Lunch at Mr. Leno’s

6 04 2008

Mr. and Mrs. Wisco decided to have a late lunch on a Sunday at Mr. Leno’s Mexican Food. The restaurant is at 7040 O. St., just across from Earl May Garden Center, and right where the Mopac Trail crosses O Street. It used to be a Kentucky Fried Chicken, and reopened about 6 months ago as Mr. Leno’s. It has a drive-through that’s open 24 hours a day, so if you’re ever in the mood for Mexican food at 3:00 am, this is your place.

We arrived mid-afternoon (about 2:30 or 3:00 pm) and we were initially the only customers in the restaurant. One other couple came in before we left.

Mr. Leno’s is very casual, and customers order at the counter. Food is served on paper plates, and the restaurant has plasticware instead of silverware. There is a small salsa bar. When we were there, the salsa bar had some pickled peppers and carrots, and two salsas – one red and one green. Both were tasty, and had some spice to them. There are additional spaces in the salsa bar, so it might have other choices at different times.

We ordered several items: a fish taco combination plate, a California burrito (has potato, steak, and salsa), a carne asada taco, a soda, and horchata.

Mrs. Wisco had the fish taco plate. It came with two fish tacos, rice, and beans. The fish was lightly breaded, and served with lettuce, tomato, and onions. The fish tacos have a light sauce on them – it tastes like a sour cream base, but it’s not heavy at all. Mrs. Wisco can be very picky about sauces and dressings, but she thought this one was good. The rice and beans were decent, but needed salsa for some more flavor. The horchata was very good.

Mr. Wisco had the California burrito and a carne asada taco. His eyes might have been bigger than his stomach, because the burrito would have been enough, even for a late lunch. The meat in both was average quality (better than some Mexican restaurants), although it seemed a little overdone and was probably kept warm in hot water before serving. Under closer inspection, Mr. Wisco realized that the potatoes were actually French fries, although they weren’t greasy and appeared to be at least reheated on the grill. The tortilla for the burrito seemed fresher than the taco tortilla. The taco was basic – a tortilla with some meat (no lettuce, onions, etc.). It was the same meat as the burrito. It was a little overdone and the taco shell was a little dry. He would have preferred the taco more authentically prepared with meat, chopped onions, and cilantro. The taco was bland without salsa, but adding salsa gave it more flavor.

The total bill came to about $17. The bathrooms were clean and well-stocked, but they are somewhat rundown.

Overall, it was decent. The people are very nice, and the food is fair. In our opinion, it’s not worth going out of the way for, but if you’re in the area and looking for a fast meal or a quick burrito, it’s a good choice.

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5 responses

7 04 2008
Mr. T

Now that is interesting. A California burrito is indeed a native specimen of Southern California and has french fries in it, along with carne asada and the usual stuffings. One in itself is usually sufficient. After reading your review – to the best of my knowledge – Mr. Leno’s may now be one of the only places in town to have an authentic California burrito with the french fries. El Chaparro on 13th and F also has a California burrito but it does not have the trandemark french fries. I am going to have to give Mr. Leno’s a try.

8 04 2008
wisco

Mr. T – thanks for letting us know. It must be a SoCal thing, we don’t remember it in the Bay Area. After you try it, let us know how it compares with some of the Southern Cal places.

8 04 2008
Gene

I went there about a week ago and had about the same response as you. I was happy enough, but not something I’d really go out of my way to get. I added the salsa to the beans to give them flavor as well.

9 04 2008
Mrs. Wisco

Gene – thanks for letting us know. I’m glad to hear that you basically agree with the assessment.

17 05 2008
Mr. T

I just ate there for the first time. I was excited at the opportunity to have a San Diego-style California Burrito again. Unfortunately, what I got was so bad I couldn’t even finish it. All it was was a big flour tortilla (granted the size was very large) stuffed with small chips of beef (i.e. the “carne asada”) with little or no seasoning, french fries, and american cheese. There was no pico de gallo, no salsa, no green onions, and basically, no taste. The McDonald’s hamburgers have more zest than this!

Anyway, I was disappointed in the experience, even to the point of being a little angry at myself for not trying something different. I wouldn’t be surprised if there other offerings were better, but I am definitely NOT trying a California Burrito there again (if there is an “again”).

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