Columbus >Food & Dining > Abuelo's Mexican Food Embassy
3950 Gramercy St, Columbus, OH | Directions 4321940.051719 -82.914952
Mon. - Thu. 10am - 9pm;Fri. - Sat. 10am - 10pm;Sun. 12am - 6pm
Neighborhoods: Northeast Columbus, Easton
Where the wild things are – I went one Thursday night, which happened to be at the same time as their new happy so aptly named Thirsty Thursday. As I was enjoying my margarita and, what looked like mini burritos, I took a look around the bar and counted 3 people wearing sweat pants. I hadn't been in quite some time, at least a year and a half, and was under the impression that this was supposed to be a finer dining restaurant. Clearly my impression was wrong! I returned the next week on Saturday night to test my theory, thinking that it was merely the happy hour that had brought out so many "relaxed" people, but was met with the unfortunate realization that indeed sweat pants was a common occurence in this restaurant. Personally I believe dining out, especially at place whose reputation for the upscale entertainment experience such as Easton, should be, well, upscale meaning that establishments should set certain standards for their customers in order to maintain a higher class appearance. Frankly I would more likely expect to meet any of my fellow diners at some place like Applebees or TGI Fridays than at Easton, but Abuelo's seems to attract and cater to diners, whose idea of fine dining is scarfing down piles of food covered with mounds of sour cream and cheese. While the food is good for that occasional indulgence, considering the company I would be forced to endure I might think twice about letting myself indulge, elect to save a buck, and make my own tacos at home. Going to Abuelos is like going to a circus, turn out the lights and the freaks come out!
Patrons of this upscale Tex-Mex chain choose from a wide variety of dishes made with fresh ingredients. – In Short
The decor is the star attraction with colonial-style architecture, vibrant murals of Mexican life, and stone statuary resembling a wealthy landowner's rural hacienda. Entrees include Tex-Mex staples--enchiladas and fajita tacos--with a few surprises such as bacon-wrapped beef tenderloin and grilled mahi mahi. Sweets include the creamy caramel-flavored dulce de leche cheesecake and the rich chocolate flan drizzled with Kahlua cream sauce.
Fake Mexican food... – Abuelo's is a big, corporate owned food factory with little regard for authenticity. Abuelo's is to Mexican food what Brio's is to Italian. The food is bland and what might be called 'Americanized'. If you want real Mexican food, go to a Mexican owned and operated restaurant. If you want fake food, in nice surroundings....eat here.
High price for mexican – I ate at this restaurant one time and that will be the last. The prices are too high for what you can get at MUCH BETTER restaurants. Everything tasted the same...spicy.
Depends on your definition of Mexican – I having eaten here twice. Once with a group of 6 and once by myself. The food is good but does not meet my definition of true Mexican. When compared to Mexican resturants run by Mexican immigrants with Mexican patrons, the food at Abuelo's just comes across to "Americanized". The mid-westerners in our group loved it though. The portions are large. The salsa that is served with the chips is good, but when I asked for salsa verde they did not have any. And this is a Mexican resturant? I recommend the fajitas. I do not recommend the mixed drinks. However, they offer beer Michelada style. The service is hit or miss though like a lot of places. The server for our group was marginal at best. When I visited by myself, the waitress was excellent. Authenticity not withstanding, I would return again just for the beer.
Great Service, Great Price – Took my wife there for her birthday and while the wait was long, and the bar was full, a server who passed us grabbed a chair for her to sit on while we waited. The service was a little above average, but the good was excellent. The value was even better. My wife loves the sangria and misses it now that she's pregnant. Her first request after Valentine's Day will be a sangria for sure. Highly recommend.
Where is the tequila??? – I love Mexican food. The bacon-wrapped shrimp were very good. The $18 pitcher of margaritas was not. A friend and I split a pitcher and there was no liquor in it. None. Not even the slightest buzz. We were charged $18 for a pitcher of frozen lime sugar water. The food was pretty good. The salsa for the chips was good. However, I like my margaritas with my Mexican food so therefore I would not return to this Mexican restaurant. Oh, and if you want outdoor seating they have it. But you are on the side of the building facing a huge wall, a parking garage, and an alley with potentially loud traffic 10 feet away.
Now THAT'S a margarita! – Just when I was about to give up on a good margarita in Columbus, I tried Abuelo's. Not only can they do a classic margarita on the rocks right, but they have a variety of other specialty ones to choose from. My favorite of the moment is "The Don." Highly recommended. The food is great too - though the last couple of trips, the salsa has been much saltier than usual, anyone else notice? Get the queso dip instead, it's excellent!
Best Mex white-tablecloth – Although a bit inconsistent when it first opened, this restaurant now serves authentic Mexican restaurant food/recipes better than any other chain concept in Midwest. A welcomed addition to the Columbus up-scale alternatives (still offering fair pricing/value). The waiters & waitresses need to provide a bit more zeal and even personality, to complete the experience in a traditional Mexicana fashion.
WONDERFULLLLLL – FINALLY really GOOD Mexican food in Columbus. This Texas girl was in complete despair before Abuelo's opened their doors and began serving the real thing. To paraphrase Heaven on earth with a side of Queso!
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