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Pedro's Mexican Restaurante

Pedro'sIn a word: A Mexican't restaurant.

The specs: #0477  
Address, hours & details via Isthmus; reviews at Yelp, Madison Fish Fry, EatDrinkMadison; official web site, Pedro's Mexican Restaurante on Urbanspoon

Latest Pedro's Mexican Restaurante news and reviews

JM ate the wet cheese burrito with a pink lemonade.
John ate the seafood enchilada with an horchata.
Nichole ate the taco/enchilada/tamale combo plate with a margarita.
The bill was about $30, or $10/person, with coupon, plus tip (thanks, John!).
John and JM gave Pedro's Mexican Restaurante a C+; Nichole gave Pedro's Mexican Restaurante a D (see our grading rubric).

People's most common reaction to "We're going to Pedro's" was "Get a margarita. Don't bother with the food." We have to agree.

Combo plateSeafood enchiladaWet cheese burrito

BebidasThe food was pretty much school-lunch quality (and we mean before edible schoolyards were a twinkle in anyone's eye). The best bit was probably the complimentary, baked-on-a-press-before-your-very-eyes flatbread - gimmicky, but simple and hard to mess up. The tamale and sauteed squash on Nichole's combo plate were surprisingly not bad. John's seafood enchilada was amply sauced and had a good enough flavor. And we all indulged in the guilty pleasure of the corn "cake," that scoop of mushy, sweet carbs. 

JM's wet burrito was indeed wet and overall was tasty and firm, though his side of guacamole was an industrial accident served as a side dish. To him it tasted of nothing so much as solvents. Nichole didn't believe JM's alarm at first, but when she tasted the guac for herself, instinct trumped manners and that mouthful ended up in a napkin.

The beverages didn't disappoint. John's horchata was a bit too watery but that problem was offset by whipped cream. The margarita (served with not-so-happy lime wedge) was tingly and did the trick of making dinner seem better.

Our service was good and we appreciated having a coupon. That said it's doubtful you could drag us back to Pedro's.


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Pedro's has the distinction of being the only restaurant I have ever eaten at where everything, absolutely everything, tasted like onions.

Unfortunately, I hate onions.

That was the first and last time I ate there.

Somethings not adding up. You write this... "The food was pretty much school-lunch quality (and we mean before edible schoolyards were a twinkle in anyone's eye)." and this..."Get a margarita. Don't bother with the food. We have to agree."

But in the review you say..."surprisingly not bad", "amply sauced and had a good enough flavor", "overall was tasty", "and service was good" to describe your meal.

google is right, this does read more like a 'b' review than a 'd' one. that said, i've been here before, and a 'd' is right on.

"The food was pretty much school-lunch quality..." I wish that I went to whatever schools you went to. This obviously isn't Rick Bayless, but I didn't think it that much worse than any of the other mexican food offerings in the area.

Just keeping you all on your toes.

This place is foul. Here's the review from my blog:

"Last week we had dinner at Pedro’s, the worst Mexican restaurant I’ve ever eaten in, surely the worst in Madison, and quite possibly the worst in the state. I ordered the chile relleno combination platter, whose only virtue was that, unlike most dishes served under that name, it was actually served on a platter. Everything on the plate was the color of a burnt sienna crayon. It also tasted like a burnt sienna crayon, if you rubbed the burnt sienna crayon with grease and then coated it in as much chili powder as would stick."

Try the carnitas (pulled pork.) It's the best thing on the menu. I like Pedro's, and I don't understand why people like to rip on it.

Pedro's is a chain resturant. It's safe for those that don't care for a lot of spice and who don't look for a lot of adventure in their food. We all know more then a few people who fall into one or both of these catagories. It's not my top choice for Mexican, but I end up going there a lot because others want to go, and the East Side location is convient coming from work. The drinks are decent. I don't think it deserved quite as low marks as you guys gave it, but it certainly isn't something that I'd write home about. It is a good choice if you've already been drinking and want to drink more and stuff your face. Otherwise I'd much rather go to Casa del Sol or Anjitos de Toril.

