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Flautas at Agave Grill
Agave Grill
Margaritas at Agave Grill
Margaritas at Agave Grill
Agave Grill
Foods from Agave Grill
Comments

2009 Jan 19
I'm in a possible minority here, but i (grudgingly) think Agave's quality has declined since their reno, something i was reminded of today after a visit to Amate down the street.

As to the reno, I sort of liked the older, more utilitarian look, although i do agree having a couple booths works and overall, the restaurant feels a bit warmer.

But, the food itself is more of my concern, both quality and cost. As a vegetarian, my options are narrower, and so i tend to go w/ either the fajitas or the burritos. The fajitas used to be a nice deal, but w/ my last 2 orders, i've found them pretty "meh"-- uninspiring & skimpy, just a handful of veggies (mostly thin strips of zucchini one time). The burrito was better and more filling, but my request (last visit) for extra spice at source (i.e., in the preparation itself) was brushed off w/ a "oh, we'll give you some hot salsa on the side" and then off to another table. (ah ... hot sauce on the side ain't the same!)

Although i can't really speak for them, my non-vegetarian companions on both of my last visits were similarly underwhelmed by their plates (enchiladas maybe?)

Overall, i still like this place, partly out of sentiment: for a couple yrs after moving to Ottawa, it seemed like one of the few reasonably priced, casual and friendly alternative to the Royal Oak type places on the Wellington strip not closed after a movie on a cold weekday night. And, its still a vibrant place ... i'm just a little less enthusiastic about their food.

2008 Dec 5
I know, everytime I turn around it looks like I'm posting another review for Agave. And, it's a little bit true. We go here so often that I might as well try to steal their recipe for Chimichangas and Mojitos the next time we're in.

Anyway, my SO and I went for lunch today, which was wonderful and incredibly different.

They were packed to the brim by the time we were seated and had ordered drinks. I met a friend a few weeks ago here and definitely reservations appear to be necessary on Fridays around lunchtime. Or at least, they're a good idea.

Their menu is very different with a lot of more American choices, such as various burgers and sandwiches. All of which come with sweet potato fries (which are yummy, but a bit soft) and salad (again, yum but nothing special).

I was in a healthy mood when I sat down (this didn't last long) and ordered the Southwestern Salad which was done in a fried tortilla shell (like I said, my health kick didn't last long) and has avacodo, cheese, tomatoes, peppers and sour cream. It was super yummy and the tortilla tasted like it had chipotle in it.

My SO ordered his usual, Chimichanga, and said that it was really good, but that there was more chicken and less cheese than at dinner time (they've become a bit infamous amongst us for their excessive cheese at dinner). I imagine there's a different chef.

Either way it was defintely good and on par with other lunch experiences in the area!

2008 Nov 28
Popped in for a quick meal the other night. The renovated room looks really good and they have 3-4 decent sized booths now.

2008 Nov 14
Went here for a business lunch this month. It was busy. The service was very attentive throughout the meal. The food was very good. Although to be honest business lunches tend to focus on business, not lunch. So I can't remember what I had. Will be back and hopefully add a better review. And to try the Margaritas.

2008 Sep 22
I ate here in a group of four on Saturday night and I can pretty much echo everything in Monty's review.

The service was very good - Les, the owner, overheard us say we were going to order the layer dip from across the room and came running over to confirm this and put our order in with the kitchen.

The margaritas were delicious - they use fresh lime juice! The second margarita was noticeably stronger than the first, though, everyone noticed (although this was not a bad thing!)

The chips and salsa were refilled during our meal without us every having to ask - a nice touch.
I shared the Mexican Flag with a friend and we had one of each cheese, chicken and beef enchiladas. I particularly enjoyed that the enchiladas were just filled with the one particular topping (just chicken, and so on) as most places often give you huge enchiladas which are mostly rice or beans. The sauces were very good as were the rice/beans on the side.

BF had the blackened chicken and my mom had the Pechuga de Pollo - both were very good. We all agreed that the rice/beans sides were better than the potatoes and veggies - which were just OK.

The meal finished off with four shots, compliments of the owner. They are closed for the next few days due to renovations - he seemed really excited about this so I am interested in going back to check out the renovated digs. Overall, a nice meal and a fun, casual evening.

2008 Sep 18
Had a great meal at Agave tonight. Very relaxed casual atmosphere, and the owner Les was an extremely charming and attentive host.

We started with a few margs which were a very potent martini-style mix with freshly squeezed lime. I'm not kidding when I say leave the car keys at home if you plan on demolishing 2 or more of these! Split the layer dip pictured as an app - pinto beans with jack cheese, spiced beef, homemade guac, sour cream, and salsa. It was a great accompaniment to the drinks and certainly enough to split amongst 2-4 people.

