Friday, May 22, 2009

Pancho Loco's, Vernon, CT May 2009

Food: B+
Service: A-

Joanne and Amy write:

We’re back! Needless to say we haven’t had much time to dine out together these last couple of months, but there’s nothing like nice weather and the end of the school year to bring us out again. Coupon in hand we headed to Pancho Loco’s, a Mexican restaurant on Rt. 83 in Vernon, whose signage boasts “voted best Mexican in Tolland County.”

Having visited San Diego over my April vacation and sampled some good Mexican food on my trip, I had both a hankering for Mexican food and a good Margarita. I ordered the Pancho’s ultimate, on the rocks with a salted rim, and was pleased. I sipped as Amy and I perused the menu at our table on the deck, trying to navigate through enchiladas vs. burritos vs. chimichangas.

I decided on Sangria, and—knowing I’d have a couple of glasses and Joanne would share—decided on the pitcher. The homemade sangria was a refreshing blend of red wine and fruit juice, neither of which was overpowering. It was delicious and easy to drink, particularly with the complimentary chips and salsa. For my meal I ordered the chimichanga, a lightly fried burrito stuffed with moist shredded beef, grilled peppers and onions, and topped with a thick spicy queso sauce. The side dishes, beans and rice, were well-prepared; that is, the beans were not a mushy mess and the rice wasn’t bland or dry.

I ordered a soft taco dinner. I would have liked to see fish tacos as an offering, but I suppose that’s a California thing. From my choices of beef, pulled pork, and chicken I chose pulled pork. The three soft tacos were simply stuffed with shredded lettuce, diced tomato and pulled pork. Condiments were served on the side, which I prefer, and which enabled me to really taste my pork, which was juicy and delicious. My side dishes, like Amy’s, were not a disappointing plate-filler, but rather a tasty accompaniment to my tacos.

Pancho Loco’s has a variety of happy hour specials and plenty of premium tequilas from which to choose. Our server/bartender, familiar to us for a reason we have yet to figure out, was pleasant and attentive. She was friendly and cheerful and checked back on us often even though we were the only customers around (it being that lonely time between lunch and dinner rushes), and despite our location out on the deck. That back deck provides a great spot to sit and sip on a warm sunny afternoon, and we were all too happy to take advantage of that.

And since we were so full we forgot to order the fried ice cream, we’ll have yet another reason to go back!