Sunday, June 03, 2007

Pancho's Mexican Restaurant in Colonie NY

I've been to Pancho's Mexican Restaurant a few times now and finally now am getting around to writing about it. Obviously since I've been back, I don't hate it.

Pancho's is not the best Mexican food in the world, but I'm not fond of most of the Mexican restaurants in Albany. I have a bad bias on this having lived in Houston for four years. My bias is so bad that I don't even like most of the Mexican food I've had in California. I used to half-joke that Taco Bell was the best in Albany.

Pancho's has some good and some mediocre. The first time I went the guacamole stood out to me. I'm a big guacamole fan. I like how it tastes, I like the texture (I'm into the texture of foods), and it's actually pretty darn good for you. Last time I went the guacamole was still good, but no longer stood out in my eyes.

The other thing that stands out in my mind, in not a good way, was the steak in the steak fajitas (one of my favorite dishes). I can't put my finger on it exactly, but it doesn't taste quite right. It's either the quality of the meat or the way they cook it. It does not seem like it's grilled and that's the way I like my fajitas. I'd almost say it's fried in lard. But before anyone takes this the wrong way, I had it again last time I was there and liked it. I still noticed the flavor, but it wasn't as strong and maybe it's growing on me.

In general Pancho's is a nice place. Good atmosphere, friendly staff, and the food is generally good. I'm not giving it five stars or anything, but I will be going back.

I'm still waiting for a really good Mexican restaurant to hit the area. We go to Garcia's pretty regularly as well, and I put it on a par with Pancho's. Garcia's is particularly good for kids, while I think I like Pancho's better as a lunch place. Garcia's lunch is too focused on its buffet, which doesn't do it for me.

I used to like Chili's, but for some reason we haven't been going there lately. I think something about the chain nature of the restaurant has taken something away from it, but I can't say what. I should also mention The Cheesecake Factory. They do have some decent Mexican-style dishes, but the place is usually very crowded and a bit pricey. Lunch at 11:30 is the safest bet.


Anonymous said...

i wish you had made this review missed out on the best Mexican restaurant in the area...the Purple Cactus which closed earlier this year was located on 9W in Coxsackie and was BY FAR the best Mexican food I have ever had, too bad it was too far off the beaten path. I would also like to add that I like Pancho's much better that Garcia's

Anonymous said...

I do have to agree with the Purple Catus was the best food in the area. I was very disappointed when it closed.
But there is a nice small
mexican restraunt on Madison Avenue and Phillips by the name of
"Casa Qaxaca". The most authentic
restaurant in the area. I had been to one restraunt that stated authentic, and when I order the tamales I was very disappointed. they served the masa, but it didn't have any meat, they served thwe mkeat on a separte place. And trust me that is not how tamales are made. The chef did come out and speak with me, and I didn't like his explaination.
But at "Casa Oaxaca" the food is good and very authentic, they do have a small menu, with specials.

Anonymous said...

Casa Oaxaca is a small Mexican restaurant in Albany that keeps their menu simple but very authentic. They have expanded their menu to include a good number of vegetarian options. The owner is willing to make some adjustment to suit his customers but at the same time being true to real Mexican cooking.