|Everything Fajita||6620 Delmonico Drive, colorado springs co|
GO! DINING REVIEW: Everything Fajita aims for the middle
Restaurant character: This local, family-owned restaurant tries to be “everything” for fajitas, but offers little that made us want to return.
Rating total: 2 out of 5 forks
Food: 2 out of 5 forks
Ambience: 2 out of 5 forks
Service: 3 out of 5 forks
Address: 6620 Delmonico Drive
Contact: 482-6846 or
Hours: 11 a.m.-8 p.m. Mondays-Saturdays
Credit cards: Yes
Vegetarian options: Most of the menu can be made vegetarian, though extra time may be required in some cases. Ask about vegetarian refried beans.
Finding great, small neighborhood restaurants is a wonderful experience and is the goal of every food lover on the prowl for new eats. On this particular hunt to small, neighborhood Everything Fajita in Rockrimmon, however, I came home with no notable culinary trophies to mount on my wall and, in fact, experienced nothing I couldn’t have made at home myself after a big, cart-filling trip to Sam’s Club.
Cold, corporate-sourced and slow, Everything Fajita needs to spice up its game, because there are lots of happier hunting grounds in the Pikes Peak area for fajitas and Mexican in general to tempt hungry foodies away.
When I said it’s cold, I mean that very literally. Everything Fajita is a drafty place, and during my first visit, our server was wearing a puffy winter jacket indoors. The second time around, the restaurant had been robbed. Less-than-airtight plywood covered the formerly glass door (the shards piled in a dish tub two feet away) and only holes and empty brackets remained where a flat-screen TV was once mounted.
But I certainly can’t count a robbery against it. In fact, I was a somewhat pleasantly surprised by some of the interior, which has modern tables and a design focus, thanks to a star theme repeated throughout. Still, with the kitchen clearly visible and a register instead of table service, the overall atmosphere is far from welcoming.
Of all the plates I tried at Everything Fajita, none was bad, and the closest one to good was the Fajita Salad ($7.95). It’s huge and freshly made, with lettuce, tomatoes, (cold) fajita veggies, chicken or beef and a large disc of fried tortilla to garnish. At least, I assume it was only meant as a garnish because it was unsalted and, therefore, not tasty. The ranch dressing was fine, although there was no guacamole color or flavor as advertised. Alongside one of the great Sugarland and other bottled sodas (I loved the communist Leninade), it makes a good lunch with leftovers to spare.
The traditional fajitas are fine, too, (one for $4, two for $7) and especially the flank steak, which is moist and even came to the table pinkly medium rare. The marinade, which makes or break fajitas, was serviceable, but was of a quality that I’ve experienced from a supermarket bottle. Similarly, the salsas are all made in-house, but none earned more than a shrug of the shoulders from me, let alone blew my skirt up.
What confidence in the kitchen I’d gained with that perfectly cooked steak was taken down a notch with the special, a fajita burger ($8.95) with peppers, onions, guacamole and bacon on a pretzel roll. I was served the burger almost raw, almost still bloody. Not good, but mistakes happen. The burger was taken off the bill, and we were offered a plate of dessert nachos as compensation. Dessert nachos? As weird as it sounds. Tortilla chips coated in sugar and cinnamon, drizzled with chocolate and served with a berry salsa.
At least those chips were thick and quality, which cannot be said for the traditional chips, which seemed to me to be dumped out of a bag moments before and are served with most entrees. Also on everything, of course, is the cheese: pre-grated and also likely grabbed out of a bag by the handful.
Both ingredients combined to make the nachos ($7.50) a disappointing affair: dry, plasticky and with a solid lid of cheese. Pre-grated cheese is usually dusted with cornstarch in order to prevent clumping. Handy, yes, but it also creates a quesadilla ($6.25) that’s a solid, mealy disc of cheese.
Also prevalent on the menu are the refried beans, which seem to me to be a cost-cutting filler. They’re even used inside the chicken or beef chimichanga ($7.50) and drown out the flavor of the meat, which is diced, not shredded. To add insult to injury, the chimi is then smothered in sour cream and bright orange, unholy nacho cheese, the kind that’s usually served at concession stands.
Even the much-touted homemade meals seem canned. The pork stew ($5.95) has adequate slow-cooked pork in a thick, glossy broth that doesn’t have any kick of heat or spice.
Everything Fajita does food delivery within a 3-mile radius, and I wonder if they would have preferred me choosing that option. Eating in, the service is slow, and the restaurant seems to be staffed with two people at most. There’s also the register-only service, which makes the whole business seem more like fast food.
The staff is not unfriendly, but they also seem to be more passionate about running a business as an investment than passionate about the food itself. As investment advice, I would say that more attention to quality, solid flavor is the only thing that’s going to lure customers away from nearby Salsa Brava or any of many Chipotle locations and keep the (last time I saw, boarded-up) doors of Everything Fajita open.