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Wednesday, January 04, 2006

On the Border - Review #1

Date of Visit: January 3, 2006

13772 Jamboree Rd
Irvine, CA 92602

Listing on Yahoo! Local

(It should be noted that their Yahoo! Local listing is fairly beefed up with photos, full menu, etc.)

Official Site

Located in the Irvine Market Place, On the Border is literally located on the border between Irvine and Tustin and made a convenient stop for me on the way home from work. I'd been once before, maybe about a year or so ago, and on that occasion I tried their Build-Your-Own Burrito specialty where you check items off on a notepad to specify how you want your burrito cooked and exactly what ingredients to include.
This time, the server, who was particularly and genuinely attentive, brought me the biggest basket of chips I'd ever seen and two cups of salsa. I don't think I ate more than half of them and never dipped into the second cup of salsa.

Next up was a very fresh house salad topped with white and orange tortilla strips. The waiter didn't ask what kind of dressing I wanted on it but when he brought it out it was with a cup of dressing he said he recommended and that he would get me a different kind if I didn't like it. I kept meaning to ask what kind it was and never did but in perusing their menu online now as I write this there's a good bet it was the chipotle-balsamic vinaigrette and it worked as the perfect complement to the particular blend of salad ingredients.

As a beverage I ordered a refreshing virgin strawberry daquiri. Once again, bonus points go to any restaurant that offers any drink in addition to alcohol, soda, and water.

On the Border's Ranchiladas

On the Border bills themselves as a Mexican Grill and Cantina but with an item on their menu called "ranchiladas" you know it's gotta be Tex-Mex. But I was in a Tex-Mex mood so I ordered the ranchiladas. It was a dish comprised of a fajita-grilled steak (not bad but the meat was just a bit too chewy), two cheese-onion enchiladas, Mexican rice (lots of corn in it!), and black beans. The whole plate had a lot of the ranchero sauce smothered all over it so I got to use some of my extra chips and make my own custom nachos again.

On the Border's Chocolate Turtle Empanadas

I wish I wasn't allergic to pecans because their Chocolate Turtle Empanadas looked good enough to, well, eat. I just couldn't . . . eat them. The dinner had filled me up anyway so I didn't even have room for any of their other desserts.

Overall the experience merits a four Speedy Gonzales rating:

Speedy Gonzales Speedy Gonzales Speedy Gonzales Speedy Gonzales

UPDATE (June 5, 2008): Here's some photos from a more recent visit:


Anonymous said...

The portion presented with my fajita chicken order is very small. I spoke to the manager on duty at 1:45 pm (8/1/08). He told me there was "nothing [he] could do about it" and "the corporate office" mandates the portion sizes. He seemed quite pleased with himself and the protection of the corporate profit margin - I presume he'll be promoted, soon. He offered no sympathy nor understanding.
We will not dine at this restaraunt again.

Mimi said...

I have been reading your blog for years and I absolutely love it! I just moved from AZ(Mecca!) to Indy and am longing for some good mexican food. We actually just tried OTB on a desparate whim and thought it was fairly good for what it is. We ate quite simply (grilled shirmp and a special chicken grilled enchilada), which is wise at a chain, at found the portions to be huge! We didn't even finish half of our meals. Amazing black beans, they are almost charro style!

ChristianZ said...

Thanks for being such a faithful reader. Believe me, we have plenty of more content coming. The adventure never ends . . .

Pooja said...

Horrible customer service not worth going or may be to go order.I was there on 04/13/2010 I was very dissatisfied with service.we were party of four friends and they forgot my one friends order we waited 45min for her food by that time our food was cold and manager didn't seem to care.

Kristin said...

Trying to find a recipe for their Tortilla soup...My Mom loves it and I would like to make it for her-haven't been able to quite get it right. Is there one out there? I haven't run across it yet-If you could help I would appreciate it!

ChristianZ said...

Hmm, if I ever track it down I'll post it here.