Mexicali Rosa's
Foods from Mexicali Rosa's

2011 Mar 25
Went to the original on Bank St.
Had the Mexicali classic nachos. I found them to be undercooked. The cheese was lightly melted.
I had the mexicn flag and it was ok rather mushy as previously mentioned. The food didn't taste very fresh.
I don't think I would go back.
The sangria wasn't great.

2010 Aug 29
My last encounter with Mexi's was last November. I just got out of the Civic Centre after enjoying a leisurely evening of tasting at the Wine and Food show. Unfortunately for me, I hadn't eaten quite enough to counteract the effects of the alcohol. I walked down Bank st to find a quiet place to grab a bite before heading back home. I decided to stop in at their Glebe location. Maybe it's my own fault for going there after the W&F, but I was absolutely dissapointed. I used to go often to their Orleans location (before it was turned into the Willie and Juan's - never going back there) and the food was fantastic. I ordered a quesadilla app and the Mexican flag. I should have stopped at the app. The food was a mound of much, with very little flavor. With a soda, my tab was over 30$ and I left with little comfort other than the fact the my digestive track wouldn't need to work too much. I was sorely dissapointed and have taken them of my list of "Go to" places.

2008 Dec 10
I have been eating at the centrally located Mexi's for years now and have noticed a steady decline in the quality of food as they developed their franchise across Canada, but it is still an old favourite. The prices are rather pricey for the style of food, so I recommend going on the specials nights (Thursday's in the Glebe is 1/2 off Fajitas). If you are looking for the best location it is by far the original Bank in the Glebe one. It seems to be the most true to the original fare. I recommend the fajita (make sure to ask for more tortillas), Super Nachos (lots of cheese and veggies), Caesar salad (which comes with delicious garlic and melted cheese flat breads), and the Mexican Flag (enchiladas), and the Upside-down Volcano (sweet strawberry/lime pop-drink). Do not expect great Mexican food by any means but it is a fun place to go and get food that is better/more interesting than most pub-food. The main problem is that it does vary greatly by location.

2008 Jul 7
HUNT CLUB – 540 West Hunt Club Road

Dropped in on a recent afternoon. A long time fan of Mexicali Rosa’s this was my first visit to the Hunt Club location. This spot is spacious and has a nice décor. “The Man” and I sat in the bar area (only sitting available due to the time of day). This room features a rustic looking bar, hi-top tables and booths. We had a friendly greeting from the bartender, who was also waitressing. Immediately upon being seated, she brought the menus and the complimentary chips & salsa. “The Man” ordered a Rickards Pale Ale while I chose a glass of Pinot Grigio from Lindemans. The restaurant has an ok wine list, and several available by the glass in addition to their house selection. As this was a late lunch (after 3 PM), we decided to go a little lighter than the main fare selections. “The Man” opted for the Chili, which came with a side of Chips & Flatbread. I chose the Fiesta Salad. Although the base of the Fiesta Salad is Iceburg Lettuce, it was fresh and crisp and came topped with tomatoes, onion, and peppers. I had Grilled Chicken added, and asked for a side of Ranch Dressing. The server gladly accommodated my request. Both “The Man” and I found our meals to be tasty and filling.

Overall a nice lunch outing. We will have to go back sometime for dinner.

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Like others I find the quality of the experience varies too much from one Mexicali Rosa’s to the next… I have been told this is because they are franchised, and well it all matters in how Management runs the place (which inturn translates into how happy the staff are). At this point in time I would have to say that over the years I’ve had good experiences at the Glebe (near the Civic Centre / Lansdowne Park), Richmond Road (west of Woodroffe) and now the Hunt Club location (west of Merivale). Dow’s Lake tends to be hit or miss with the food, but always a good place on a summer’s day for drinks on the patio.

2008 Jun 20
On a nice Friday evening, I figured a patio on the canal would have been nice. So we went to the Dows lake Mexi. Ok. Nachos: gooey and saucy cold cheese, soft chips, probably microwaved left overs from the previous customer that ran away because of all the creepy crawly bugs (spiders and other weird moving objects) that many spider webs suggest something about how often they bother cleaning the patio. Maybe spiders should be on the menu. My son sat on a bench and ended up stinking his pants to the point that he had to get home in underwear. The large orders are small, and expensive. In case you opt for the fajitas, don't forget to ask, yes ask for the dry rice and wet beans. otherwise they play chicken and forget about you. the fajitas come on a glorious frying pan, but the chicken is dry, and the onions taste old. They are also extremely expensive. I'd say even Montanas has better nachos and fajitas. Highly not recommended.

