Firefly closing...and becoming Tex Tubbs!

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Postby morriskatze » Sat Sep 08, 2007 10:04 pm

I never managed to try Firefly, so I definitely can't compare them to other Asian places.

However, Tex Tubb's and Burrito Drive don't even claim to be doing the same thing. Tex Tubb's claims "Austin Style" (a rather pale imitation imo) whereas Burrito Drive is "new Mexican". From what I can tell, Burrito Drive is trying to do something completely different by having some "authentic" Mexican elements and some American elements, but in a completely different combination than the usual New Mexican (i.e. from New Mexico) or Cal-Mex or Tex-Mex.

For example, Burrito Drive offers their Mexican Street Corn, which is based on the way corn on the cob is served from little carts in Mexico. They use more pickled vegetables in their dishes (which I think are more Mex than Tex, tho I'm not entirely sure where they originate) than I've seen in Tex Mex. Then they turn around and make wontons with chorizo & bleu cheese, served with cranberry salsa; or the White Trash Burrito with spam carnitas (WTF are these?), tater tots, Boston baked beans, velveeta, el camino salsa.

To me it seems Burrito Drive is trying to add more late 20th century Midwestern or Northeastern elements, if you will, whereas Tex-Mex comes from traditions that existed before Texas and Mexico were separate entities (like Native American foods, colonial Spanish ideas, and ranching traditions) and that have been steadily influenced by a combination of new waves of Mexican/Latin American immigration, and modifications made to sell allegedly authentic, Mexican-type food to Anglos.

So I guess Tex Tubb's has to win the faux Tex-Mex category b/c he's the only one trying to compete in it.

Burrito Drive definitely gets points from me for the originality of their attempts to meld Midwestern (e.g. cranberry salsa) with Mexican...maybe it's easier for me to accept them because they aren't purporting to do something I really love and then disappointing me by not doing it well. :roll:

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Postby neuwaver » Tue Sep 18, 2007 4:07 pm

All I know is I tried to go to the West Tex Tubb's with a friend and was told it was going to be 35 minutes for a table.

On a Monday.

Anyone who waits 35 minutes for tacos is an idiot.

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Postby morriskatze » Tue Sep 18, 2007 4:47 pm

neuwaver wrote:All I know is I tried to go to the West Tex Tubb's with a friend and was told it was going to be 35 minutes for a table.

On a Monday.

Anyone who waits 35 minutes for tacos is an idiot.

Especially on a MONDAY. :?

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Postby HeyZeus » Tue Sep 18, 2007 5:45 pm

morriskatze wrote:I know I'll be blasted again for this, but really, IMHO the best Tex-Mex in town is at Abuelo's in Middleton - admittedly a chain-hell restaurant, but one out of Lubbock that is doing a pretty good job.

I have to agree. I try to stay away from chains, but my friends in Fort Worth raved about Abuelo's. The food and the service is great.

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Postby morriskatze » Tue Sep 18, 2007 7:18 pm

Especially the service! Sometimes I amuse myself by asking for silly things just because they're so obliging... :twisted:

And the Salsa Infierno seriously does remind me of the homemade salsa I used to get from a Mexican friend. mmm.

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Postby aaron » Wed Sep 19, 2007 8:14 am

I really like Abuelo's also. I don't care that it is a chain restaurant, they have some of the best Tex-Mex food in town, hands down.

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Postby robbie webber » Wed Sep 19, 2007 10:36 pm

I ate at Tex-Tubs west tonight. Since I've been to the east side one several times, I knew the menu pretty well. This was the first time I'd had the smoked pork, and it was goooood.

We had to wait a bit to be seated. There were plenty of empty spots, but apparently not enough staff to serve all the tables. My guess is that it's the new restaurant affect. It should calm down soon enough.

While we waited, we got an El Dorado margarita (top shelf taquila, although i didn't ask the bran.) It kicked ass. Very strong, so I didn't mind paying the premium price.

I got a grilled mahi taco and a smoked pork flour taco. My dinning companion got two mushroom tacos and a talapia taco. He always raves about the mushroom tacos.

Service was very good. Good idea to not overpack the place if you can't attend to people.

Had the key lime jalapeno pie. (Huh?!) Yes, a key lime pie with bits of jalapeno. Quite tasty. Not as cloyingly sweet as many key lime pies. More of a custard filling. The jalapeno gave it just a touch of bite. Yummy.

Overall, a nice meal, although not cheap.

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Postby Cory Schmidt » Thu Sep 20, 2007 9:13 am

I ate at the west side location for lunch yesterday.

To keep things short

Grilled Mahi taco - bland
Shrimp taco - bland
Rice - odd and bland
beef taco - some taste but nothing special
Refried beans - obviously plopped out of a can and very bland

The queso sauce we had with our chips was good but not worth the $6.

What surprised me most was the total bill. Yes I had quite a bit of food but once we split the bill and added a tip I paid close to $17. That's a hefty price for lunch.

That said, a couple of th epeople I was with who had been at both locations said that the east side one is a lot better.

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Postby lukpac » Thu Sep 20, 2007 10:45 am

Cory Schmidt wrote:Grilled Mahi taco - bland
Shrimp taco - bland
Rice - odd and bland
beef taco - some taste but nothing special
Refried beans - obviously plopped out of a can and very bland

Haven't been to the new location yet, but I'm stuff miffed they got rid of the "fajita chicken" taco in favor of the "chicken" taco, which is indeed kind of bland.

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Postby depinmad » Fri Sep 21, 2007 8:41 am

there last night with the family. got there at five it was already crowded, with the parking lot completely full.
got seated immediately. had two servers fight over our table. i see what you mean about pricey. 48.53 without tip.

