Toto, We’re Not in Shoney’s Anymore – Los Agaves



Susan says…




My first impression of this Mexican eatery was that of surprise.  The parking lot was remarkably crowded for lunchtime in South Charleston.  We had to wait for someone to back out of their parking space for our vehicle to find a slot.

The former Shoney’s had shed itself of most of the Shoney-esqueness to look like a typical Mexican joint.  The place was clean and we were seated quickly – another surprise given the packed parking lot.

The menu revealed some out-of-the-ordinary choices, including some soup.  The shrimp fajitas were appealing to me because 1) I like shrimp and 2) it fit into my plan for a low-carb lunch.  I felt sure it was a rip-off waiting to happen, though.  I’ve been bitten in the hiney on shrimp fajitas before.  One time, at Cozumel, I ordered the shrimp/chicken combo fajitas and received very few shrimp in exchange for very much dinero. 

All this was going through my head when Dan spoke up and said “why don’t you get the shrimp lunch fajitas?”  So I explained my hesitation.  Having patronized this establishment in the past, Dan predicted I would not be disappointed and would receive 8 shrimp.  Hmmm….it does sound good….and I can always put the guilt trip on Dan if it sucks…

So shrimp lunch fajitas it was, for $7.75. 

The chips and salsa were good – when aren’t they good, really?  The instant gratification afforded by the free appetizer of chips & salsa is one of the things I love about Mexican food here in the good ol’ US of A. The Los Agaves salsa was spicy and I wished I could have eaten chips with abandon, but they probably have, like, 20 carbs a chip.  Okay, not really.  I just wanted to exaggerate.  And whine.


Shrimp Fajitas - lunch

Upon delivery of the entrees, everyone was anxious for me to count my shrimp.  One, two, three…four, five….six, seven….looks like eight!  No wait: NINE!  Ha ha Ha ha ha….(imagine the Count laughing on a Sesame Street episode.)  I was indeed happy with the shrimp portion.  Less happy, though, with the amount of peppers, tomatoes and onions.  Let’s be real: they always give you too many onions.  I would have had enough to fill 3 small tortillas if there had been more peppers and tomatoes.  As it was, the peppers were a little skimpy even for two.  (I really like the green peppers.  Especially the charred ones!) 

Wanna hear something really great?  Sodas are only $1.25! A real bargain these days, dontcha think?  Even though they serve the inferior brand instead of the always refreshing, great-tasting Coca Cola, I appreciate the management not ripping off the caffeine-addicted customers.

Taste was good, on all components.  Value?  If they bump up the peppers, I would be happy with the price.  Next time I’ll try ordering it with no onions.  A little strategy of mine to get more peppers. It usually works.  This meal gave me a hankerin’ for shrimp that’s still not satisfied.  I am looking forward to a return visit.

Solid THREE FORKS for Los Agaves.



Dan says…

This was my forth visit to Los Agaves. I went when it first opened and was not too impressed.  Then a dietitian friend of mine swore that I should try it again.  We met there for dinner for margaritas and tacos. I was surprised how good it was.  So the other day I suggested the Fork You crew give it a shot.


 They had so many different things on the menu like the Jimador burito.  This thing is bigger than your head.  It is a gigantic tortilla shell stuffed with your choice of meat, rice, beans, lettuce, tomato, sour cream and guacamole then they cover it with cheese sauce.  They should challenge Adam Richman to eat five of these monsters.  The cheese sauce tastes like, believe it or not..Cheese.  Not watered down white velveeta.

Today I was feeling like eating a true American classic, a chimichanga. I went for the straight up beef filling. No up charges for me.  The lunch portion comes with a side of rice and guacamole salad.  The fried burrito set me back $5.50.  It was a tasty good value. 

This a consistent mexican restuarant with a big dining room.  If you have little kids and don’t like to wait for a table. This place is for you.  I think everyone should give this Three Fork burrito joint a try.

Tracey says…..

I have to get in on this review of Los Shoneys…. I was willing to keep quiet after our trip there a few months ago was so, eh. I mean, Dan was practically raving about the place and tried to make me promise to agree to alternate Mexican restaurant trips between it and my current fave, Rio Bravo 2 in Spring Hill. As if.