Agreed with Tracy - the carnitas is decent. I would have loved to have gone to your school if this is 'school lunch quality' - whil it's not anything to write home about it's a million times better than anything I was served at school (or in a college cafeteria for that matter).

Pedro's isn't anything special, but some nights you don't necessarily want to get something 'adventurous' or particularly authentic. And their margaritas are decent, so going on half-price margarita night isn't a bad idea either. A D rating seems pretty harsh to me too. Pedros is still more of a C+, food-wise.

Does Pedro's get a C+/D because it has to compete primarily with Laredo's, for whom you carry a fairly unabashed torch?

Or was there a broader or less quantifiable reason for the low grades? Because I agree with Timmy and the Google-bot; this doesn't read like a review that low.

Pedro's has always seemed to me the bastion of mediocrity. The margaritas are a little light on tequila. The chips a little greasy. The fajitas a little overcooked. The guacamole a little over-processed. The desserts a little ridiculous. If you're in the mood for a middle of the road meal with a bunch of people who don't care, it's an okay place; but there are better places to go in Madison for every item on the menu.

I'll wade in and defend myself a little.

First, this was our first time at Pedro's and we have lived here for over ten years. If a comfort Mexican place were any good, we would have eaten here by now. (We had been to Chi-Chi's, Carlos O'Kelly's, Casa De Lara, Taco John's, and Laredo's pre-list), so a C meaning not on our list to eat at is fair at least.

Now I'm pretty easy to please and the burrito was probably worth a B, but the guac lowered my grade to the C range. We are not beverage people and, as such, the "beverages were good" comment does not lead us to a much higher grade. Similarly, we don't like to bust the chops of hardworking folks whose place of employ happens to be serving swill. So we nod to the service, which is rarely enough to keep you coming back for even mediocre food.

Everything tasted like it was off the back of the Sysco truck. We made an editorial decision to say less, which made the review sound more positive. Though, I could argue that if your standard for positivity is "good enough" and "surprisingly not bad" then you are easier to please than I am.

Something here smells fishy if you ask me.

"an editorial decision to say less"

This sounds suspiciously similar to one certain Crab House incident.

It may pay to revisit the "What is it" on the side bar...read over their grading rubrics. The grades sounds about on par based on the groundwork these two have already lain. If there had been a Mad City incident, I think we would have seen an F or two.

The editorial decision to say less? With mediocre food, why bash a place when it fills a niche for others, unless things went horribly awry. All in all the review reads as a forgettable place. And the grades reflect that.

With mediocre food, why bash a place when it fills a niche for others

Well, because others didn't write this review.

Trust me, Samantha, I cling to this website as much as anyone, and I totally understand the connection between the grades and the general statements made about the place.

But the specific description of the food is at the ground floor of the review, and I don't see how the elevator gets from--specifically--Nichole's basic appreciation of the flatbread, "not bad" tamale and vegetables, and acceptable margarita to a final grade of D.

The C+ grades, I can get a handle on. But a D is bad.

A D means we won't go back and we'd warn others about it.

Her reaction to JM's nasty guacamole notwithstanding, do you see a warning from Nichole with regard to her meal?

If I have to spit *anything* out because it tastes like window cleaner, I think a D is fair.

I'm with those who suggest this sounds like more of a B review than a D, especially given your fairly high-averaging curve, but it was clear you were biased going into this one, and they were assured of no better than a B, regardless. Also agreed with the "wish my school had lunches like this" comments.

I've personally never understood why so much praise is heaped on Laredo's; I'd prefer Pedro's any day of the week (but I prefer Casa del Sol over both). Perhaps I'm unfairly judging, since I ordered what you claim to be the worst item on the menu, the chili relleno, but no one else at the table was blown away either. I generally agree with your reviews, but I think you've got some inconsistency in the Mexican genre.

