Waltham Mexican restaurant reviews

I'm starting this page with reviews of restaurants Jennifer and I have dined at recently. I'd be happy to add additional reviews from restaurants that readers of this page have visited, and will credit you with the review. Please send reviews or comments to Scott at sshurr@gmail.com.

Waltham Restaurants home

  • $$ Iguana Cantina - 313 Moody Street - 781-891-3039 (Wendy and Tom review green dot) !
  • $$ Margaritas - 227 Moody Street - 781-893-9990 fax 781-893-8672

    • green dot 2003 07 21 - Margaritas (Mexican Restaurant & Watering Hole) opened it's 16th location (the first in Massachusetts) at a prime site in the Cronin's Landing building at 227 Moody Street on July 22. Now headquartered in New Hampshire, the chain opened its first restaurant in Orono, ME in 1984. The restaurants feature the decor of the Guadalajara area of Mexico, and serve a wide range of Mexican specialties. The renovations since Ciros closed early this year include enclosing the bar and addition of walls to create smaller, quieter rooms. Brightly colored cushions on the benches in the booths, colorful tiles on the tables, and an eclectic blend of Mexican artifacts create a comfortable, festive atmosphere. A full range of Mexican specialties are available, including margaritas from 5.25 to 6.25, appetizers from 3.99 to 8.29, salads from 4.29 to 9.99, fajitas from 12.49 to 15.49, grilled entrees from 12.49 to 16.79, favorites, 10.49 to 14.99, vegetarian from 9.49 to 11.29, and burritos priced at 8.29 to 9.99. A regular Margarita was large, and mixed just right. The Queso Fundido appetizer (6.99) was an artfully arranged plate of nachos, chopped tomatoes, cheese, a green sauce with a little touch of brown mole. We had the Original Steak and Chicken Combo fajitas (13.99) and the Margaritas Famous Tester (Combinacion de la Casa) of a chicken burrito, cheese enchilada, and a beef taco with Mexican rice & beans (12.29). Entree portions were generous, and delicious. The service was very attentive and quick, but this was a pre-opening party. If they can keep up with a Friday or Saturday night crowd, this could become a very popular spot.

    • green dot 2003 11 14 - review by Nicole and Shelley - On Nov. 14th, we went to Margarita's for an early dinner. Very good service, complementary tortilla chips and salsa, large portions. Prices in the $$ range. Lots of variety on the menu. The place seems busy most nights (we've been there before), but they have a call ahead seating service and they offer takeout. Not open for lunch. They have events scheduled every night there's a full moon. If there's a long wait, there are a number of tables available on a first-come-first-serve basis at the back of the bar area (not available to anyone under 21 if not accompanied by an adult). We split the Beef and Chicken Combo Fajitas ($13.99) which was more than enough for 3 fajitas each. Very good. On previous visits I've had their Tijuana Chicken and the Tequila-Lime Chicken, and they tasted reheated. Stick with the Tex-Mex fare if you can.

    • red dot 2004 11 29 - review by John Connelly - I visited Margarita's twice in the fall of 2003, both without anything good to say. The first time was about a month after it opened. We were seated right away, and it was crowded, so I had some pity when no one came over and greeted us. After about 10 minutes of no one greeting us, I grabbed the first person I could find (who worked there) and told them we hadn't been seen by a waiter. That server brought over the chips and salsa (good salsa) and told us someone would be with us shortly. After another 15 or so minutes, I finally got up and went to the hostess station to ask for assistance. Someone eventually came over, took our order, apologized for the delay, and disappeared. The food showed up after another 20 minutes, and the server came back to drop the check, but not to check on us, and get more drinks for us. I asked to speak to the manager, who apologized and gave us his card, telling us to come back and try another night (no gift certificate, no coupon) because it was just a very busy night. Two months later, my friend and I went back and tried again. This time it was late on a weeknight, and it was slow. Very slow. Service was once again non-existent (the server wandered out of the section to chat with the receptionist is my guess.) On top of that, the shredded lettuce that came with my friend's taco platter had sand in it (not a few grains, it was gritty!) I'm in the food business, so I try to give people leeway (which is why I came back again in the first place), however it will be a cold day in Hell before I enter the doors of that establishment again, especially when there are two other Mexican restaurants within 3 blocks.

