Home » Dining Out » The ups and downs of Tequila’s, Niskayuna

The ups and downs of Tequila’s, Niskayuna

I’m not going to lie, I was ready to absolutely SHRED Tequila’s Mexican Bar & Grill. We decided to finally try the relatively newly opened Mexican spot (in the old LT’s Grill space in the Shop Rite Plaza – which we never did try) recently, placing an order through their website. That process was generally painless and I headed off to pick up our order at the time indicated. Well, after waiting a half hour or so for my pickup time (not unreasonable for a Saturday night), I arrived and stood around waiting for my order for very nearly AN HOUR. I wasn’t happy at this new restaurant, owned by the same people that own the well-regarded, but parking deficient, La Mexicana in Schenectady. There were two other people there waiting for takeout when I arrived that waited an awfully long time, also, not including however long they had already been there.To be blunt, I only stayed because the food was already paid for and, honestly, I wasn’t overly hungry. Plus I figured I owed it to them to find out if the food was any good since they’re so convenient (and we really would like to find some good Mexican nearby). Plus, hey, blog post at a minimum! It was also clear that they are, or at least were, having staffing problems. It seemed like only a couple of people were serving tables, clearing, seating, dealing with takeout, and, for all I know, COOKING the food. That also bought them some slack. A LOT of places are having trouble with staffing right now. BUUUUT, what had my blood boiling is that they KNEW they were short staffed when I ordered and knew how many other orders they had. Tell me to come 40 minutes later if that is when my food is going to be ready. Then I can wait at home instead of standing in your foyer in a mask playing card games on my phone and angrily texting my wife.

So, finally, I got our food, ready to rip the place up one side and down the other. But they did throw in a few chips and some salsa. Whoop di doo.

Alas…the food was great. So now I don’t know what the heck to do. I want to order from there again, but I certainly don’t want to go through all that again. Next time we’re craving Mexican I’ll screw up my courage and go for it, I suppose. With fingers crossed.

My wife ordered the quesadilla fajita. Cheese quesadilla with onions and pepper plus tomato. Comes with black beans and rice. Reportedly good. Hard to screw up a cheese quesadilla, to be honest. $12.99.

I decided to get two things to have a meal for another day (and to try two things). What I ate when I got home were the a la carte tacos. Three soft tacos, to be specific, for a base price of $8.99. You get to pick your meat for the three (mix and match), but you’re only getting shredded chicken or beef for that price. I got one shredded beef, one chorizo (+$2), and one al pastor (+$2 more). They came nestled side by side in a styrofoam (or similar) takeout container, swimming in grease. I think most of the grease was probably from the chorizo. I want to say they just had some cheese and lettuce on them, but I failed to really take note. The chorizo and shredded beef were both pretty good while the al pastor was a real standout. Marinated pork with pineapple. Deeeelicious. They were pretty filling.

My big gripe with the tacos was the sameness of them. Meaty goodness though it was. Admittedly I picked off a bunch of the lettuce (not a fan outside of salads), but there was just nothing at all to cut the greasy, meaty, fatty chew. The lettuce wouldn’t have done much for that except to add a bit of crunch. I’m not saying they should change them or even know what I would have done differently, I’m just saying I think they needed some acid or something to cut the meat and fat. That’s probably why the al pastor was my favorite with the sweet, acidic bits of pineapple mixed in. Maybe some tomato-y salsa? The only one I wouldn’t get again is the chorizo. It was good, but it drowned the others in grease and was the most one-note of the trio. Good flavor in all three.

The item I saved for leftovers was a $13 chimichanga with shredded beef (website let me delete the shredded lettuce). Shredded Chicken or Shredded Beef Rolled in a Flour Tortilla, Fried & Baked Topped with Cheese, Ranchero Sauce. Served with Lettuce, Tomatoes, Sour Cream & Guacamole, Rice and Beans. Sounds good, doesn’t it? It was. Even reheated in the microwave. It was also huge. Frankly, it was moronic of me to eat the whole thing as one meal. I got like 2/3 of the way through and pushed on, thinking that there wouldn’t be enough left to save or that the remaining tortilla couldn’t possibly remained full of delicious filling. But it did. I was stuuuuuuuffed.

There are several more items I want to try and they ARE convenient for us, so I think it won’t be too long before we go for it again. They’ve got distanced tables for indoor dining and that good-sized patio for outdoor eating (because that sounds GREAT on this start of summer Memorial Day weekend with temperatures in the %$&*#@ 40s) if you prefer dining in, which we’re not doing yet. Give them a try, but keep your fingers crossed they’re doing a better job with takeout orders. I hope it gets better. Have you see A Chorus Line? Dance Ten, Looks Three? Well, right now Tequila’s is Food Ten, Service Three.

2 thoughts on “The ups and downs of Tequila’s, Niskayuna

  1. Online ordering is tough. I’m not an insider so I don’t know for sure, but I think you just pick an amount of time for the program to tell you the order will be ready. Seems like most places pick half an hour. I’ve gotten an email saying things will be ready in half an hour followed by a text 5 minutes later saying it was ready to pick up. I’ve been 5 minutes early and left wondering how long my order had already been sitting there. I’ve also been 5 minutes early and waited over half an hour for the order. I don’t think most online ordering systems are real-time connected with the reality of what is currently going on in the kitchen.

  2. Pingback: Tequila’s second shot goes down better | Eat Up Albany!

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