To ensure the reviews are unbiased and that the duo remain anonymous, their identities are masked behind their favorite comic book heroes.
El Agave Mexican Grill
6365 Airways Blvd
3 1/2 POWs
I’m always up for eating Mexican food. And if there is one thing I can say about Mexican restaurants, it’s that I have never left one hungry. But the thing about Mexican restaurants and Mexican food in general is that just like BBQ, they rarely if ever taste the same and everyone’s tastes are different.
Some people like Tex Mex, a hybrid of Mexican food with an Anglo influence. Others like real authentic Mexican food, the kind you find at a food truck where you can order street tacos and delicacies like Mexican corn that you can’t get anywhere else.
And then there is the “authentic” Mexican food that is in every city that is very Americanized. That’s what Bane and I encountered in our outing to El Agave Mexican Grill in Southaven.
With Bane back in custody thanks to Aquaman, I dragged the bulky super villain out for Mexican. I had heard good things about El Agave including from Aquaman - and if the number of cars in the parking lot was any indication, I was looking forward to it.
Our outing started off well. Our server brought us a basket of fresh chips and salsa. I personally prefer a thicker chip, the kind like they serve at “On the Border”, but these chips were good too. Bane I both liked the salsa, which had a nice spicy zip to it - not too spicy -but the kind that makes your nose run. I don’t care for a thick salsa, so this was right up my alley.
As an appetizer, we settled on an order of four taquitos - two beef and two chicken. The corn tortillas were nice and crunchy and stuffed with shredded beef and chicken, but honestly, neither of us could tell which was which. For all I know, I might have eaten two chicken ones or two beef ones. The taste though, was excellent, whatever they were.
For the main course, Bane and I decided to create our own combo pick three so that we could sample more items on the menu. The supervillain decided to try a Chile Relleno, quesadilla, and a tostada. He was more than pleased with the Chile Relleno. “That’s a big pepper,” he said. “I like it. It has heat. The red sauce and the pepper will definitely awaken your sinuses.”
The tostada and quesadilla though, were a mixed bag. Bane thought that while the quesadilla had a lot of chicken in it, there was no spice to it. And the ground beef on the tostada was also too plain for his liking. “It’s just ground beef on a taco,” Bane said. “It is the same like you would get at a high school cafeteria.”
Bane also did not care for the Mexican rice and beans that came with it. We both agreed that the refried beans tasted like they came out of a can and not fresh. New York City?!?!? anyone?
I ordered a beef burrito, beef enchilada, and a tamale. I asked the server to top the burrito and enchilada with cheese sauce instead of red sauce. I like red sauce, but my stomach doesn’t always like red sauce. Much to my dismay, it arrived with red sauce. I ate it anyway, and fortunately it did not upset my stomach. The tamale came wrapped in a corn husk which was an encouraging sign, but it was kind of on the small side. I did enjoy the taste of it though.
So here is the low down on El Agave. The portions are huge. The service is good. The prices are very reasonable. And it is a nice looking place on the inside. But El Agave is definitely what I would call American Mexican food. The meat doesn’t have much spice to it and the refried beans taste like Old El Paso out of a can. It is better than average, but there is nothing authentic Mexican about the food at all. “It’s not going to be my go-to Mexican restaurant,” Bane said. “But it is filling if you are in the mood for American style Mexican food. I thought it was Mexican food held back.”
We give it 3 1/2 Pows out of 5.