Gimme That Burrito Ranchero ( Updated June 4, 2008 ) – Cozumel’s Charleston, WV

Cozumel Mexican Restaurant ( Updated June 4, 2008 ) – Ashton Place, Charleston, WV


Ron Says –

No Camera, No Pictures, Deny Deny Deny

But even without pictures or some Links…. I have to say this is one of the better Mexican Joints around the valley – IF NOT THE BEST

… spoiler Alert:


Today, I was out with a client who was more than happy to pay for my treat – but only after he departed with $850. Yet, I have to say it was money well spent. I love the Burrito Ranchero and it was my lucky day as it was on the “Today’s Special” menu. (ok is knocking $0.50 off really a special???) Nevertheless…

It’s right up there with Porforio’s… the food is great..

The Meals here are almost always good – heck I can’t even think when I had a crappy one, seem to give you a lot of food for the gallons of gas it costs to get over here. Their Mexican Rice is the best – they seem to put fresh vegetables in it. Their chips are always warm (albeit today the first batch wasn’t). Salsa is good and as with all Mexican joints the service is quick. These dudes have it down.

My favorite dish – Burrito Ranchero, is a burrito with mexican sausage, jalapenos, and scrambled eggs, all topped off with cheese and more jalapenos, and that red sauce. In addition it’s served with their previously mentioned Rice – some of the best around, and of course the beans that are shot out of a caulk gun.

And once again – Delicious.Four Forks

Again, Four Forks… I’m holding out from giving fives, unlike some contributors who want to toss them out like they’re candy at a parade.

I should also mention, the place has cold beer and happy hour specials.. – mental note, attend those more often. Again, sorry about the lack of pics and links. I’m sure the resident editor will add them when the time is right.

One little gripe besides the first batch of chips, they quit taking my WESAVE card… this used to be good for like another 10% off.. I know life is hard but come on. In addition I would have left my brand new ForkYou Calling Card – but I haven’t been issued mine yet.

Now, I have to go take a hacienda. ( <- no I don’t know if I used that word correctly)

Susan says…

I have been to this Mexican eatery on several occasions. It was clear from Ron’s comments that he REALLY likes this place. I, too, usually like this place and have enjoyed the dishes I have ordered on previous visits.

Unfortunately, today mine sucked. I ordered the chicken fajita taco salad for $6.75. The soda was $1.89 with unlimited refills. I am about at the point where I am going to quit buying sodas at lunch. If it’s more than $1.50, it upsets me – no matter how many refills I get. That’s more than a 2-liter bottle costs at the convenience store. Maybe I should pack a bottle of Diet Coke in my big purse, along with the low-carb buns and tortillas that I routinely take into restaurants.

The first problem with this taco salad is the shell. I picked all around the top of the shell and only found two small areas that were truly crispy. I know the cheese sauce makes the bottom of the shell soggy, but why isn’t the top of it crispy? It’s not worth eating if it’s not crispy.

Secondly, there were about a dozen small pieces of chicken in my shell. By small, I mean the largest couple pieces were the size of fajita meat you normally get on the sizzling cast iron pan. All the other pieces were smaller than a quarter.

Thirdly, lack of lettuce volume. Here I go again about lettuce. Think about it, though. If you are trying not to gain weight, you can eat a whole lotta lettuce for hardly any calories. Plus, I enjoy the cool crunch of the lettuce leaves in contrast to the hot components of the meal. There simply wasn’t enough lettuce on this taco salad. My lunch today should have been a low-carb lunch, but there was so little chicken and lettuce that I had to eat some of the shell in order to satisfy my hunger pangs. But then the shell wasn’t crispy which made it completely unworthy of spending carbs on it. What a conundrum.

Note to restaurants: What would really be great is if you would surround the taco salad shell with a ring of shredded lettuce directly on the plate so it would stay crunchy as you progressed through the salad. Putting the lettuce IN the salad only results in wilted lettuce that cannot be discerned from the cooked onions. You could pick up a bite of salad shell contents with your fork and then stab some lettuce on the way to your mouth. Perfection.

