The Place: Bajio Mexican Grill
One of the things that I knew I would miss the most when moving to Indiana was good Mexican food. I even had my going away party at Manuel’s, my favorite Mexican food restaurant back in Arizona. We have not been to every Mexican restaurant in town yet, but thus far I have not been impressed, that is until we got to Bajio. Bajio is not in our phonebook since it opened within the last 9 months. I’m always fairly skeptical with Mexican restaurants, especially chains, but we went to Bajio the first time on the recommendation of our friend Neeraj, and found discovered that it was pretty good, not great, but good. So even though this trip doesn’t stay with our alphabetical rule, it’s not in the phonebook, so we figured we’d review anyways. Besides, we needed a break from 5 sandwich shops in a row.
They really are trying to get the Mexican feel, although no place that I’ve been to in Mexico looks like this. There are the typical Adobe walls and desert plants scattered around that remind me of home, as well as some hanging iron lanterns and paintings of cartoonish Mexicans eating burritos. The place is very clean and welcoming. There are a few small patio tables if you wish to eat at outside like we did the first time we ate there since we had the dog with us. But this time we sat inside at a table.
The food is surprisingly better than at most fast food Mexican restaurants chains, and the portions are big, too. I ordered the Burrito Clasico with beef, and you get your choice of 2 types different types of rice and beans for both the inside and outside of the burrito. For me this was a little too much rice and beans, but I guess there is a reason that those are the staple foods of many cultures. Erik got the chimichanga, which is basically the burrito, but deep fried and covered in sour cream and sauce. Both were pretty good, but I think I would rather have had the tacos or taquitos that we had last time.
We also ordered a side of guacamole and some tortilla chips to dip into my refried beans. The beans were a little bland, but what can you do (except write about it in your blog)? And I say you can’t go too wrong with Guacamole.
The food was not very spicy at all, which was good for me since I am definitely a gringa and cannot handle spicy.
The burrito making is done assembly-line style, much like when you eat at a sub shop. I was pleased to see that most, if not all of the staff was Hispanic, even the people working the front line. At other places I often see Hispanics back in the kitchen and white people working the front, which has always bothered me. At Bajio, I have at least a little faith that even though they are a chain, that they are somewhat authentic.
The two men making our burritos were a little shy when we asked if we could take pictures, but they finally let us take some of them.
Most meals are $5-7, but you get a LOT of food. If you are a student they have a deal where you get your choice of most of the meals and a soda for only $5.50, which seems like a good deal to me. Maybe I should go back to school just so I can get a discount… (Kira did go back to school to get her teaching certificate. She now teaches high school math. -Erik, May 2014)
One of my favorite parts of Mexican food is eating the refried beans with tortilla chips. Here, tortilla chips do not come with your meal unless you order chips and salsa for $2. I figured that since I just wanted some chips to dip with and we had already paid extra for a side of guacamole that they would just throw some chips on the side of my plate for free. But when I asked for just a little bit of chips, no salsa, they gave me a big plate of chips and still ended up charging me the entire $2 for chips and salsa. Since this wasn’t a sit down restaurant, I know that I shouldn’t have expected to get free chips, but I definitely did not get $2 worth. Next time I’ll bring my own bag of Tostitos.
Considering we don’t have much else to go on in this town, Bajio will fill my Mexican food craving until/unless we find someplace better.
How Often Would I Go Back?
Every 2 months. (What’s this?)