    • green dot 2006 11 21 - review by Karen - They say, the further you are from the boarder of any ethnic food, the worse it will be. As a transplanted Californian, I crave good Mexican food. In my native Santa Barbara, there are hidden gems of small restaurants with platters of great food served on simple Formica tables and old chairs. The Taqueria in Waltham is great for this old style authentic Mexican food, but sometimes I crave a good margarita too and something a little more north of the border. Margaritas used to fill the bill nicely as a place you could take friends who could barely stand the heat from buttered toast and whose idea of ethnic food was Taco Bell. However, something delightful has entered the kitchens at Margaritas and it is called spice. Somewhere the taste-buds of chili busting college students have entered the fray of Moody St. restaurants and as Emeril says, have kicked up a notch. As one begins their meal munching on fresh tortilla chips while sucking a nice Cuervo Margarita on the rocks, I plunged my chip into a chunky tomato salsa, complete with visible onions, cilantro and spicy jalapeno seeds. Ahhh. There is some notable heat here. Vastly improved from the older menu of watery and flat salsa with no taste, except of preservatives. Spicy salsa was a good sign of things to come. Imagine my surprise in seeing authentic fish tacos on the menu. Once I tried them, I was hooked. Two corn tortillas stuffed perfectly with a blend of crunchy on the outside, tender on the inside Talipia fish. Added to the fish were corn kernels, fresh purple cabbage slaw, onions and cilantro. One bite and I was in heaven. I later have substituted this with their fresher flour tortillas which stand up to the mounds of crunchy goodness, rather than the ones made of corn which collapse with the bulk of ingredients. If you arrive and there is a wait for a table, amble back to the bar. There is a whole room which is annexed to the bar and serves regular restaurant food, perfect if you are in rush for a movie. Service was prompt, the waiter was pleasant and the food arrived quickly and hot. So, a green light for my review. The fish tacos are a bargain at only 10 bucks and the margaritas are perfect after long hours at the day job.

  • $$ Paisano Restaurant and Bar [Mexican & Guatamalan] - 223 High Street - 781-899-4505 fax 781-899-1093

    • yellow dot 2006 07 08 - Paisano opened up last week, so we drove by to check it out. The new owners moved the focus further south of the border, replacing the barbeque and Tex-Mex food with Mexican and Guatamalan dishes. Parking in the restaurant's lot is still limited, as it was when this was Buckaroos, but there was plenty of space across High Street. The exterior is now a cheerful yellow, and the tables outside in the front are now topped with umbrellas, giving an brighter appearance. We were seated immediately in a booth on a busy Saturday night. The salsa was brought to our table after a very short wait, and I ordered the El Presidente margarita ($8). The salsa came in a small carafe accompanied by a bowl, into which I decanted the contents with some difficulty. The salsa itself was watery, with a medium spice level. The waitress returned in a little while with the drink, and took our orders. Jennifer ordered the Pollo Asado ($10.99) from the selection of Guatamalan plates, and I had the Enchiladas Mexicanas with mole sauce ($8.99). Mexican selections range from $6.99 to $8.99, and Guatamalan dishes from $4.99 to $19.99 for the large Guatamala grill. I noticed orders of Churrasco ($13.99) on the tables of several nearby diners. As I sipped my very good margarita, we noticed that the interior had been spruced up by flower boxes and other bright touches. Our waitress did stop by several times, but no food appeared. Finally the hostess showed up, and apparently had to replace our lost order. The servers were trying, but it is clear that they are still gearing up, so I expect this will get better with time. Our entrees finally arrived with small tortillas on the side, and rice and refried beans on the plates. The enchiladas had just the right amount of spice, and were tasty, as were the sauce covered pieces of chicken in the Pollo Asado. All in all, I would say this is a promising establishment, but I'd like to check it out on a weekday night, and try the Currasco.