I had the 'Mexican Flag' dish for my main which was 3 enchiladas and a side of rice/beans. The cubed chicken was excellent and I really liked the salsa verde and enchilada sauce. My partner had the fajitas for one, which again was a hearty portion with lots of chicken/peppers and more of that delicious homemade guac and salsa on the side.

We were too stuffed for dessert. Total for 2 margs, app, mains, and coffee was ~$65 + tip. Complementary shots included. I have to reiterate how personable the service was. Les is one smooth operator and you can tell he really takes pride in his work and cares about his customer base. He noted they'll be closed next week for renos which addresses some comments about the stark interior.

Looking forward to my next meal here...

2008 Jul 28
Tiana, the veggie burrito isn't really the thing to order at Agave. It's one of teh few meals that hasn't wowed me, and we go there every couple of weeks (it's our favourite restuarant).

Next time, if a friend drags you kicking and screaming, try the Mexican flag, with three cheese enchiladas (you get an option between cheese, beef or chicken...I assume you're vegetarian of some kind?), or the veggie fajitas. Both of these are wonderful, the sauce/veggies have some kick to them, etc. If you want protein, their black beans are awesome as a side, and their veggies side is really yummy too! For all that it says "no substitutions" on the menu (or, I think now, it's $2.50 to sub), usually if one of the senior waiters/the owner is in, he won't charge you. I agree, their salad is bland and boring, but please don't base your judgement entirely on the salad. There is more to life (and restaurants) than a side salad.

As for the decor, perhaps its a matter of personal choice, but I find it charming. Either that, or I'm spending too much time chatting with friends, and with Les, the owner, to notice that the walls are beige (and a brilliant stone texture, might I add).


2008 May 23
We went here for dinner about a week ago. I ordered the Veggie Burrito and my husband for some reason ordered the seafood linguine.

He was head over heels for it.

I thought mine was good but not spectacular. Worth the price though. I did not, however, like the accompanying salad. It just seems so boring to me...

I also found the restaurant itself to look boring. It's basically a big beige rectangle with some tables in it.

So it was good and I'd go back if someone else wanted to go, but I wouldn't take the initiative to go there.

2007 Dec 17
I had a nice, casual dinner at Agave last Thursday evening. This was my second time at the restaurant, and I was very pleased with the overall experience. Service was good, and the food even better. For $60 for drinks, an appetizer, two entrées and two desserts, and a tip, who can complain?

My significant other and I shared a layered bean dip for starters which we had also had on our first visit. While it was nothing to call home about, it was tasty enough that we had ordered it twice. Nicely seasoned, and with homemade guacamole in it, I believe. The beans that are in the dip are also served with the entrées, and they are mighty tasty on their own.

I ordered chicken enchiladas and they were fabulous. The cubed chicken inside the enchiladas was really nicely cooked: very juicy, very flavourful, good enough to be eaten on its own. The corn tortillas they used for the enchiladas were also a nice touch. My significant other had the beef tamale, and he devoured it readily, leading me to believe it was also pretty good. Dessert was generic, but cheap at only $5.25.

On my first visit, I had a lime margarita - absolutely fabulous and chock full of tequila. To try something new on this visit, I had their signature "martini" - red wine, tequila and triple sec. Though not as good as the marg, a good option if you're looking for something with a little less kick. SI had a Warsteiner. It appears that their beer selection had changed from zymurgist's last visit, but it was still pretty good and not too generic.

I just need to rant about one thing: As we were seated by the door, it was drafty when people came and went, especially since the door needs a little help to close tightly. Several patrons who arrived and left left BOTH doors to the restaurant open with cold and snow blowing in! One would tend to think they were raised in a barn! But I digress. . .

2007 Mar 9
Went here with the wife back in August 2006, and here is a bit of a rewrite of a review I did for my website www.bodensatz.com

---snip---

I almost didn't want to go since the wife's second choice was the little Thai place that burned out there about 9 months ago - Siam Bistro or something like that. I was actually rooting for it because Agave's website only lists a few crappy beers and given the choice I'd rather take my chances on whatever beer was available at Siam since the food is supposed to be pretty amazing over there and I wasn't sure about Agave's food. But I relented and finally we went to Agave. Their seriously out-of-date beer menu on the website was a point I brought up at several times during the night with the waiter, but given the excellent selection they actually ended up having I forgave them in the end. It is really only in their own best interest, however, to keep their site up-to-date given how easy that is to do. Case in point - we almost ended up not going there because of it.

