Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Review: Santa Fe Grill Express

The Santa Fe Grill Express (doesn't that name seem long?) is located in a strip mall on 111 in Smithtown, a little north of the area's most famous resident, Kotobuki. (Most famous as far as I'm concerned.)

This place is a mess. At least food-wise. It calls itself "Santa Fe" and most of the dishes are southwestern. And there's the usual stuff: tacos, burritos/wraps, nachos, etc.

But one of the burritos is a "Hawaian" burrito. One of the side dishes is boneless Thai chicken wings. There's also a General Tso's wings. They are not horrible, but they are not great, and they are not southwestern. So, are you a southwestern restaurant or not? I mean I'm pretty sure I haven't seen General Tso's wings at Meson Ole.

So, the character of the restaurant is confused and unfocused. This is underscored by the decor. The colors are southwestern/Mexican, and there are lizard decorations on the wall. But next to the lizards is a dart board. And on the other wall are baseball photographs. So, are we supposed to feel transported to Santa Fe when we walk in there or some shitty little sports bar?

The food is not great. Those crappy wings are probably the best thing. I haven't been impressed by any of the burritos I've had. However, the wife makes me get her a Hawaiian one on occasion. The quesadilla is no better than one from Taco Bell, and you get to pay 3x the price to find that out. The chili is awful. The salsa they include with most entrees is inconsistent--sometimes good, but often very bland.

Other than the wings, it appears that most of the food is prepared fresh. I guess that's one thing it has going for it. But that's it. Oh, and the hours are 11 AM to 8 PM, as I found out at 8:06 last Thursday night.

1 out of 5 stars

532 Rte. 111
Hauppauge, NY 11788


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