Azteca Mexican Grill
5925 Sawmill Rd.
Dublin, OH 43017
Mon-Thurs: 11:00 a.m. – 10:00 p.m.
Fri-Sat: 11:00 a.m. – 10:30 p.m.
Sun: 11:00 a.m. – 9:00 p.m.
Appetizers: $3 – $10
Lunch Entrees: $6 – $10
Entrees: $10 – $17
Desserts: $3 – $6
Sometimes you just need Mexican food. The combination of spicy, juicy meats with tortillas, corn chips and salsa, rice, beans and lots of cheese is just irresistible. It’s an overdose of protein, carbohydrates and fats but it’s almost guaranteed to be a tasty overdose. After some hunting, our craving landed us at Azteca Mexican Grill.
Azteca is a fairly new restaurant – only a few months old – standing out on Sawmill road thanks to it’s bright colorful building and sign. The interior is even more colorful from the walls painted multiple bright colors to the excessively decorative tables and booths. We arrived just before the dinner rush so the restaurant was empty and there wasn’t even a server in sight – so we had several minutes to take in all the bright saturated colors. This isn’t a serious business restaurant, it’s a fun one.
Thankfully we didn’t have to wait too long to be seated and were given menus and chips with salsa right away. The front of the menu features an introduction to Aztec cuisine from a basic one sentence who they were along with a more descriptive paragraph on staples of the cuisine. It mentions finally they strive to serve authentic Aztec cuisine as much as they can, but a quick perusal of the menu suggests that it’s likely only a few dishes – but I’m not an expert on Aztec cuisine so if anyone is I’d love to know. The majority of the menu is similar to most other Mexican restaurants.
The chips and salsa were about average on flavor and quality. The chips were warm and a touch salty and the salsa was mild and only had a hint of cilantro flavor. Again, good but not really noteworthy.
The menu is substantial – and I frequently get ‘choice-overload’ where everything sounds so good I can’t pick what I want. For indecisive choice-overloaded people like myself, “samplers” are greatly appreciated and is why we chose to get The Sampler appetizer from Azteca. Even then, we still had to pick three out of five options so we chose the Mexi Skins, Taquitos and Plantains.
The Sampler is a plate with shredded iceburg lettuce, a cup of sour cream and a cup of what tasted like ranch dressing, and the Mexi Skins, Taquitos and fried Plantains organized around them. The Mexi Skins are halves of potato filled with pico de gallo and topped with jalapenos. They were good on their own, but with the sauces the flavors really popped. The taquitos were good, simple but nothing special. Out of these two, we recommend trying the Mexi Skins but the taquitos could be skipped.
The Plantains were the real star of the appetizer. The soft little slices of fried plantain exploded with sweet fried banana goodness. They’re so delectable I’d be content to just have a plate filled with them. The only problem we had with them is that they were burning hot, and we had to wait for them to cool enough to eat.
One of our entrees was the Fajitas Vallarta, chosen because it’s a little bit of everything: chicken, beef and pork grilled with zucchini, onion tomato and bell peppers then topped with melted cheese. When it arrived we were taken aback by how much food was piled on the iron plate. The meat and vegetables were piled high in what must have been around two pounds of food. The juicy meats were so tender the gentlest pressure from my fork caused them to fall apart. It was delicious, but difficult to eat. The rice, beans and guacamole salad that came with it were about par and unremarkable. Granted, I think that every time we have Mexican.
Keeping with our indecisiveness, our other entree was the Grande Special, which is as the description says: a little bit of everything. A chalupa, chile relleno, beef taco, enchilada and a tamale and the side of rice, beans and guacamole salad make up the Grande Special. The portions, like the fajitas, were huge and much more than we had expected and are used to. The taco was stuffed with beef with lettuce and cheese exploding out of it onto the plate. Continuing with the excessiveness the second plate holding the chalupa, enchilada and chile relleno was covered in sauce and cheeses. Healthy? Probably not. Delicious? Definitely.
The service is the only part of our evening that was below average. To be fair, the restaurant and bar filled up quickly toward the end of our meal and it appeared that only one waiter was working so after we got our food we didn’t see our waiter again until it was time to get the check.
The majority of what we had was delicious and more than satisfying, the star being those fried plantains that I’ll be thinking about for a good long while. It was affordable, enjoyable and filling. No more, no less.
Verdict: A Solid Option to Fulfill Cravings
Azteca Mexican Grill offers a large selection of generously portioned Mexican cuisine. The interior is bright with lots of saturated colors and decoration everywhere. More importantly, the food served is pretty tasty so if you have a hankering for Mexican or just really hungry and want a lot, Azteca is a good choice. For what you get it is reasonably priced, too.