Mr. Tequila calms Tex-Mex cravings

Mr. Tequila Mexican Restaurant

Where: 3126 U.S. 41 N., 304-8629, www.mrtequilarestaurant.com

Hours: 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Sunday through Thursday and 11 a.m. to 10:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday

Cuisine: A blend of Tex-Mex with authentic Mexican cuisine.

Atmosphere: Very casual and can accommodate different types of diners, from sit-at-the-bar types to families with children or couples looking for a night out.

Beverages: Full bar

Prices: Mostly reasonable but some dishes border on pricey for normally inexpensive Mexican. Appetizers are $5.50 to $9.99 for the basics and up to $17.99 for buffalo shrimp. Entrees are $9.99 to $15.50. Desserts are $2.99 to $4.25. Children’s meals are $3.99 to $5.75.

Recommended dishes: Fajitas Mr. Tequila ($14.99), Enchiladas super rancheras ($10.75) and Chiles poblanos ($11.75)

Verdict: Solid choice for an evening out. Prices won’t break the bank and the food is adequate in a land where Tex-Mex is void.

Mexican is my favorite.

But, in Naples, a good Mexican restaurant that serves Tex-Mex is hard to find.

Along the way, I’ve sampled none (so far) that really achieve that Tex-Mex flavor I crave. None save Mr. Tequila.

While Mr. Tequila doesn’t match anything from San Antonio where I ate the best, most authentic Tex-Mex I’ve ever known, it’s a good deal geographically closer to home. For Naples, this joint is a nice substitute.

Located in the former home of Meson Ole! on U.S. 41, Mr. Tequila is a large restaurant, segregated into three areas: the bar with stools and large booths, a dining room with ample seating for families and a larger back room for busier nights and room for a band. There are TVs in the bar area as well.

As do most Mexican restaurants, Mr. Tequila serves chips and salsa to all guests. The mild sauce needed an extra kick, so I requested some extra hot to mix in. The salsa has a nice flavor and didn’t remind me of picante sauce from a jar. From the appetizer list, I tried the queso fundido ($5.99), which is melted cheese with grilled chorizo on top. Unfortunately, the dish was too greasy.

Other appetizers include jalapeno poppers ($5.75), dips of cheese, guacamole, bean or spinach ($2.99-$7), French fries ($2.99), wings ($8.95-$32.99) or Buffalo shrimp (10/$9.99 or 20/$17.99) as well as eight versions of nachos ($5.50-$9.99). Or get a little taste of everything with a sample platter ($11.99), which has cheese nachos, guacamole, sour cream, three chicken wings, cheese quesadilla, beef flauta and a chicken chimichanga.

When it comes to selecting an entrée, things became more difficult as there are numerous selections. But diners typically won’t go wrong by ordering fajitas. I chose the house special — fajitas Mr. Tequila ($14.99).

The dish has its standard onions and bell peppers served on a sizzling hot skillet. The variety of meat caught my attention — chicken, beef, pork, shrimp and chorizo — an unusual, yet extremely satisfying, concoction. It was served with rice and beans. (Black beans are available upon request on most dishes.)

Another measure of a Mexican restaurant is how it prepares a simple taco, burrito or enchilada. The combo No. 8 ($9.99) has them all. My choice was a ground beef taco, a chicken enchilada and a shredded beef burrito. Nothing really stood out on the plate; the shredded beef from the burrito was a tastier choice than the ground beef in the taco, and the chicken was nicely flavored.

The server, who was extremely attentive and friendly, suggested the enchiladas super rancheras ($10.75). It was a mix of five different enchiladas (cheese, ground beef, chicken, shredded beef and bean) and topped with lettuce, cheese and sour cream. Those with smaller appetites should pass on this gigantic meal, but I had gobs of excellent leftovers.

The chiles poblanos ($11.75) will calm that Tex-Mex craving as well. The dish has two poblano peppers stuffed with your choice of cheese, chicken or beef with rice and beans and tortillas. The peppers were piled high with meat and deep-fried crispy. Once again, chicken or shredded beef are the best choices; the ground beef left a lingering taste.

The wait staff at Mr. Tequila is extremely accommodating, and provided excellent service on three different occasions. Their attentiveness reminded me of a butler waiting just out of sight, ready to leap into action upon the utterance of a request. Children of any age are welcomed without a hint of complaint.

And the children’s plates are reasonably priced at $3.99 to $5.75. My children shared the cheese quesadilla with rice ($4.99), which was still a large serving after splitting it.

Stay clear of sopapillas ($2.99) for dessert, but go for the Mr. Tequila ice cream ($4.25). The latter consisted of a small taco salad shell with a scoop of vanilla ice cream and topped with whipped cream and honey. While it was good, the entrees are so large, and the chips and salsa so addictive, that dessert really didn’t seem worth the extra calories.

Mr. Tequila isn’t quite that Tex-Mex flavor of my childhood, but does serve as a nice substitute. Further, Mr. Tequila will fill you up and won’t break the bank.

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Comments » 1

nbrawley writes:

LOVE the texan Margaritas and the tamales!!!! this place is AWESOME!

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