225 Ann St, East Lansing, MI | Directions 4882342.735837 -84.479319
Horrible. We just relocated to East Lansing for grad school and were having cravings for Mexican. Being a dual-military couple, we've experienced a lot of mexican restaurants around the country. In terms of food quality, El Azteco on Ann St. is the absolute worst we've ever been to. Their *very* limited menu didn't even have a taco salad on it, which has been a staple at every mexican/tex-mex place I've ever been to. We ordered the chicken and beef flautas: the plates were small for the price and both the chicken and beef were unseasoned, and the beef was VERY greasy. The outside of the flautas were rock hard, and I was barely able to bite through them. The menu said that the flautas would come topped in cheese, and they weren't kidding--there was so much rubbery cheddar cheese, I wasn't able to eat the last flauta. The other ones, I had to scrape the cheese off. The rice was bland at best, the frijoles ok, except that there was so much cheddar cheese also dumped on them, the edible parts were limited. I found it odd that my husband's frijoles were topped with the traditional small amount of white cheese, and mine covered with an ungodly amount of cheddar, when we got the exact same meal. My husband got a good deal on his marg, my Corona was $3.50. The chips served as an appetizer were overly crispy and partially burned. The salsa however, was spicy and somewhat flavorful. The service was quick and polite, but not really personable. This is one of our first restaurant outings in the area, and we were disappointed. We expected the "mexican" fare in the north to be not as good as in the south, but I'm assuming we can do much better than this in the local area.
You're in College town – It's good. It's a student classic. Key word: student. I grew up on it and keep going. The salsa is awesome and I don't get why people complain about the heat. Sometimes it's spicy, sometimes its insanely mild. For anyone who's made salsa, it gets hotter as it sits. The reason they charge for chips and salsa is because you're in college town. Us students would literally sit there and have a few beers and eat baskets of chips and salsa and it would run them to the ground. The service sucks because again, college town. Not a great excuse but its not a fine dining and if you're nice you'll get decent service (I'm a former server and a business major so I also understand the importance of customer service but if you just don't expect much service-wise here you'll be more welcomed and less dissapointed)
If you want better service and free chips and salsa and more consistent quality, go to the Lansing location off of West Saginaw.
Take it from a local, if you're looking for good mexican in East Lansing, you're not going to find it at Los Tres, Cancun, or Fiesta Charra. El Az is the way to go in downtown EL
Terrible! What happened to the Old El Az? – El Azteco was one of my favorite places to eat when I would visit East Lansing, Mich. To my surprise, they had moved the restaurant from its former home in a basement space to a new street side, first floor location. We were greeted by a woman in a very dirty uniform (yeah, I know it's a restaurant but come on!) We chose a booth near the window. They gave us some beat up menus. We ordered the food from another waiter. We asked guacamole which was market price (found out later it was $7.25). The food came. Chips and salsa also arrived with the guacamole. Only one level of spiciness for the chips was available...extremely hot. My tongue never recovered. I ordered the chicken quesadillas. They were very bad. The chicken did not taste fresh. My husband's burrito was also bad (and Mexican food is among his favorites). They did not refill our drinks in a timely manner. I will never visit this restaurant again. Positive experiences with this restaurant will have to remain in the 1980s and 1990s.
Not the Best Mexican Restaurant – El Azteco is somewhat of the centerpiece of the East Lansing main town square but unfortunately is not the finest the city has to offer. When you first walk in, you can see the dishwasher right away which immediately strips the restaurant of ambiance, which is clearly the weak point of this place. Unless you get a table on the roof for a nice day, it is just not a pleasant experience. The food is OK, but overpriced for mexican, and the service leaves a bit to be desired. Average at best.
Sorry, this was lousy food – Poking around online, people seemed to recommend El Azteco. I'm NOT a picky eater but would not return. They charge for chips and salsa; chips did not taste fresh and salsa was too spicy to eat. Waiter said they only have one salsa, which varies in hotness from day to day. Taco salad entree ($10.50 for whole salad, $10 for half order????) was a mountain of shredded lettuce impossible to eat--laced with green peas, weird chix, and loaded with green onions despite my request for onions only on half. Our waiter was disinterested and unattentive - literally said "I don't know, I'm just here to put in my hours", as he served my lukewarm iced tea. Menu said dessert was included with my husbands enchilada dinner, but none was offered or mentioned. My advice: Skip it!!
Can I get some service??? – The food here is good, and during the summer being able to be seated on the roof is a huge plus! The salsa is quite spicy so watch out, but it's really good. Go for the pitcher and nacho special, but don't expect to see food for the first 25-30 mintues you are there. Not good if you are in rush so be warned.
Mas o Menos – If you've spent anytime in EL you know El Az. Expect good food, cold beer and bad service. This place is a legend. Long live El Azteco . . .
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