I happened to be running around out Farragut way the other day and noticed a Mexican-food restaurant that hadn’t previously crept onto my radar. Since my short list has been uncomfortably short lately, The Grub Spouse and I decided to put Azul Tequila on the fast track to reviewability.
It isn’t necessarily eye-catching from the outside, occupying what seems to be a repurposed restaurant space across from the Farragut Kroger. They offer patio seating in the front of the building, and even though the weather that evening more than warranted al fresco dining, we opted for indoor Grubbing.
The decor is straight out of the Mexican restaurant playbook: Festively colored walls and heavily themed booths and tables are accented by the requisite beer-company signs and other bar trappings. We were shown directly to one of those booths with the peyote-inspired decor and had water, chips and salsa under our noses pronto.
The multi-page menu takes a comprehensive approach to south-of-the-border cuisine. It starts off with soup, salad, nacho and appetizer options and then takes you right into 25 different combination-plate selections, which feature familiar components like tacos, enchiladas, burritos, chiles rellenos, tamales and more.
Other categories showcase main ingredients such as seafood, veggies only, chicken and grilled beef, in addition to specialty twists on enchiladas, burritos, chimichangas, fajitas and quesadillas.
I chose the chimichangas, partly because Azul Tequila’s version features two stuffed and deep-fried flour tortillas. I had them do one with ground beef and one with shredded chicken, and the dinner is also served with beans and rice.
The Spouse considered several items form the section of house specialties, including the molcajete (lava rock filled with a variety of seasoned meats) and the Jalisco dinner, featuring a chicken burrito and enchilada. The Spouse settled on the fajitas tacos, which come with a choice of steak or chicken. The Spouse asked for both, thinking they would prepare one of each.
Our food was delivered promptly and was served hot. Overall, I felt that my particular selection was decent but not remarkable. The shredded chicken was on the dry side, and instead of ground beef, it looked as if my other chimi had some sort of shredded beef or beef tips inside. Both chimis rested on a generous slathering of queso sauce. I thought the beans and rice were both average.
The Spouse’s fajitas tacos were much tastier, although it turns out that dish includes three tacos (not two, as we thought), so the kitchen mixed the beef and chicken and placed that mixture in all three of the soft flour tortillas. However, the flavor was solid and the meat-to-veggie proportions generous. The Spouse theorized that this dish is pretty much just like fajitas, except that the Azul Tequila kitchen fills the tortillas for you.
Our server was very friendly and accommodating, and once he took our order, we got plenty of attention. Earlier on, however, we hadn’t been ready when he first asked to take our order, and it was a long stretch before we finally got him back tableside again.
With full bar service, a wide selection and outdoor seating, Azul Tequila stands to do well this summer among Farragut-based Mexican-food fans. The restaurant seemed quite busy on the Thursday night we visited, so they must be doing something right.
Azul Tequila Mexican Grill
Food: 3.5 stars (out of five)
Address: 11242 Kingston Pike
Hours: 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Mondays through Thursdays; 11 a.m. to 10:30 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays; 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Sundays
Full bar service
Bottom Line: When it comes to a comprehensive array of Mexican-food favorites, this Farragut restaurante offers the whole enchilada.
© 2013, Knoxville News Sentinel Co.
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