2115 W Trenton Rd
Edinburg, TX 78539
People have asked me if I’ll take recommendations for places to eat. I look at them, shrug a shoulder and say, “yeah, as long as you don’t mind my honesty.” With that they smile and proceed to tell me about a new place, (new to me of course) that they swear is a great place to eat. Of course I nod and smile, I’m sure they think its the next best thing they’ve ever tasted. But it doesn’t always happen that way.
The restaurant that I’m doing this review for is LanaDee’s Family Restaurant, from what the pics I’ve seen in Facebook they seem to be an all around type of a place to get different types of food. First I’ll begin with the service, on this night my wife and I were the only ones there. A slow night so that was a bit worrisome. The owner mentioned that since they are located in the back of the plaza they are in people can’t really see them, he also mentioned that he was waiting for the new movie theatre to be finished so the people going to see a movie would see them and go and eat well priced food. Not like the usual overpriced food you find at a movie house. Well that review is for another time but for now let’s stick to the project at hand. The server was nice and considerate asked the right questions recommended the specials and kept up with my tea refills so she did well. Now the food that’s another matter.
To call the food cuisine would be like sticking a hot poker in the eye, they don’t have a main type of style is what I’m trying to say. Is it Mexican, Italian, or Russian? The menu looked decent enough with several items, I counted around ten to fifteen items and two appetizers. While we were deciding the owner proceeded to show us pictures of the types of food they served and believe me they had more than what was on the menu. So when I mentioned earlier about the different types of styles they offered I felt that they might’ve been confused on the type of place they wanted to open. But honestly I’m not trying to make it sound like they don’t know what they’re doing but I’d recommend that they find a niche and stick to it. I’’ve never stated that I’m a consultant or anything I’m just a person who enjoys good food, I’ll leave that part to the real professionals of the industry. I am a food lover and critic. I love good food prepared right and am very picky about it. Now, that I’ve settled that, let’s continue with the food we ordered.
My wife and I started the evening with a shrimp cocktail that I decided we could share, and we ordered two plates, one from the menu which was the sizzling fajita plate that my wife wanted to try and for myself with the recommendation of the owner their Chicken Parmesan. which was not on the menu. We received the cocktail promptly, sometimes that’s not always a good thing, let’s just say that the cocktail left me a bit wanting. It came with six decent sized shrimp that seemed to be just taken out of a bowl of ice water. They were cooked thoroughly as shrimp should be in a cocktail but they could have at least removed the excess water. The cocktail sauce might as well have been mixed with a whole jar of horseradish. I like a bit of spice but please, overkill has it’s meaning and this is a proper place to use the word.
We finished our cocktail, and once done we received our main entrees, we noticed that they were hot and steamy, a good sign in my experience. I don’t like cold food even reheated food bothers me. The Fajitas were good and tender but a bit salty for my taste. The rice was a bit mealy but it was around seven in the evening so I’m going to assume it was the late hour. The Charro beans that came with the plate were very bland with little or no taste of what charro beans should be. The order of tortillas I must say did not feel or taste like they were made in house, they felt flimsy as if they were packaged and purchased then reheated and kept warm. All in all I can say that they at least know how to make Tex-Mex food. Which brings my niche mention earlier. I know that if you can make a certain type of food then keep doing that and make it better. Don’t try to learn a new type of style and sell it hoping people will like it.
Now, the Chicken Parm that I ordered was something to be desired. I myself have attempted to make the same type of meal and have done it with some success. But, I’ve also had it from a real italian grandmother and I can say that fresh Chicken Parm is awesome. I don’t play around with it comes to Chicken Parm and when the owner mentioned it I had to try it. Boy was that a mistake. He should’ve known better to attempt to pass off that type of plate with someone who not only knows how to make it but has had it from a passed down recipe dating back decades. And, this recipe was not what I expected. The sauce use was decent even though it did taste like something that came from a can and the chicken breast was a bit dry. The Plate was passable, but not by much. It won’t win any awards at any competitions I’ll say that much. The breading used had little flavor I tasted it separately and found it needed something, maybe a bit of parsley to offset the chicken but it could be that the breading was a bit overdone so that played with my taste buds. The garlic bread was tender and tasty, but I feel that was also packaged as well. I don’t mind using packaged items but come on seriously try to at least attempt to make most of it from scratch. It’s what separates the franchise places and it’s what makes us go to the little mom and pop places. I’d rather go to a little hole in the wall place and have real good home cooked food than pay for a meal that the ticket goes to a franchise fee and pre made pastas and sauces. And, chicken that’s pre breaded then frozen and then tossed into a deep fryer. That my friends will not do.
But, I digress for what I thought what was going to be a great dining experience turned out to be a night that made me want to ask for my money back. I don’t mind paying for a meal that I enjoy but if I didn’t enjoy it then that’s different. When we got our ticket I noticed that the Chicken Parm was priced at 10.99, really for that price I’d expect a good tasting Chicken Parm not a piece of dry chicken with canned sauce and bland tasting breading. The sizzling fajitas were priced at 8.99 a decent price, as it was the only decent tasting plate we had, I’ll let it slide on that. And, remember the shrimp cocktail? Well that one was priced 5.99. Now, I’m not saying I won’t go back because I usually don’t write a place out until I given it at least three chances but what’s that old saying? First impressions are important, well those have never been truer words. This first impression left me wanting more and not in the good way. I will say that if you asked me what my rating would be on a scale of one to five I’d give it two and half and maybe consider going back. But, I’ll give it two more chances to be fair and hopefully the next review I write about this place will be better and I’m hoping the food will be also.