Agave's physical drinks menu lists Keiths and Blanc de Chambly, neither of which they serve anymore. But they do have Amsterdam Blonde, Headstrong Helles, and two types of Warsteiner on tap. In the bottle they have both Heritage Light and Dark, Seargent Major's IPA ( "SMIPA" - in the local vernacular, though my waiter Friday night was stumped when I ordered that name :-) ), and one other one i don't recall. So definitely go for the beer menu! The food certainly won't disappoint you either if you like any kind of Mexican or otherwise neo-Latino cuisine. There were also plenty of tasty options for vegetarians.

Back to the beer - the Headstrong was IMO a nice, malty, very drinkable, well-balanced beer that is true to the Munich Helles style. And the SMIPA was every bit as good as every other glass of it i've ever had! They have lost nothing in bottling it. Very good job.

I should also mention that they do take reservations, and even let us change them by a half hour on fairly short notice. Our table was one of the two near the sidewalk cafe they have out front, just on the inside of the removed windows. It was very comfortable in spite of no air conditioning where we were, but on an extreme evening I don't think I'd want to be at one of the tables too far to the back of the place.

Probably a bit claustrophobic way at the back of this long-narrow establishment and not really sure I'd want to be stuck back there. But the food was absolutely fabulous, and the beer selection amongst the best in the city. Will definitely go back but will try to reserve the window seat again.

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2015 Jul 15
And here is the new and updated Flauta from Agave.

Just right and tasty cheesy chicken deep fried goodness. Dipping salsa was nice to but could have gone a little spicier for my tastes. Fries were crispy and tasty but nothing crazy. Veg on the side was a delicious flavourful touch but peppers were slightly overcooked. From my food industry perspective plating this dish on a larger plate would show off the value and pump up the esthetics a lot better instead of squeezing everything on this wee square vessel.

Try and get a window seat in the front for a great view of wellington st and attentive service (put's you right by the bar where staff tend to converge!).

This place is due for a comeback. Hot fresh tex-mex delight.



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2010 Aug 11
Since I'm arguably reviewing the Margaritas at Agave in answering Happy Mouth's question, I will put it this way: I eat lemons and limes whole. I live for tart foods. The margaritas at Agave are sweet to me, but not too sweet. They have a good, solid lime taste.

2009 Mar 27
Are they sure they only put 2 shots of tequila in these? (hick), I'm feeling a little boozy...

For 10 bucks, I'd say it was worth it :)

2009 Feb 25
The margaritas are superb! Icy, not slushy, limey, and thirst quenching. The strawberry ones are equally fresh, evidenced by the seeds at the bottom of your empty drink, and perfectly not too sweet.

The best part has to be how Les makes them magically reappear in the blink of an eye.

I can never remember to whip out the camera before half of it is downed.

2008 Jul 28
Fresh squeeze limes, and a martini style, but icier--I wouldn't say "slushy" because that reminds me of mixes that you get from the LCBO (or Loblaws for that matter), but it has a thicker quality to it. And the tequila they use is smooth, not a great deal of afterburn.

Hope that helps. You may just have to try one to find out (pity I gave up alcohol until I lose twenty pounds)

2008 Jul 25
Can you give us some more detail on what makes them the best? Do they use fresh squeezed limes or that green lifesaver syrup? Are they martini-style or slushy? I'm not putting my hand down unless I have more information! Thanks! ;-)

2008 Jul 24
hands down, the best margaritas in town.




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2008 Mar 13
Last Sunday morning after the snowstorm
this was one of the few places on Somerset/Wellington/Richmond that had parking spots (city did plow) & sidewalk was done also. So at 10:05am we were the first customers for brunch.
Coffee was hot and fresh and replenished nicely (after the server ran back from Herb&Spice across the street--fruit was very fresh!) Very reasonable prices. Vegetarian fritta platter was excellent, incredibly good homefries, oven baked veggie frittata, small side of fruit. Nice fruit cup with granola. French toast in triple sec with fruit and bacon or sausages was the most expensive item ($9),was huge and good. None of the 3 of us ordered benedict (there were 2 choices) but prices were about the best I've seen $8 or$9 and given how good the rest of the stuff was it seems like a great place for brunch. Friendly service, good food, hot coffee as needed. Love the friendly service here!




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2007 Mar 12
Back August 2006 when we went here, the beer selection listed on their website was pretty uninspired. But we went nonetheless only to find a completely different list on their physical menu, most of which they did not have. Fortunately they ended up having a very good selection, with Amsterdam Blonde, Headstrong Helles, and two types of Warsteiner on tap. In the bottle they had both Heritage Light and Dark, Seargent Major's IPA, and at least one other I do not recall.

Their website seems to have since been updated and now lists Headstrong (yum!), Amsterdam (yum!), Steam Whistle (yum!), Warsteiner and several others.

In short, not a bad place for beer.