Last weekend The Wife was in the mood for Americanized Mexican and being that so many people have recommended Teresa’s Mexican Restaurant as a place I should review, we headed down to Lakeville and walked into the restaurant at 5 PM on a Sunday.
We walked in what was apparently the side door and found a sign directing us to the hostess. After some confusion we finally got a buzzer and sat down and waited for a seat as the restaurant was quite busy–especially for an early dinner on a Sunday. After about 20 minutes we were seated at a booth and our server provided us with the usual chips and salsa as well as menus for us to look over.
The menu is quite extensive and includes the usual Tex-Mex fare such as enchiladas, tacos, fajitas, etc. Honestly there was so very much that it was difficult to take everything in at once but we had plenty of time to do so as our server was busy elsewhere in the restaurant. Nothing really caught my eye as interesting but I eventually settled on something that didn’t carry a ridiculous name like the “Gringo Burger”. Seriously? “Gringo Burger? Atrocious. While looking over the menus for ourselves The Rooster was getting fussy even though he had already had his dinner for the evening. I saw a sign on the table which noted that kids eat for $1.99 all day Sunday so we decided to grab him a plate of something too–he can’t be whiny when his mouth is full right?
Eventually our server returned and found that he had been gone so long that our chips and salsa were empty. He apologized profusely and took our orders. The Wife went with the Classic Chimichanga which was listed as a “House Specialty” and described as, “two flour tortillas, deep fried, filled with shredded beef and topped with cheese sauce, lettuce, tomatoes, grated cheese, served with rice, beans, guacamole and sour cream,” for $9.25. I ordered the Steak Tres Marias which was described on the menu as, “three enchiladas stuffed with steak or grilled chicken. One topped with green sauce, one with cheese sauce and one with red sauce, with lettuce, cheese, tomatoes and sour cream,” for $8.75. We ordered an enchiladas plate for The Rooster which came with beans, a single beef enchilada, and rice.
While we waited an additional 30 minutes for our food to arrive we noticed the steady stream of people coming into the restaurant to wait. It was during this time that I decided that the only reason that Casa Nostra remains open is because the long lines at Teresa’s provide a good reason to go next door to eat “authentic” Italian food instead of “authentic” Mexican.
After being in the restaurant for over an hour our meals finally arrived. As you can see from the pictures the items are covered in “sauces” and cheese and are your typical Americanized Mexican meals. While I was already annoyed with the descriptions on the menus of color + sauce, I dug in. As is the case with many Americanized Mexican places around the metro, each and every single item on my plate tasted exactly the same. It was like eating at an Americanized Chinese buffet. In fact, the food could have been Americanized Chinese and I wouldn’t have known the difference because it simply didn’t taste like anything. I wondered if the orange and cucumber slices on top of the lettuce was meant to help wash down the awful flavor. I found the entire dish to be so absolutely and utterly terrible that I was seriously tempted to stand up on the table and tell everyone waiting in line to get out and go to Taco Bell instead–at least there it would taste like the fillers they use and they’d save a good bit of money. They could have left off the out-of-place cucumber and orange slices and taken 50 cents off the entree price.
The Wife’s Chimichanga had a bit more flavor that my meal but I’m guessing that it only tasted “ok” because I had just eaten a plate of flavorless mush. I’m guessing Styrofoam would have had as much flavor. While I was utterly disturbed at how awful Teresa’s was, The Wife noted that she enjoyed her meal and would eat it again.
With The Rooster getting more fussy and fidgety by the second we flagged down our server and got our $22.50 bill for what should have been about $6 worth of mush. While I signed the receipt I came to realize that restaurants like Teresa’s exist solely because people wouldn’t know a decent meal if it slapped them in the face. Any person knowingly willing to wait 60+ minutes to eat that food is the reason why the restaurant selection in the South Metro is what it is. In addition to the slow service and unbelievably awful food, we were charged $2.99 for The Rooster’s enchilada even though the sign said $1.99. While $1 isn’t anything to get upset over, it’s the principle of the thing and it was just the icing on the cake of the worst meal I’ve had in a very long time.
Suffice to say that I will never ever step foot in Teresa’s Mexican Restaurant in Lakeville again and as crazy as this may sound I’d rather have gone next door to eat astroturf at Casa Nostra as I’m guessing it would have a ton more flavor than what I had that long night over a week ago.
Have you ever eaten at Teresa’s in Lakeville? If so what did you think? What do you eat when you go there? Are the wait times always as long as what we experienced? Whatever you have to say about Teresa’s Mexican Restaurant in Lakeville go ahead and comment on as I’d love to hear your thoughts.
Teresa’s Mexican Restaurant
20202 Heritage Dr
Lakeville, MN 55044
See all the pictures from Teresa’s Mexican Restaurant in Lakeville on Flickr here.