Located in Carleton Place.

Foods from Tilly's Smokehouse


2011 Aug 12
A bizarre experience. "Family friendly" turned out to be a loud band inside (7pm) and a lot of cigarettes and beer and noise on the patio...

"Cheese enchiladas" were not even close to enchiladas, just a flour tortilla with a smattering of cheese and veg (mushrooms, even) slightly melted inside and some exceptionally bland sauce (on the menu: "creamy renjo sauce" -- "renjo"? Not creamy, just flavourless red sauce) dumped on top, with a little bit of sour cream and mediocre guacamole. $16 for this single, cold, burrito, too, with dried-out rice. Admittedly the salad was nice, albeit served in impossible-to-eat fashion (giant pieces, spilling out of a teeny bowl).

Service was a total mess. We were mostly left alone, didn't get to order anything beyond our initial dinner order (and never saw the dessert that was supposed to be included with the kids' meal -- warning -- kids' menu is not the "wee appetites" one posted on the web site; it's the usual junk food, including a Kraft Dinner offering. Ordered: grilled cheese; arrived: blackened). I got my food while my friends got the add-ons for their fajitas, and then they didn't see the meat for the fajitas until it was quite cold. Cutlery arrival was hit and miss, and a request for serving utensils for the guac/beans/sour cream &c was met with "We don't have those" and an offer of more forks. No...spoons? The three different people we saw were nice enough, just apparently totally untrained, and none of us had a hot meal, or managed to eat simultaneously. Or order drinks or dessert. I was the only one to get meal-appropriate cutlery with my meal.

So, yeah. Divey atmosphere, no idea what an enchilada is, not a place to take your kids, and ruin-your-evening service.

I am a Valley-dweller nowadays and was mortified to bring friends to this place. Food and restaurant standards are generally a bit lower out here than they are in the city, but Tilly's was a new low. I had a similarly awful run-in with an uncooked flour tortilla trying to be an "enchilada" when this was a Mexicali Rosa's, and had hoped for a little better. The menu should have been a warning -- "Nacho's," "monetary" jack cheese, excitement over foodservice products ("cusabi"), no prices listed on the web... I was excited by non-chain Mexican, but now I'm hoping a chain takes over; junky US roadhouses like "Applebee's" are at least...reliable, and less imaginative with menu terms. "Cheese enchilada with creamy renjo sauce" should not be "Small single burrito with bland red sauce, $16."

All this and with a pleasant view of a highway and a grotty motel. Don't. "The Good Food Co" on the main drag does decent meals (though no longer dinner, I understand?) and I have heard good things about Ballygiblin's.

2011 Jun 27
Name change from Tijuana Tilly's to Tilly's Smokehouse.

Inspection of the menu shows lots of BBQ options and only a handful of Tex-Mex ones. Looks like more than just a name change!

2010 Jun 7
The SO and I went to Tijuana Tilly's this winter after hearing good things from some friends in Pakenham. We tried the chimichanga and the veggie fajita, and they were both awesome! I also had a margarita, which was delish. The portion sizes are good, the dishes are tasty without being heavy (not that common this next of the woods) and very well priced. The atmosphere is very cute, and the service was pleasant. We will definitely be back! I'd recommend it if you are in the neighbourhood. Too bad about it's highway-side location, but I guess its good for visibility.

Also, @ Kudly68: I believe they are independent and not a chain - they actually have a tongue-in-cheek story printed on their menu explaining how they don't have any Mexican connection, but "paid an unknown fee to acquire the ancient Antillinez recipes." But it used to be a Mexi's!

2010 Jun 7
We stopped into Tijuana Tilly's on a whim while driving through Carleton Place. What an absolute suprise as the food was fantastic. Their lunch menu was very reasonably priced and the food was super tasty.

Try their garden salad with their homemade cilantro lime dressing. The best. A really nice summer taste. It was even better when the spillage of the dressing ran into my rice - telling me next time to ask for some extra dressing it is that good.

The Sangria was pretty good but could have used a little more wine or a small bit of rum to kick it up a bit.

The service was great, staff friendly and the wait times were negligable. Just enough time to sip on our drinks.

Highly recommended for Mexican food and is actually the best I have ever tried in the Ottawa area.

We look forward to going back for dinner with some friends and are anxious to try some of their other menu items.

I am hearing that this is a franchise though I have never heard of them and am actually shocked to hear this given the freshness of the food.