We've enjoyed this venerable Galveston icon for many years, but I usually order the same dish, my favorite chicken fajita salad, served without the taco shell. That's a great dish for the weight-conscious. However, for reviewing purposes I branched out.
By the way, because it is a Mexican restaurant we had to test the margaritas. I had the “Original”, on the rocks. They make great margaritas and have a fine happy hour Monday through Thursday evenings. Soon appeared the bottomless basket of tortilla chips, with homemade spicy-and-roasty salsa. The accompanying bean dip was new to me; I found it rather bland.
For starters we ordered seafood empanadas, which are fried pastries filled with shrimp, veggies and rice. They came in a generous portion, had a nice medley of flavors and weren't too spicy for this faint-hearted eater. The accompanying jalapeño pepper sauce provided a kick for those who like something more picante. Although fried they were not greasy.This made a delicious appetizer.
As an entree I selected Tacos al Carbon, house-made tender tortillas filled with chicken and beef fajita meat and grilled onions, with guacamole, Mexican rice and ranchero beans on the side. The meat was a little on the dry side. Rice was flavorful. Guacamole was fresh and well-seasoned. Guacamole is my personal favorite food; I could make a meal of it (and sometimes I do).
My dining companion ordered the Carne Asada, marinated with roasted jalapeños and served with Mexican rice, ranchero beans, pico de gallo and guacamole. The meat was well marinated and tasty but a bit chewy. I think he was jealous of my tacos.
For dessert we chose the flan, which was creamy and rich but a bit firmer than we're used to.
We had our “usual” waiter, a friendly fellow who seems always to be in a good mood. We had no wait and service was quick. The Original has three dining rooms plus a bar so they can handle small gatherings as well. This is a Galveston tradition so if you haven't tried it you must. Friendly service, reasonable prices, and some good Tex-Mex. Oh, and great margaritas.