AROUND THE BEND

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Best of the Rest

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This week, I took the liberty of testing out mexican restaurants to bring you the best of the best. I traveled from Spotsylvania to Glen Allen to find top notch places for you to dine at and compiled a short list. Each place I stopped, I tested similar dishes to keep everything consistent with my judgements. First, we will start with local options and move outwards.
First off you have Pancho Villa, everyone has been here at one time or another. It is a good restaurant, but not the best on our list. Pancho Villa is a less traditional restaurant located in Central Park. Once you are seated, your server brings chips and a delicious salsa to the table. They have the usual coke products for drinks. For an appetizer I ordered guacamole, it took about 5 minutes to get to the table and was decent. The chips at the restaurant were good, they were warmed before they were served which made them better. For my main dish I had chicken enchiladas with beans and rice. On top of all my enchiladas there was cheese sauce, I put guacamole or salsa on top as well. Overall I would rate Pancho Villa a 6/10.
Second on our list, El Jimador Azteca, located in Hartwood about 25 minutes from Riverbend High School. As soon as you walk into El Jimador Azteca the smell is amazing. You are seated in a booth or at the bar and you can see a television no matter where you’re sat. Fresh baked chips and homemade salsa are brought to the table immediately. My appetizer was guacamole which was was better than Pancho Villa’s but not the best. Then my usual main course, chicken enchiladas topped with cheese sauce. The beans and rice were cooked perfectly. The enchilada had been grilled before it was cooked allowing for a slight crisp on the tortilla. As for drinks they had coke products as well as handmade drinks. El Jimador Azteca scores a 7.5/10.
Located in Glen Allen, my final restaurant named Plaza Azteca, it is about one hour away, is my absolute favorite. The moment you walk in you’re greeted by friendly staff and the delicious aroma of traditional mexican cuisine. In the restaurant there is a large fireplace and televisions that are able to be seen from everywhere. Once seated, freshly baked chips and handmade salsa are delivered to the table. I ordered my usual opener, guacamole, but instead of it being delivered, it is made at the table by a server who asks your preferences. This touch was authentic and gave the restaurant an at home feel. Next, the main dish; three large enchiladas stuffed with delicious chicken along with grilled onions and peppers topped with cheese and sour cream. On the plate, rice and beans are piled high and steaming hot. The drink options are countless, coke and pepsi products, bottles or tap sodas, handmade drinks. In the end, Plaza Azteca receives a 10/10 and is my favorite restaurant of all time.
Overall, all three restaurants are good dining options, but I would highly recommend Plaza Azteca. Though it is the furthest, it is the most authentic. If you’re looking for a quick dining option, Pancho Villa or El Jimador Azteca are wonderful choices. In the end, any of the restaurants will give a great experience.

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