Eagan >Food & Dining > Don Pablo's
Margaritas and affordable Mexican fare in a campy, family-friendly atmosphere..
Bright colors and big booths make this quick-service, sit-down Mexican restaurant a cheery choice for group outings. The traditional menu--including classic enchiladas, soft and crispy tacos, mesquite-grilled shrimp, sizzling fajita platters and made-from-scratch salsas--features lunch specials, create-your-own combinations and to-go options for more fast-paced patrons. Tequila makes its appearance in house margaritas and cocktails. Bringing the little ones? They're catered to with a kid-friendly, Tex-Mex menu.
Good happy hour, fun atmosphere. In the summer, the patio is the hot spot after work. The happy hour---with deals on beer and massive margaritas--has something for everyone. But what really makes me happy is the free chips and salsa. Even if you just order drinks at the table, you get them. The food is pretty good, for a chain. I personally think it's a bit overpriced; but the drink specials and chips for happy hour are what I love about this place. The waitstaff is usually happy, and the wait time is usually reasonable as well.
Chain Mex restaurant is OK by me. OK, so it's a chain franchise but I tell you, the food has always been good, nice decor, decent prices and always had good service. Nothing too fancy as it is a chain place with artificial decor. The place overall is pretty casual and clean. It can get loud sometimes when full. High ceiling help create that hangar feeling. Need more drapery on the ceilings/walls to absorb the bouncing sounds of people talking... The bar is small and the outside patio, which is nice, is small as well. Good place for groups or business groups out for a place to hang. Free chips/salsa prior to meal.
Going downhill.. The last 3 times my family has visited Don Pablo's in Eagan the service has been slow and our food has been cold. My poor Mother sent back the rice and beans for her fajita 3 times because they were stone cold to touch. we asked to see a manager and our request was not granted. It appeared that they were short staffed on all occassions because the managers and the rest of the staff were running around like crazy and they were covered in food stains. One server spilled lemonade on our table and never came back to wipe it up. They have changed some of the menu combinations. They seem to be acclimating their menu to a typical American sports bar (jalepeno poppers, chicken wings). I don't go to Don Pablo's for these items, but I guess the variety is all right.
Alternative Mexican. I stopped here recently with my senior citizen parents. The decor reminded us of a theme restaurant at Walt Disney World. Given that my dad is of Mexican heritage, I was wondering how he'd like the food. Let's just say he cleaned his plate, raving about the guacamole all the while. Mom gobbled up everything on her plate, except the chicken enchilada, which she proclaimed to be too spicy. I had the chicken fajitas, which were very tasty, but served with beans and rice, which was just too much food! We all agreed we liked the place, and that while it was no "Boca Chica", the prices were much more reasonable.
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