« Ha Long Bay | Main | La Mexicana »

Habanero's Mexican Grill

In a word: The neighborhood Qdoba/Chipotle.

The specs: #0458 
Address, hours & details via Isthmus; reviews at Isthmus, 77 Square, Ruppert Food Blog, TDPF; official web site (thanks for the heads-up, Oscar); Habanero's Mexican Grill on Urbanspoon

Chips and salsaJM ate the carnitas torta.
Nichole ate the plain quesadilla.
Ross ate the steak burrito.
Sam ate the tacos.
The bill was about $30, or $7.50/person, plus tip.
JM, Nichole, Ross, and Sam gave Habanero's an A- (see our grading rubric).

Latest Habanero's Mexican Grill news and reviews

Habanero's makes a very tasty eponymous salsa, with a heat that is sinus-clearing but not burning. They could use a little practice getting customers through the line, but in many respects have everything your average build-your-own-Mexican-entree place does, with the added benefit of being local and probably friendlier.

TortaJM got a carnitas torta and brought half home. Tortas always have an interesting mouth feel and this one was no exception. This one included an ample serving of meat, a fried egg, cheese, pico de gallo, and some tomatillo salsa that balanced the large, slightly bready roll. It warmed up quite well, too.

The prettiest dish anyone assembled was the taco trio - Sam's chicken was all white meat, quite juicy and flavorful, topped with leaf lettuce, onions, and a dash of cheese. Ross's burrito took a while to arrive, mostly because the red meat was cooked to order instead of sitting in a steam tray. He added rice, corn salsa, cheese, lettuce, pinto beans, sour cream, and onions - basically the works. Like the chains, Habanero's offers "burrito bowls" for those who want to avoid carbs. On the other hand, beverages on offer didn't include diet soda (though tumbling vats of horchata and lemonade were on display).

Tacos

Nichole had a bit of an off night, trying only a plain quesadilla, but was satisfied. Adding guacamole added interest, though there was a rather large chunk of unripe avocado in the cup that detracted from the quality.

Bottom line: Habanero's is filling, cheap, and fresh, and worth a call (which you could do from your home since they deliver).

Comments

Feed You can follow this conversation by subscribing to the comment feed for this post.

Thanks for the review. I work nearby and forgot about the place after it initially opened, but now I'm going there for lunch today to try it out!

They do a decent job on tacos. I enjoy the barbacoa and pastor the most. I'd much rather give these folks my money than the taco chains. At 2 bucks a taco for fresh ingredients, it's a no-brainer.

I’m sorry but I have to cringe whenever I see this place compared to Qdoba or Chipotle. I don't blame you guys because it's been in every review of this place so far, probably because that's what most people can relate to. However, these types of burrito places where you go through a line to have your burrito custom made were in existence in the Mission District in San Francisco more than 20 years ago and I suspect they didn't start there. Qdoba and Chipotle are just poor imitations of the real thing.

Having gotten that off my chest. I've been to Habaneros and liked it enough to go back. It is an authentic Mexican restaurant experience and another example of how much the Mexican restaurant scene has improved just in the dozen or so years I've been here.

So far, I've only ordered the burritos, beef and pork, and both were very good. I'd recommend Habaneros to anyone who wants good, authentic, no frills Mexican food for a very reasonable price. Just don’t expect too much ambiance.

Is it authentic Mexican, or authentic Mission SF? ;)

Hubby and I stopped there a month or so ago for lunch and really liked it. I had the tacos (carne, chicken and pastor), which were superfresh and tasty. Can't remember what the hubs had but he was very happy with his meal. Viva la horchata!

This review gets it spot-on. In almost every way this place appears to be an independent Chipotle, but about two or three times as good. The food is much fresher and has none of the fatty/chemical flavor that Chipotle does.

Habaneros mexican grill website is very nice. habanerosmg.com

Post a comment

Comments are moderated, and will not appear on this weblog until the author has approved them.

If you have a TypeKey or TypePad account, please Sign In.

NEWS

Madison Food coverOur book Madison Food: A History of Capital Cuisine is out. More about it here. Read it for free thanks to the library - print & ebook, or read an excerpt on Carson Gulley and some bonus bits on Porchlight, Argus, Sunshine Supper, and Babcock.


SEARCH EATING IN MADISON A TO Z

BROWSE EATING IN MADISON A TO Z
OUR FAVORITES


About Follow madisonatoz on Twitter Contact
Blogroll Ad 
Free Blog
{pardon our dust as we remove ads
from hijacked del.icio.us feeds}
Read our book and food tour
Dish du jour Creative Commons License subscribe to RSS Subscribe
Memo to restaurants Bloggers' Rights at EFF Quizzes
Reflections BlogWithIntegrity.com Tip jar
Banner image by Kayla Morelli, Red Wheelbarrow Design