But, then the other night when we were trying to decide where to eat dinner, he pulled a fast one. After an exhausting discussion that was pushing dinner WAY TOO LATE to support well-behaved children, we’d narrowed it down to Mexican and I was already picturing a nice, quiet evening at RB2 when suddenly my daydream was interrupted by the van leaving the roadway an exit or two too soon. “Where are you going?!?” I asked, panicking, as he pulled off the Montrose exit. “Calm down,” he assured me since he knows I didn’t enjoy our last visit to the restaurant. “I am just driving through the parking lot.” Mmm hmmmm. Sure.

Oh, and now you are just parking the car? I thought. And now we are just going inside? And now we are waiting for our name to be called? And now we are being seated in this loud and obnoxiously crowded restaurant with all the other people who couldn’t get their acts together and get to dinner at a decent hour? I want my Rio Bravo 2! All these thoughts racing through my mind as he smirked, knowing that the whole family was too hungry to insist that we leave and go somewhere else.

Since Cozumel has not done a good job for us the past 17 times we’ve visited, I have been trying to recreate my favorite meal there, the spinach quesadilla, wherever we go. This place couldn’t do it either. I don’t like the salsa at Los Aguaves. I don’t like the guacamole there. I would rather dip my chips in the white velveeta served elsewhere. I don’t know why I am so disagreeable to this place. I do think that the Shoneyicity has something to do with it. Last visit, we tried to sit on the patio and I felt like I was in a hole the entire time- I could barely reach the table. I know I’m short, but for crying out loud. The girls had to stand up to eat. The seat-to-table height ratio was way off.

Inside, tonight I was imagining that the restaurant engineers had much improved the layout of restaurants to control the noise level in more modern buildings. How little veggie offspring #2 managed to fall asleep mid-meal in that loud joint is beyond me. But she did.

Not to mention that we couldn’t seem to get the attention of the busy host, who had crossed our name off without seating us…. OR of our busy server who forgot we were there… 
I did have a few moments of joy though. Halfway through the meal, a group of employees came out to sing happy birthday to a gentleman seated on the other side of the Shoney’s lattice from our table. One of the staff was dressed in full Zorro regala– complete with mask. It was FABULOUS! Everyone in the place clapped and cheered as they presented him with his fried ice cream birthday treat. Much as I don’t like the place, I was thinking that I have to come back for my birthday!

When I blow out my candles, I be keeping my fingers crossed that they re-open the Breakfast Bar…….

2 forks.
4 carrots– for Vegetarian friendliness in menu items.

Los Agaves
508 3rd Ave
South Charleston, WV 25303
(304) 720-1567
Los Agaves on Urbanspoon

6 responses to “Toto, We’re Not in Shoney’s Anymore – Los Agaves

  1. I love Los agaves! The fact that it’s just a few short blocks from our home makes it even better! The food and service is always on and that jimador is like nothing I’ve ever seen!

  2. “The cheese sauce tastes like, believe it or not..Cheese.”

    Dan, taking style tips from Ron?

  3. Ok, great. Big burrito, lots of shrimp. . . were they cooked well? Nothing worse than overcooked fried shrimp. The rice looks bland and the veggies overdone. How were the sauces. Sauces make or break a Mexican eatery for me.

    Low carb diet? HAR! Rice, beans, chips and veggies? g’luck.

  4. The shrimp were cooked properly. And they weren’t itty bitty tiny shrimp – they were medium.

    The salsa tasted very fresh and was quite spicy. I did not consume any other sauces.

    Mr. Hillbilly – I stay on my low-carb plan by NOT eating the rice, beans and tortillas. I bring my own low-carb tortillas to wrap up the fajitas or I just eat the fajita fixin’s right off the sizzling cast iron plate.

    I gave the rice a taste and deemed it carb unworthy. I really like the rice at Cozumel. I don’t know if authentic Mexican rice has all those veggies in it, but I like them joining the party on my plate.

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

  6. This is the best Mexican restaurant in the Charleston area. Rio in Nitro sucks

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