Restaurant Review: Tomatillos
Tomatillos set up shop in the blossoming stretch of Dublin-Granville neverland that funnels people from Worthington to Dublin. For better or for worse, the thoroughfare has been transitioning from relative emptiness to a community of apartment complexes and matching retail.
On the “worse” side, the development brings more traffic to the two-lane road. On the “better” side, more development means more food. Tomatillos is located in a newer strip mall that boasts pizza and ice cream too. Food can be the solace for the stress of increased congestion.
Tomatillos is fast-casual, but not a Chipotle place; there’s no assembly line. You order at the counter, and food comes out. And, in the great tradition of all great Mexican restaurants, there are free chips. They’re normal free chips, super-fresh, but not life-changing. The help-yourself salsa bar is good for some fun exploring.
You can one-up the chips scene with Nachos Del Rey ($10). It decks the chips with a glorious mess of grilled chicken, chorizo, cheese, salsa, cilantro, onions and jalapeño. The briny chorizo puts an extra likable punch in an already likable dish. Nachos are pretty much always good.
In the taco department, the choices go beyond the expected beef and pollo options. The kitchen offers up a collection of thoughtful combos for diners to try out. Some of the more fun options include BBQ chicken, which teams little chunks of barbecued chicken with melted cheddar, grilled onions and romaine. Mexican Cheese Steak is also worthy, with steak, grilled peppers, queso, lettuce and peppers. Tropical Carnita teams pork with a bright pineapple salsa. The only boring combo tried was the Lime Chicken with romaine and lime. The chicken itself isn’t interesting enough to pull the weight in that line-up. The tacos themselves are smallish, with just a smidgen of fillings, so best practice is to order in multiples ($4 each). (Pictured up top.)
In terms of entrees, the Queso Chicken and Broccoli ($10) sounded like a potentially promising way to ingest a super-vitamin veggie. It’s not the best choice. While it’s not awful, and certainly edible, the dish isn’t delicious either. It’s a close relative of the comfort chicken-broccoli-rice classic, but with strips of chicken and sort-of-sautéed broccoli instead. It’s all better left in casserole-land, as it doesn’t compete well with the other options on the menu.
Consider instead the Burrito Supreme ($10): grilled steak rice, refried beans, sour cream, lettuce, and pico de gallo. The excellent quality steak; lean, tender and savory in a sea of traditional heady fixins, is what makes the burrito binge-worthy.
Fajitas are executed in traditional style, and a good vehicle for eating more of the house steak (although chicken, shrimp, and straight vegetables are also options). This time, the steak is mixed with lots of grilled peppers and onions and served with soft tortillas ($11).
There’s a kids menu that includes the requisite chicken fingers, but also features mini burritos and quesadillas. And there’s also a full bar with margaritas, so it’s got the the best of both worlds together in one place. You can find it at 2285 W. Dublin-Granville Rd.
For more information, visit tomatillosrestaurant.com.