Once upon a time, my husband and I were dining at Senor Iguanas every single week. No lie. It was becoming a problem for our waistlines. To compensate, we began sharing a meal instead of ordering two separate entrees. Then, suddenly, all the familiar faces were gone. It seemed the entire staff had turned over overnight. The place lost its hold on us and we quit going for a while.
Note to owners/managers: Don’t underestimate the importance of the waitstaff at your restaurant. Great staff will foster repeat business and increase customer satisfaction.
We still catch the fever for tacos and burritos once a week and have been spreading the love all over town, frequenting the close-to-our-home El Nopal in warm weather because they have a nice patio (I think the interior is blah so I don’t like to go there if I can’t sit outside). Well, the weather wasn’t patio-conducive last night so we decided to revisit our old friend, Senor Iguanas. What a good decision.
The interior is bright and neat with a large bar area and a party space on the lower level. There is also a deck with ceiling fans and new furniture (much better than the wonky rattan pieces it replaced). I noticed right away as we walked by other parties to our seats that they updated the plates since out last visit – large modern-looking white plates with slightly upturned corners. I wondered if they were trying to compete with Guaca Mole in the dish department.
The menus have also been revamped which gave me momentary distress until I found a couple of our old favorites still among the choices. (Of note, there are tortas on the menu now.) I went with the enchilada suizas and my husband chose the loco burrito.
One down side to the menu is a very limited a la carte selection. Since I am low-carbing it, beans and rice are no-nos. I had to pay for the sides to get my suizas but asked the kitchen to keep them off my plate and substitute some extra lettuce instead.
I really like the salsa at Senor Iguanas – plenty of cilantro and heat. There are always some chopped onions in the mix which I scarf up because my husband dislikes them. Sometimes we’re just like Jack Sprat and his wife! They also bring you a ramekin of a ranch dressing-like dip that we pass on.
The food was very good. The presentation was a notch above typical Mexican joints, partly because of the new plates. I received two corn tortillas filled with tender shredded chicken topped with verde and white cheese sauces with spicy pico de gallo and a generous amount of romaine lettuce on the side. I’m sure the romaine came out of a bag but I enjoyed the upgrade from the usual iceberg. My husband’s loco burrito was barely contained on the plate, placed diagonally. I’d guess that baby measured twelve inches in length. It’s filled with all kinds of goodness including steak, guacamole, cheese sauce, and more. He shared a bite of the insides – loco yummy.
I wish I could have had a margarita but alas I am not consuming sugar. A Michelob Ultra with a lime in it is the best I can do.
It seems like a simple thing but it is surprisingly difficult at some places to get a fresh jalapeno on the side. My husband asked about a jalapeno and our waiter asked if he would like canned or fresh. I could see the relief on his face when he responded “fresh”. Jalapeno is an essential ingredient in pico de gallo so wouldn’t it stand to reason that they have some in the kitchen that could be sliced and delivered to your table? We have a devil of a time getting it (or simply can’t) at some Mexican places.
I was disappointed that the crowd was pretty thin. We passed by El Nopal and El Toro before arriving at Senor Iguanas. The other two restaurants were much busier. I ask those people: what the heck are you thinking? Senor Iguanas is great. You should go there instead. I give it four out of five.
9424 Shelbyville Road
Louisville, KY 40222