29 May 2009 ~ 1 Comment


I used to consider myself a Mexican food snob.  Having lived in Phoenix briefly in the late 90’s, I think I know Mexican food. Way back when, I grew up on Chi-Chi’s and the original Tumbleweed (before it became a chain and started to go wrong).  Before I started eating better and healthier, I would have Mexican food at least twice a week.  You name it, I ate it-at least once.

I was on Dutchman’s Lane for a meeting, and a large group of us decided to meet at Ernesto’s because it was right down the street. There were about fourteen in our party, and sometimes putting that on a server in the middle of the lunch rush is pretty darn evil.  I have seen lesser servers fold under the pressure.  The service was fantastic; we were in, fed, and out the door in an hour and a half!

As I said, Mexican food snob here, and I know that most authentic Mexican restaurants have the same menu, they all have the “Speedy Gonzales”, the vegetarian options are A thru G, and the lunch specials are numbered.  All of them, the same, until I got to Ernesto’s.  Oh there is still Speedy and there are combos but they also have a lunch specials with names like Tijuana, Matamoros and Chilaquiles.  I didn’t know my head from my feet in regard to this menu; I actually had to read it.  I didn’t know to be irritated or impressed.  It was definitely something different.

There were two types of salsa on the table: one red and one very brown.  The server said that the red one was the hot salsa but honestly it tasted like ketchup with a little Tabasco.  The brown salsa that she swore was mild had a nice kick and was very tasty, but I couldn’t tell you what was in it other than great flavor.

Several of my coworkers ordered salads and fajitas but I went way out on a limb and pointed to Chilaquiles because even after the sever pronounced it three times, I still couldn’t say it.  You could have called it a puppy in a pink tutu and I wouldn’t have known the difference.  Luckily for me it didn’t taste like a dog.  It was really very good.

For those of you who thought you knew Mexican food, but really don’t (like yours truly) a Chilaquiles consists of corn tortillas with shredded chicken, a sauce, and cheese all baked until the corn tortillas are soft and chewy.  Honestly, it doesn’t sound very good but oh baby, it is.  There was no mention of beans and rice on the menu (and after tasting them I can see why, they were a bit bland) but that was part of the lunch as well.  I could have easily split my lunch with someone and walked out satisfied.  Did I mention it was one of the best things I have eaten in months?  I would suggest anyone try this dish at least once.  I also know everyone else thought the food was great, but I didn’t personally taste any of their plates to verify it so we just have to trust them.

There were TVs hanging on all the walls and some of them were rather large, so Ernesto’s would be a great place to hang out with friends to watch sporting events.  Even so, it was also quiet enough to have business meetings.

Our service was excellent and prompt and my glass was never empty.  The food was good and came out in a timely manner and was all the right temperatures.  However, there was one small issue, a very small-legged issue.  Three times during our lunch I felt something crawling on me: sugar ants.  I hate to even mention it, but since it happened more than once, I would be remiss leaving it out of this review.  I will also say that I was seated very near the door that led to the patio eating area and that may have played a role.  So, if you go, ask to sit on the other side of the bar.

Rating:  7/10

Price: $9.48 +tip

Phone: (502) 893-9297

Address:  6201 Dutchmans Ln, Louisville

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1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (3 votes, average: 3.67 out of 5)

One Response to “Ernesto’s”

  1. Sammy 29 May 2009 at 2:44 pm Permalink

    I miss the old Tumbleweed!!! Back when it wasn’t so bland.

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