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“Very contemporary bistro atmosphere, and very good food.”
Review of Abuelo's

Abuelo's
Ranked #9 of 447 Restaurants in Lakeland
Certificate of Excellence
Cuisines: Mexican
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Bar scene, Romantic, Large groups, Special occasions, Business meetings, Families with children
Dining options: Late Night, Lunch, Dinner, Breakfast, Delivery, Reservations
Description: Real Mexican food is a feast for the senses. From colorful peppers to the sounds of sizzling fajitas all the way to that incredible flavor. Each mouthful is just as much a result of the freshest ingredients as it is a result of the chef's expertise. Abuelo's offers diners the opportunity to experience real Mexican food, combining authentic, made from scratch classic dishes with the rich, subtle flavors of coastal and interior Mexican cuisine. Our executive Chef Luis Sanchez has spent decades perfecting our menu, and we boast a wide selection of wood-grilled fajitas, enchiladas, tacos, chile rellenos or Abuelo's unique House Specialties (depending on your location). To compliment your meal, our expert bartenders are masters at crafting signature favorites, including a wide variety of margaritas and swirls.
Franklin, Tennessee
Level 6 Contributor
354 reviews
272 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 135 helpful votes
“Very contemporary bistro atmosphere, and very good food.”
Reviewed August 9, 2012 via mobile

5 of us had a great time. The service was attentive. The tacos were great while the enchiladas were a little tough. Pastas were good too.

    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank Giuseppes1933
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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502 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
    252
    157
    65
    13
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Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Italian first
  • Portuguese first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Lynn Haven, FL
Level 4 Contributor
28 reviews
11 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 18 helpful votes
“Food was Great, Bar Service Need Work”
Reviewed July 28, 2012

I have eaten at several other Abuelo's and found them very good-excellent. As mentioned in other reviews, this seems to be more Tex-Mex, which is fine by me. I ordered the Grande combination and had the Cilantro Lime rice vs. the Mexican rice or potatoes. The Cilantro Lime rice is a good option on the menu. I've had and don't care for the potatoes, they call them Papa Fritos or something like that. The Tortilla soup was very good also.

The food was great. However, it seemed that the bartender didn't want to be there, much less wait on customers. She spent a lot of time at the server's station with several servers who seemed to have too much time on their hands. It took a while to get my drink order, or even to be acknowledged, once again it took a while to take my dinner order, and I sat there with an empty glass for most of the meal. At other Abuelo's it is not unusual to get a manager to drop by and check on things. I waited for this to happen, but it never did.

I arrived after happy hour, so the bar had 3 other customers who seemed to be getting the same service or lack thereof. The bartender did complain about being tired, so maybe that was it.

I would go back for the food and hopefully corrective action will be taken on the waitstaff before my next visit.

  • Visited July 2012
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank Chiliburger340
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Tampa, Florida
Level 5 Contributor
47 reviews
35 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 30 helpful votes
“Abuelos is a new National Chain with Very Strange Food, Mystery Ingredients, Great Decor and OK Service”
Reviewed July 26, 2012

I am shocked at the number of good reviews on the food here. Very Shocked.
I have been eating and loving Mexican food for over 50 years and I have NEVER seen any of the food combinations they offer here as "authentic" Mexican food. What makes it worse is the statue at the entrance and the description in the menu which ties this place to "family recipes" from Guadalajara Mexico.
That aside Gringos may love the nice building, both the entrance and interior, the nicely painted Mexican style plates, and the many Hispanic staff that give this place a nice ambiance.
but I can only give one star because the food is not only STRANGE but its ingredients are suspect. And that is Not something you expect from Mexican food unless it is coming from the grocers frozen food isle.
First, the salsa and chips are different because the salsa is made from a roasted tomato base that while it tasted good was too hot on the fire scale to enjoy. Even if I had liked it, it was impossible to scoop up with the paper thin tortilla chips that broke as soon as you dipped them.
I ordered the Four Enchillada platter which came with one chicken, one pork, one Guacamole and one Spinach dip filling. Really????? I have never eaten hot Guacamole before and hope I never have to again! And Spinach Dip?? That should be illegal.They were topped with red sauce and a thin zigzag of "White substance meant to look like sour cream but it clearly was not. I tried to poke it and taste it, but I have no idea what it was.
They were served on a very large and vevy hot platter with refried beans and "Papas con Chili".... picture instant potatoes with a few little chucks of potatoes'mixed in for texture and some chilli flavor and cheese mixed in. Oh it was AWEFULL!!!!
But the worse part was the Quacamole. I specifically asked it it was made with real avocados since there is such a trend towards strange fillers. I was assured it was "made FRESH Daily". Well, I got a plate of sliced lettuce with some florescent green substance on top. What in the world????? I have never seen anything light green like that before. And no evidence of any avocadoes in it.
Overall Abuelos pushes the envelope when it comes to Mystery Food. And for the prices they charge here that is not acceptable.
If you want some dynomite Mexican food, drive to Tampa and check out one of the Taco Bus locations. It has a no frills ambiance but the long lines and patient people tell you that you are in the right place. Order ahead for carryout and have the Best Mexican food in Florida.

  • Visited July 2012
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank MyValricoCastle
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Fort Lauderdale, Florida
Level 2 Contributor
5 reviews
4 restaurant reviews
“Great Customer Service And Food”
Reviewed July 25, 2012

Everything Was Great ! The Food Is Was Prepared Perfectly And Everyone Was Smiling ! The Hostess Was Very Nice.

Visited July 2012
Helpful?
Thank Ashley B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Sunny Central Florida
Level 6 Contributor
139 reviews
118 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 53 helpful votes
“Great food, great service, best Southwestern cuisine in Lakeland”
Reviewed July 13, 2012 via mobile

The carnitas tacos ($8.99) were superb. The nachos were light, fresh & hot. Our server (Dan B) was outstanding - brought each of us a basket of nachos and a dish of salsa, brought extra glass of ice for tea, returned with full glasses of tea w/o being asked, offered to go cups, and was friendly & attentive. We will ask for him on next visit. $27 for 2 with 25% tip!

    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank HappyFLTravelers
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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