I love some good, homey Mexican food washed down with a well-made margarita. Alejandro’s Mexican Grill in downtown Roanoke does not disappoint. We have been feasting at this hot spot since we first moved to the area. My family likes it spicy and are always looking for a place that is not afraid to turn it up. We discovered Alejandro’s by accident when we were house hunting. My husband and I needed a place to decompress after looking at 20 something houses in the space of a few hours and were wandering around downtown, we passed Alejandro’s window and it looked a little like our favorite hole in the wall back home. We went in for some tacos and mexi-beer and have never looked back. Our daughter jokes that we eat here so much that she can’t even stand the mention of Mexican food anymore. Of course like good parents, we ignore her and continue our adoration of Alejandro’s.
After a week of intensive home bathroom renovation and school shopping, we decided a trip to Alejandro’s was called in order. The parking downtown is always dicey on Friday nights so we usually just park at the Firestone Tire store and walk over. If the store is closed there is no problem parking there, if it is open they will tow you, be warned. Sometimes we have to wait for a table on a weekend night but we hit it just right this night and were sat immediately. The server had chips on the table before we even opened our menus. We ordered drinks and set off for the salsa bar. The salsa bar has an assortment of at least 12 homemade salsas for your chip-dipping pleasure. I personally love the avocado salsa mixed wit the corn salsa, just the right amount of heat and chunky veggies. The pico de gallo is always amazing too, but sometimes it is hotter than others depending on how hot the jalapeno used. My husband goes for the spiciest one at the bar and consumes it happily, while our children like the salsa verdi (fairly mild) and the regular mild salsa. None of us are fans of the white sauce, but they do have it and people seem to enjoy it.
Settling in to our heaping cups of salsa and crispy chips, we placed our order. We are like a broken record at this place. We have tried adventuring out to other dishes but we always come back to the same things we love. We order grilled fish tacos, mexican style carne asada tacos, fajita chicken quesadilla and straight ground beef tacos. Depending on the preparation, Mexican or American, the tacos come on corn tortillas with cilantro and onion or flour tortillas with lettuce and cheese. Every dish is packed, lots of fish, steak and chicken with generous portions cilantro, lettuce, onions and cheese. The food is quick and the chips are endless. I personally love the fish tacos; the fish is a huge filet of tilapia for each taco, cooked crispy on the outside and flaky but tender inside. The seasoning is always spot-on. The cilantro, onions and squirt of lime give the tacos that brightness that makes them yummy with a scoop of fresh pico on top. Delicious!
Dessert, on the other hand, is not a recommendation of mine. My kids loved to order the churros but they are obviously frozen, mass produced and then just heated up in house. They do the trick for their dessert fix but I would love to see some of the homemade goodness that permeates the rest of the food influence the dessert menu. Maybe some sopapillas or a homemade tres leches cake…Until then, this place remains the BEST mexican in Roanoke. Don’t expect fancy, just really good food served by people who know how to make it. They also have locations on Williamson Road and in Christiansburg.