2007 Aug 6
Had dinner last night at the Kanata location. The free salsa and chips were great but everything went downhill from there. The expensive margarita wasn't anything special - especially for $8. Glad I didn't get the $10 one. My son ordered the large order of nachos. 20 Tostitos and a very small amount of salsa and cheese drizzled over these isn't my idea of a large oder of nachos for $8. Save your money and go somewhere else. You can get this quality of "Mexican" at Taco Bell!

2007 Jul 10
Had dinner at the Clarence Street location last night. Ordered the Gordita, inspired by Taco Bell perhaps? The description sounded good... hard taco stuffed with beef, lettuce, tomatoes and cheese, surrounded by a larger soft taco shell stuffed with more cheese and baked in the oven for melty goodness. What appeared on my plate didn't look as appetizing.

All the listed ingredients were there but it hadn't sat in the oven long enough as the cheese between the two shells had barely melted, and the lack of any kind of sauce between the shells made it look and taste dry. So I asked the waitress for a side of tomato-based sauce which helped the dish immensely. It should come with the sauce by the default.

The standard Mexicali sides were hit and miss. Rice and salad were tasty but the refried beans were brutal. They obviously came from a powder mix and were almost inedible. What's the point? They used to be pretty good.

A co-diner had the nachos and they were burnt. How does that even leave the kitchen? It would take all of five minutes to whip up a new batch.

So I can't even recommend Mexi's as a good place to have drinks and nachos. Maybe just the drinks.

2007 May 25
Okay; now I'm wondering if you can sort of judge the various Mexis by their covers. The one in Kanata LOOKS like a bad restaurant. The one in the Glebe, where I had the 'Mexican flag' enchiladas pictured below, does not, and they were much better there than in Kanata. Not great, but. Hrm. (And we didn't even get the stale chips in the 'burbs!)

Working in what looks like a crappy chain place in a parking lot of big boxes must have a psychological effect on cooks and servers, I think. Dow's Lake Kanata ain't.

2007 May 24
Went to the Dow's Lake location for a work lunch today and had the lunch chicken chimi. It was delicious. Colleagues sitting near me had the "number 18" which always seems to be a hit - will have to try it next time. I've also had the salad with the drunken shrimp on it and love that.

I really don't mind Mexi's. The patio is nice, service is pretty quick, and even though the plates are obviously reheated the food is still good. The little bowls of stale tortilla chips they bring out make me laugh.

I don't go here for authentic tex-mex, I go for "two steps up from taco bell". And as long as you're not expecting the world, Mexi's delivers :)

2007 May 23
Had the below-pictured 'Mexican Flag' enchiladas again, late at night in Kanata to satisfy a craving.

They barely satisfied. They were awful. Well -- edible, but garbage. And just under $15 (before tax and tip) garbage!

The red sauce is tinned tomato with what seems to be a tiny bit of generic Tex-Mex flavouring. Awful. The green is similarly dull and procesed-tasting.

That it arrived dry but not hot, minus its usual accompanying bit of salad, side of jalapenos not available, and so on, wasn't such a big deal in light of the overall bad.

Just noticed Mexi's is getting a good share of thumbs-down here; it's a bit too easy to see why. It was a treat to go here years and years ago and eat pretty decent, then hard-to-find Mex at the then-pleasant restaurants, but now it's just another god-awful suburban chain. Chile relleno (now gone from the increasingly bland and overpriced menu) and margs on a Dow's Lake patio is quite the throw from a Kanata box. Spending the extra time to get to Ahora or Pancho Villa would've been well worth it.

(Other half had a beef burrito, which was very dry-looking. Something akin to Loblaws tortillas stuffed with shredded sticks.)

Edited to add: in other words, exactly what was already said here...





2007 Sep 14
Quite possibly the best Margarita I've ever had (at Dow's Lake location).