Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Juarez Mexican Bakery

1701 S Mays St Ste P
Round Rock, TX 78664
(512) 255-6262

In response to a request for more variety in our reviews, I decided to include my lunchtime experience today. My coworkers were going to Juarez Mexican Bakery. I weighed my options in a flash of an instant, envisioning a small guacamole and tortillas, and decided to tag along. Hell, I’d even offer to drive. It was my turn after all and a little bit of socializing would be good for me.

Mexican bakeries bring back memories of my hometown. There was a little Mexican bakery in the corner of a convenience store just down the street from my high school. We piled everyone into my 1986 Dodge Ram Charger with the gun rack and pop up roof to sneak away at lunchtime or during class. Arriving at the store, we promptly piled out and headed to the back of the store, passing bottles of soda and snacks written in Spanish. We would each order our individual burritos for about $1.50 each, occasionally adding a pastry for fifty cents or so, and take our grease soaked bags outside to the picnic tables to join our other socially deviant classmates.

Perhaps this nostalgia holds Juarez to an unachievable standard. Or maybe my past experiences lead me to expect my Mexican bakeries to contain a different level of divey-ness - just a little more grime (although I did google Juarez and note that on their last inspection they received 10 demerits.) Regardless, I always seem to find the establishment mildly disappointing.

While Juarez is not in the back of a convenience store, it is in a strip mall. In fact it is in that same stripmall that the horrific Gino’s resides in. When you enter there are rows of desserts and various pastries surrounding a counter where two cash registers are positioned. Some of the pastries looked really tasty and there were cakes that I would really have liked to try. Fortunately to my waist line, I just don’t have a big sweet tooth.

A sign on the register says no credit cards on bills less than $5. Shoot! I forgot my cash back in the office. Oh well, I’ll just have to get more than a small order of guacamole to snack on.

In the past, I’ve spoken to the staff at Juarez and they have been accommodating to my no-meat eating requirements. I usually go for off-menu vegetarian tacos with guacamole, rice, and beans. I’ve been promised that the beans do not contain animal lard, but my intestines this afternoon would argue against that. Depending on who is working the cash register, the price on this item varies.

After you order, you move to the left to pick up average corn chips and decent salsa and fill your drink.

The interior of the bakery is average for what you would expect. Not particularly nice, but clean and suitable. A flatscreen tv rests on the wall and was showing CNN on mute with closed captioning for those actually paying attention.

The food came out fairly quickly. My veggie tacos were filled with mushrooms, onions, guacamole, bell peppers and cheese. There were lettuce and tomatoes, refried beans and Spanish rice. All very tasty, but nothing special.

Mike across from me ordered the carne guisada and said it was really good. To me it looked like my mom’s beef tips in gravy. (No offense, Ma!) All the other dishes at the table looked generically cheesy.

Overall: Average Tex-Mex food for average prices in a strip mall in Round Rock. Bakery products look promising.

Laura - 5