Poblano’s Earns High Marks for Taste, Price and Service
Growing up in a medium-sized city in Alabama with Southern, middle-class parents, tacos and tortilla chips were considered an occasional “exotic” treat. It wasn’t until I was in my 20s and moved to Phoenix, where authentic Mexican restaurants are featured in every neighborhood and paper-thin homemade tortillas are sold on street corners, that I was introduced to and learned to love Mexican food.
Over the last two decades of living in Georgia, my standards for Mexican food have diminished a bit, but I’m still a fan and always open to a meal of traditional south-of-the-border flavors. My family and I eat at different Mexican restaurants at least twice a month. At most of our local Mexican restaurants, diners can count on the common denominators of flavor, fast and inexpensive.
My recent lunch at Poblano’s Mexican Grill on Baston Road did not disappoint and scored high marks in each category, plus bonus points for attentive, courteous service and an extensive, interesting menu with choices beyond the expected. My lunch companion has discerning taste in Mexican food and gave a bite-by-bite evaluation of our lunch.
Our entire experience was positive, from quickly being seated when we arrived to a cheerful cashier at checkout.
We were shown to our booth almost immediately by a friendly host. The restaurant had a good lunch crowd but has ample seating and wasn’t full. Within seconds of being seated, a server delivered chips and salsa to our booth. The chips were fresh and still warm. My companion, who considers himself to be a connoisseur of chips and salsa, declared the chips to be perfectly crispy and the salsa appropriately flavorful for mild salsa; a copious amount of hot sauce was added to his salsa bowl as he prefers his salsa to bite back.
Another server took our drink orders while we perused the extensive menu. I tend to choose either a chicken or shrimp dish at every Mexican restaurant, so I considered those items first. I was impressed by the 16 chicken and the 12 seafood options, many more than typically offered on similar menus.
I eventually ordered one of my favorites: a grilled-chicken Quesadilla Mexicana, priced at $6.95. My colleague selected a $5.95 lunch combination of an enchilada, beef taco, rice and beans.
As is typical in Mexican restaurants, most of the meals were reasonably priced, with more than two dozen lunch combinations priced at $5.95. The prices increase slightly at dinner time, and a few of the more unexpected choices were closer to $10, but all still very affordable for a weekday lunch. There are even eight vegetarian options and several salad and soup selections on the menu.
Within five minutes, our meals were delivered to our table. Both entrees were generous portions served on platters.
My quesadilla was by far the tastiest and most-filled I’ve ever eaten! There was at least two cups of shredded chicken in the quesadilla plus grilled onions, peppers and shredded white cheese. The tortilla was grilled to golden perfection. It was accompanied by a heaping salad of shredded lettuce with fresh diced tomatoes, a dollop of sour cream and a scoop of guacamole. The dish was garnished with slices of orange, grapefruit, and cucumbers—each fresh and delicious. I enjoyed every last bite of my meal!
My colleague was impressed with the presentation of his combination platter and said the enchilada was well-filled with flavorful ground beef and covered with delicious brown sauce. His taco shell was crispy but not brittle, so it was easy to eat and didn’t crumble with every bite. His beans and rice were declared to be flavorful and “better than average.”
Our server was attentive and refilled our drinks several times in the short while we were there. Even with a leisurely conversation, we finished our lunch — from ordering to paying our bill — in less than 40 minutes. The main dining area has both booths and tables and is divided into sections, creating a quieter environment perfect for a business conversation. The décor is a bit more sophisticated and sedate than the average Mexican restaurant. Upbeat Spanish-language music played softly in the background.
The Poblano’s is at Baston and Furys Ferry road, across the street from the Earth Fare shopping center. A location is at 663 N. Belair Rd. in Evans, just down from the Lady A Amphitheater. They are both open for lunch and dinner every day. Each are conveniently located for those in the Martinez and Evans areas but easily accessible from downtown Augusta and North Augusta.
Overall, I was impressed by my lunch experience at Poblano’s and highly recommend it as a weekday lunch or dinner option. It might now be my favorite Mexican restaurant in Augusta.
Poblano’s Mexican Grill
Noise Level- Five
The restaurant is at 341 Baston Road. It is open from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Sunday through Thursday, 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. Friday and 11:30 a.m. to 10:30 p.m. Saturday. Reach it at (706) 922-5924.