Thursday, May 1, 2008

Cazadores Mexican Restaurant

1350 E. Second St.
Franklin, Ohio

I don’t get to visit Mexican restaurants as much as I would like because my husband isn’t a big fan, so whenever I drive up north to visit family I usually stop at Cazadores Mexican Restaurant, just off the Franklin-Springboro exit ramp on State Route 73.

Situated in a former Country Kitchen (remember them?), the restaurant has retained much of that Southern "down-home" feel; the difference of course being that Cazadores' fare is from a land further south. Heavy, dark wood tables and chairs are scattered across a muted tile floor, while booths wrap around the periphery. It’s been a long time since Country Kitchen was there, but I would almost swear it’s the same tables and chairs. They aren’t the most comfortable, but they certainly are sturdy.

I am by no means an expert on Mexican fare, but I think Cazadores is better than average, with good sized portions and a very tasty cinnamon-infused red sauce that is a far cry from the stuff you get at other local places that tastes as though it came straight from a can or jar. Another flavorful difference is their rice, which has notes of lime and cilantro in each yummy bite.

Cazadores has an impressive vegetarian menu which not only includes the usual suspects (bean burritos, enchiladas, chalupas and quesadillas) but interesting dishes like vegetarian fajitas, arrozcon vegetables (grilled poblano peppers with zucchini, squash, mushroom, tomato and onion over Mexican rice and a side of salad in a tortilla shell) and spinach burritos. Vegetarian entrées range in price from $6.95-$9.50.

Vegetarian Enchilada Entrée

On my most recent visit I was accompanied by my Mom, who was never a fan of Mexican fare before Cazadores. I’d dragged her to other Mexican restaurants in the past, but after trying various dishes at different places, she informed me that "everything tastes the same, no matter where you go." Chalk one up for Cazadores – their unique mix of spices, fresh vegetables and flavorful rice won her over.

Mexican and Latino men are by nature quite respectful of their elders, and I think another reason my mom enjoys going to Cazadores (flavorful food and cheap pitchers of beer aside), is because the young men working there show deference to her. They also seem to like flirting gently with her - and at 75 years old, my white haired, bespectacled mother enjoys the attention and a good giggle.

Cazadores also has locations in Milford and Mason, and their web site offers printable half-price coupons for entrées and appetizers (probably yet another reason Mom likes them – she’s thrifty and loves coupons). It’s a nice place; the staff is friendly and the food tasty, plus you can catch up on Mexican soap operas while Tejano music plays softly in the background. The only thing missing is Mexican Coca-Cola.

Cazadores on Urbanspoon


sierra said...

love this post! i'm definitely going to have to drive up to Franklin, those enchiladas look unbelievable. also enjoyed your review of dee felice. i agree with you about oriental wok, i have a great deal of respect for the restaurant and the family but they've let me down a few times recently and i haven't been back in several months. have you been to sweet basil? i'll have to check out your archives...

Veggie Option said...

Glad you enjoyed the reviews. I haven't tried Sweet Basil yet although I keep hearing good things about it. I'm putting it on the list!

Anonymous said...

I'm glad you have enjoyed your experience at Cazadores, but I would like to warn those reading that the service has been terrible on a number of occasions for my family. Tonight we tried yet again and were appalled by the treatment we received from the manager. He refused to seat us, which made the hostess upset with us. And then when we went to pay, he spoke in Spanish on his CELL PHONE. He did not look me in the eye or speak one word to me while I was paying the bill - he didn't even tell me my new total after I had given him a coupon. I have been irritated on other occasions, but blew it off to someone just having a bad night...but I don't think that's the case anymore. He was extremely rude and didn't care one bit about what would happen after he completely ignored us.

I love your blog...I just want readers to beware when they eat at Cazadores...I know I have been VERY disappointed. And I don't plan to go back. :(

Veggie Option said...

@anon: Thank you for the comments, and after my most recent visit there (27 March 2010) I completely agree with you. My mom and I stopped there for lunch and we had terrible service. We were seated quickly, but then ignored. Two other parties were seated after us, but our order wasn't taken until after theirs, and we waited nearly half an hour for our food to arrive. We had to ask a busboy for our check because our server was too busy mucking around with his friends at the bar.

And as you mentioned, the cashier (a woman) yacked on phone the whole time she was ringing customers up. She was paying so little attention to what she was doing that she handed the man ahead of me a credit card - which wasn't his, it was a previous customer's card that she'd forgotten to return. A simple transaction that should have taken two or three minutes ended up taking nearly 15.

I think the ownership must have changed at this restaurant.