Strive for taste sometimes becomes desperate at Desperados

The thought of having a cheese enchilada and a margarita on the rocks within walking distance sounds like a fine setting.The idea would be better, however, if it were on a beach and the destination were some place other than Desperados Mexican Restaurant.

The namesake tacos are fine and a safe order when dining in the intimate joint. Crispy, greasy flour tortillas hold melted jack cheese in the middle of the fold, topped with cuts of steak (or chicken, if you so choose), a few dices of tomatoes and a thin slice of fresh avocado.

Desperados tacos (Photo by TAYLOR ADAMS)

Dressed shreds of lettuce sit on the side of the Desperados tacos. While that space on the plate would be better suited to some rice, the lettuce does bring a chilly freshness to the greasy, but savory tacos. The shell is salty, the steak is well seasoned and the cheese is perfectly melted. (Come in after 5 p.m. on a Thursday and get these for $5.95 instead of $9.99 and they almost taste a little better.)

The attempt at queso (Photo by TAYLOR ADAMS)

But the perfection in melted cheese isn’t always accomplished. The queso comes in a small cup, topped with a sprinkle of paprika, looking similar to Mi Cocina’s, but not living up to that taste. There’s effort put into it, with a small presence of peppers, but it lacks onions and any real kick or flavor. Needless to say, I can safely assume it’s a queso of which Leslie Brenner would definitely not approve.

The servers are quick and attentive, though there’s a good chance you could have three or four attending to your table during your meal. Our first waitress suggested that my order of sangria be upgraded to the larger, 12-ounce option. After seeing the other miniature glasses beverages came in, the $1.05 upgrade seemed worth it. The sangria is a little too artificially sweet, similar to the way plastic bottles of grape juice are loaded with just too much sugar.
Even while it’s somewhat buried by being at the bottom of the tri-fold menu, the list of Tex-Mex options should taste better. If visitors dare to go with these, they can choose from a meal of two, three or four options, all of which come with sides of fresh and flavorful rice and a small puddle of refried beans that need some salt.

Cheese taco and cheese enchilada are two options for a Tex-Mex plate. (Photo by MICHAEL DANSER)

The cheese enchilada and soft cheese taco sound like safe options, but the enchilada simply lacks significant flavor and the soft cheese taco has a fresh corn tortilla drowning it what appears and tastes to be the same disappointing “queso” that arrived in the white, plastic cup before the meal.

Desperados Mexican Restaurant
Location: 4818 Greenville Ave. in Dallas, 75206 (See website for other location)
Hours: 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Sunday through Thursday, 11 a.m. to 11 p.m Friday through Saturday
Price: $-$$
Ambiance:  Intimate, casual, quick service
Attire: Casual
Payment Information: Major credit cards accepte
Alcohol: Full bar
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