Finally, it was overpriced. I had Selection Regret: I shoulda, woulda, coulda had the chimichanga for the same price and it is SOOOOOOOOOOOO much better than the fajita taco salad. When I sat down in my desk chair upon returning from Ashton Place, there was still a rumbly in my tumbly. That is not good.

Was I unconsciously influenced by Dan and his quest to taste every taco salad available in the greater Kanawha Valley area? Is he somehow to blame for my crappy lunch?

forks-twoIt pains me to rate this particular visit because all my other meals here have been so much better. But it is my duty to the Charlestonian Diners to report the truth. My rating today for Cozumel is TWO FORKS. Please “average” mine with everyone else’s ratings to get a truer picture of this restaurant.


Dan says…

Susan suggested that I post something on Cozumel since we got the same entree. I feel very blah about this place. See…My family and I have easily eaten over 100 meals at Cozumel. There was a time we ate there once a week. I have had over 50% of the menu items. Tracey has had one – Spinach Quesadilla. I love the mole, carnitas and lately, the tacos carne asade. When you eat at a place that much you are bound to get a questionable meal and poor service from time to time. It just seems lately all I get is poor service. If I’m a regular, I want to be greeted as such. I want them to appreciate my business. They should know that Tracey wants her spinach quesadilla with no cheese sauce on top and I need an extra plate so the kids can split their meal. This has gotten so old that I take my mexican dining elsewhere.

On this visit I ordered an unsweet tea and the fajita taco salad. The language barrier was so bad that he brought two sweet teas. Phil asked if he brought him sweet tea? The server said, “unsweet” and returned with a unsweet tea for Phil and I tasted mine and it was sweet so we traded. When he brought me a refill, he brought sweet tea again, yuck. We enjoyed our chips and salsa. They bring two big bowls of salsa to the table for people to share. I prefer to have my own bottle and dish of salsa so I can double dip at will. They also don’t put the standard red and green bottles of hot sauce on the table so I can juice up my salsa.

The taco salad arrived quickly. Susan’s comments on the tortilla shell are correct – chewy not crispy. The ingredients are fine. My ideal taco salad has a bed of shredded lettuce, a scoop of beans, rice and meat. Then topped with sour cream, pico de gallo, and gaucamole.forks-two

You can get a good meal minus a margarita (no liquor license due to it proximity to the Bible Center) at Cozumel. The service will be lacking. Even though I hate to do it, I have to agree with Susan and give Cozumel TWO Forks.

1120 Fledderjohn Rd
Charleston, WV 25314
(304) 342-0113
Cozumel Mexican Restaurant on Urbanspoon

8 responses to “Gimme That Burrito Ranchero ( Updated June 4, 2008 ) – Cozumel’s Charleston, WV

  1. Don’t you mean siesta?

  2. First of all, it’s not the best. The best Mexican around is Porferio’s in Barboursville. Cozumel’s is tasty – I also like the rice with the veggies in it (I seriously doubt they are “fresh”, most likely they are a bag of frozen mixed) – but you can’t enjoy a margarita with your enchilada at Cozumel. That fact alone disqualifies it from being labeled “the best”.
    Secondly, they once price-gouged me – I got 3 pieces of shrimp added to regular fajitas for which I paid, like, $1 per shrimp.
    Thirdly, I just can’t stand that you gave Cozumel FOUR forks and you don’t think China Buffet deserves FIVE. Oh puh-lease.

  3. one would think that such food experts would know not to get a taco salad at these Americanized Authentic Mexican Restaraunts. I have yet to have good one and the only taco salad I’d recommend is Wendy’s & if I recall I think Griffs has a decent one. Dan also needs to realize that on his 100 or so visits, that Cozumel probably went through 500 or so immigrant workers.

  4. I attended a bachelorette dinner there in March, and we were told we could get margaritas, but they would be wine-based (due to the Church location), and our server told us he didn’t recommend them. But there was beer, so some drinking is available.

  5. Pingback: More Salsa, Por Favor - Porfirio’s Mexican Restaurant « Fork You…

  6. Definitely not the worst nor the best mexican place in town but it is worth noting that the cheese dip has an artificial taste…Pollo con Arroz is very good.

  7. Pingback: Grande Potential – El Patron Mexican Bar and Grill | Fork You…

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