Last visit: March 2013
Long time readers of the RJG may recall we covered Habanero's long ago. There have been so many changes to the restaurant since we last visited 4 years ago that the former review has been rendered useless. I'll be removing its contents in favor of this review (but leaving the post up as there are 6 comments attached to it). Urbanspoon offers a feature for us bloggers that allows us to update former entries, so this will be my first opportunity to try that.
First off, Habanero's is now a full service restaurant rather than an order-up counter service place. In this way, Habanero's is similar to the Don Taco restaurant in Roanoke that we recently covered. Despite all the changes, one thing about Habanero's has remained the same: That the overall experience is mixed. Some great, some not so great. Let's cover the pros and cons:
Pros: 1) Habanero salsa. It's probably the mildest habanero I've ever had, but it still retains the excellent flavor. For those of you who always wanted to try a habanero sauce but were afraid of the heat, then here's your chance. 2) Chicken fajita tacos. Fantastic flavor and very tender. 3) Corn tortillas. Mrs. RJG opted for these rather than the default flour ones, and she said they were very flavorful.
Neutral: 1) The margaritas. I was initially pleased with mine - it certainly had the right kick, and it definitely had a nice flavor. But it ended up being a bit too watery by the end. 2) Beef fajita taco. Again, the flavor was excellent, but the meat was a bit tough. 3) The flour tortillas were nothing special, but certainly good enough.
Cons: 1) The chips are dull similar to the store bought packaged variety. 2) The cilantro lime rice was terrible! It tasted like lime and a bushel of cilantro, with a little bit of rice in there somewhere. Made me pine for Chipotle's version. 3) The charro beans were too salty, and there was no bacon flavor. It was just a plain bean soup - with sodium. 4) The "taco sauce" they provide is a very watered down "verde" with no flavor whatsoever.
So will we be going back? Yes. We're more enthusiastic about Habanero's now than prior (which is why it's been 4 years since our last visit). I think the margarita and beef tenderness is something that could change from visit to visit. I'll need to avoid the rice and charro beans - unless those were truly an abnormal occurrence (which I doubt). So if you haven't been in a long time, like us, then give them another chance!