1 diet pepsi - 1.75
1 orange juice - 2.50
1 lemonade - 2.00
1 glass sangria - 3.79
1 side sour cream - .99
1 ground beef burrito - 6.79
1 chicken chimichanga platter - 10.47
1 cheese quesadilla - 5.49
1 chicken taco plate - 2.79
1 nino salad - 1.99
1 nino chicken fingers - 3.49
2 novelty ice cream bars - 4.50

i liked my chimichanga, the kids weren't so into their food.

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Postby punkarchivist » Sat Sep 22, 2007 5:00 am

I simply cannot believe that we needed a second Tex Tubbs. I really wanted to like the place back when it first opened, but after giving them a half dozen chances, I really feel like this place is coasting on hype. Either that or people are into really bland and expensive tacos.

That's probably my biggest gripe--the prices are a little inflated for what you're getting, especially portion wise. Their tacos are pretty darn small, and by the time you get enough of them to fill you up, it's like you had a sushi dinner or something. And the meats/fillings never taste like they have much flavor or spice to them either. The salsas are fine, but you don't want the salsa taste to dominate everything you're eating, either.

I am much more impressed with Burrito Drive. When they first opened, their prices were definitely too high for take out burritos. They must have figured this out though, because they soon issued an expanded menu with lower prices. Now, it isn't Taco Bell/Johns cheap or anything, but $6.25 for a design-your-own burrito is not bad, especially when it's packed with filling, yummy ingredients. That's about the same as Qdoba prices I think, and their food spanks Qdoba for the single fact that they have sweet potato puree as an option. The bacon lardons are quite yummy, too. And the jasmine rice is fragrant and tasty. A nice departure from typical rice filler used in burritos.

I wish Food Fight had turned the Firefly space into something totally new, but oh well. Maybe Tex's will kick it up a natch.

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Postby NullDevice » Mon Sep 24, 2007 2:24 pm

I ate there recently. Mixed opinion.

Salsas - decent, not great. Tomatillo green salsa could use a little depth, it's a bit on the citrussy side (I know, I know, fresh tomatillos *are* citrussy, but a roasted tomatillo is a thing of beauty in a salsa).

The "OMG HOT" salsa was not. I was disappointed. It'd qualify as a medium in a jar. It could've been better if they'd tried to do something other than just "hot" with it.

The plain old tomato salsa was pretty good, though.

The chips that came with it were, thankfully, crunchy and not overpoweringly salted.

Margaritas: good, and reasonably cheap compared to everything else. The rail tequila in it didn't taste like aftershave, which is always a risk when not buying a premium margarita.

fried avocado: bafflingly popular. I found it bland and greasy. I mean...avocado...why would you fry something already that unctious? I love avocados, and the concept was interesting, but this was a swing and a miss. Maybe if they did something like paired it with a different fried/tempura vegetable, it'd work better.

Chorizo: Not bad. It's chorizo, so it pretty much dominates anything around it. But also nto anything you couldn't make at home with a tube of El Rey chorizo and a few tortillas.

Tilapia: Tilapia is a subtle fish, and needs either a lot of seasoning or very little. This didn't quite work - the seasoning was too strong to let the fish show off, not strong enough to lead on its own.

Smoked pork: okay, now this is promising. The smoked pork was tender, juicy, and flavorful. Paired nicely with the veggies (cabbage, IIRC). Marred by a less-than-fresh tortilla, though.

I wanted to try their version of an el pastor, because for me that makes or breaks any taco place, but they had run out.

I'm willing to give them the benefit of the doubt, as any restaurant needs a few weeks to settle in, and they were swamped those first few days. They show some promise but I'm afraid they will suffer from the same play-it-safe-with-seasoning issues that mar a lot of FF establishments (and killed Firefly for me). The smoked pork taco shows a lot of hope, though.

Service was good, despite the wait. And I was totally okay with the Johnny Cash on the TV.

Price wasn't as bad as everyone had led me to believe.

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texus tubbs

Postby Ann R » Sun Jan 20, 2008 2:36 pm

I went to eat at this place on University last night and I can't believe how awful it was. I haven't been to a restaurant THAT bad in such a long time. What a waste of time and money. I wanted to order the shredded beef flautas but after I told the waitress what I wanted she said, "oh, we don't do the beef flautas anymore, it just doesn't work". Okay....WTF does that mean and why is it still on the menu. I told my husband that it was a bad omen. Then we wanted chips and salsa and our choices were mild red, green and hot "smokey" red. I didn't want any of those and what happened to just plain hot salsa? I hate that smoke flavor and I'm not crazy about green salsa. The waitress brough the mild red and the green. I would have rather eaten salsa from a jar - Mrs. Renfro's hot habenero, hell, even Paul Newman's is better than what they make. My chicken flautas came with my husband's smoked pork tacos. The chicken tasted like it was several days leftover. I actually find leftover chicken impossible to eat. Not only was it leftover but it was leftover DARK meat. Does anyone else know what I'm talking about????? It tastes awful and gamey. I tasted the rice and beans my husband got with his meal. I can buy the same refried beans from Cub in a tin can and the rice was tasteless and dry. He didn't like the pork. I had about a teaspoon of guacamole on top of some shredded lettuce - whoopee. From what little I could tell, it wasn't very good and overwhelmingly limey. Overall it was a disappointing meal and we couldn't wait to get out of there. We both vowed NEVER AGAIN.

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Postby Newtotown » Sun Jan 20, 2008 2:49 pm


Wow -- I think you just saved us a trip!



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