I'm not immune to inconsistency, so upon reflection, the D would have made more sense had I just come out and said:

My dinner cost my dear friend John $12 and except for one decent tamale (possibly from the freezer), a few cents' worth of zucchini and sweetened cornmeal, 2 bites of low-grade-beef taco, and 2 bites of soggy enchilada, it ended up in the trash. Not even worth a doggy bag. The margarita was OK but even the lime slice was turning brown.

Now you know the rest of the story. Pedro's apologists, fire when ready.

Atta girl! You're not in this business to make friends! Hell, after hearing how much you've made in ad revenue I'm not even sure you're in business! ;)

Bastion of mediocrity = awesome band name. Also sums up Pedro's, though I think it's more deserving of a C than a D.

Naw, a D is totally justified for this place. When I first moved to Madison, over the course of a year or so I went to Pedro's a total of three times, thinking that clearly I was missing something because a place so seemingly popular HAD to be better than I was experiencing, but I never got food that was any better than mediocre, and was more commonly rather bad. And that's given two dishes per meal (me plus wife).

See, it's just weird for me to hear about people who eat at a restaurant once or a few times and have such negative experiences (which get consistently worse upon retelling), when I've been going back for years without complaint. Probably the same way you feel when you hear about people like me who have had bad experiences at a place you prefer, like Laredo's (and trust me, my experience there gets worse with each retelling, too).

I guess what it comes down to, as cliché as it sounds, is not everything is for everyone - that's why there are enough restaurants in town to keep your alphabetical quest going!

I have a positive comment for Pero's West. It's near to Pier 1 and I like that store.

Jim's claim of Mexican inconsistency intrigued me. I hate to sound like a self-promoter, but...follow me on Twitter to see the results of my analysis as they're finished.

I wasn't still channelling Robert.

I went to Pedro's not long ago, had vegetarian fajitas, and thought their veggies seemed like the freshest I had ever gotten at similar-styled Mexican restaurants in Madison, and they were cooked perfectly. The flatbread was delicious too. I thought it seemed a little more expensive than other Mexican places, but I would have given it a B.

I eat at pedros about 4 times a month of once a week.. There food is so good Best homemae Gauc I have ever eaten. I lived in Mexico for 10 years. Pedros has it down.. A+

I eat at Pedros regularly and LOVE it! All of my friends look forward to the Thursday nights out with great food and cocktails every week. I would highly reccomend the table side guacamole and the tequila chicken salad, I order it every time! Also, the "haters" of the corn cake are crazy! It is also very good... Great flavor and texture!!

I have eaten at Pedro's many times. I think the food is great. I take my 80 year old mother there and see also likes the food. I like things spicy, so I can order it that way. My mom doesn't like spicy, so see can get her food that way. I feel it is a great place for people with varying tastes. If you want spicy order it that way, they have serveral choices for sauce on their items. I have never gotten a bad meal at Pedro's and I have been eating their since the place opened. I woul give them an A grade.

I think Pedro's is edible but not great. However, I do think Laredo's is the worst Mexican food I've ever eaten. That is school-cafeteria level food.

I'm surprised how much others, and sadly myself, put up with mediocre food. Maybe it's because fewer people can cook well for themselves that places like Pedro's survive. To me, Pedro's just tastes like other industrialized, mass-produced food. Cheap, oversubsidized food served to people who either don't know better, are easy to impress, or don't care about eating good quality food.

Just had dinner at Pedro's and it was outstanding. I read the reveiw and was persuaded to visit Pedro's because the comments were all good, yet the grade and childish bashing were bad. The reveiwers have an agenda against Pedro's for some reason. The guacamole was recomended by friends of mine as the best in town. They were right, I as everyone I have spoken to raves about the guacamole. Without a doubt Pedro's has the best Chile Relleno, I have ever had. It was huge fresh, not slimy like the so called authentic restauants who use canned chiles. This place is the best,I assume thats why it has been around forever. I guess the one thing everyone can agree on is the MARGARITAS. They are the best.

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