    • red dot 2006 07 10 review by Dorothy D - New restauarant -- on the site of the former "Buckaroos" -- and really really REALLY bad. "Nachos" -- plate of cold tortilla chips, doused with liquified beans (yes, you heard that right) and that yellow tasteless almost-completely-fails-to-resemble-cheese stuff which adorns "nachos" in movie theaters. Chicken enchiladas -- rice, beans, and two folded-over tortillas. On top of the tortillas, a handful of shredded chicken. Barely inedible. A few bites were consumed. Chile rellenos -- fried chili, including cubes of (unmelted) white cheese. rice and beans. Whole platter covered with some watery liquid, so the chile rellanos was horribly soggy. Even less edible than the "enchiladas." If you can save other diners from this dreadful exerience, please do!!!!

    • green dot 2006 07 13 review on the Tish's Dish site

    • red dot 2006 07 19 review by Jen - Paisanos, alas, is not a restaurant for vegetarians. I checked their online menu before going, and was reassured by the "burrito vegetariano," but when I got there, I was informed that it wasn't actually vegetarian, as there was lard in their refried beans. When I inquired as to whether the rice was vegetarian, they also shook their heads sadly. The only items on the menu that I could find that were vegetarian were the quesadillas, which normally come with meat, but they'll server them without, and the nachos. Steer clear of the nachos. All they are is a plate of tortilla chips with some gloppy melted cheese poured on them, then a little more cold cheese sprinkled on top of that, along with some tomatoes, onions, and jalapeños. The quesadillas weren't bad, but if you don't like sour cream or guacamole, be sure to ask for them without, as they put both inside the actual quesadillas. But their drinks are both cheap and good, and the chips and salsa were fine, so I didn't come away feeling terribly cheated. My carnivore husband enjoyed his entree, but they forgot to bring his appetizer, which we only realized after leaving the restaurant, so the service leaves something to be desired.

    • green dot 2006 07 13 review on the Tish's Dish site

    • yellow dot 2010 03 05 review by Bob M - I have now been to Paisanos many times. At its best, Paisanos serves great Mexican food with nice ambience (a serviceable Mariachi band on the weekends). But things are very uneven-- it's really geared up for the weekends (Fri-& Sat) and struts its best stuff then: Hot food and good sevice, and great ambience. But, (and this es muy importa! on "off" days-- Sun thru Thurs. it's slow and reverts to a hangout for regulars and staff with awful service by very young chicas, and meals that need to be reheated, in my own experience. If you pick your days (see above) Paisanos is an authentic Mexican restaraunt with excellent food, an attentive and friendly staff, and very Latino atmosphere (unlike the "gringo tacky" Margheritas on Moody Street. On off days, if you know some converstaional Spanish you can still get their best stuff: (i.e.) "Este comida es muy fresco!!!!! Puedo tener lo mas caliente por favor?" And it will be muy bien!!

  • Taqueria El Amigo $$ - 196 Willow Street - 781-642-7410

    • green dot 2008 10 16 - I saw a newspaper article claiming this small establishment had some of the best tacos in the area, so I checked them out. They're near the River Street end of Willow Street, with an entrance next to a biker bar. A small front room has 4 or 5 tables packed in, and the rest of the place is the kitchen. The menu features tacos from 2.00 each, burrito breakfasts, chimichangas, and more specialties. Platillos (Plates) range from 2.50 for tostadas to 11.50 for Fajitas De Camarones featuring grilled shrimp. I tried the recommended Cabeza taco, and the Al Pastor. The Cabeza was a little on the bland side, but the other was delicious. Picco De Gallo, 2.00, was excellent, good and spicy. I'm looking forward to trying some more of their dishes. They open at 10am every day, but are closed on Tuesday.

  • $$ Taqueria Mexico - 24 Charles Street - 781-647-0166, 781-893-2205
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Created: July 2003. Updated: 5 April 2010 ...always under construction!