Tortuga: Tex-Mex and Margs

I. Love. Mexican. Food.

And I’ve missed it so much the past few months. There aren’t a lot of Mexican dining options around here. I might’ve seen one or two in passing, but I’ve been waiting on hearing good reviews from friends who have been to these German-Mexican places. One restaurant–Tortuga–has been praised by everyone we know.

Tortuga is in Grafenwöhr, so we waited to go until a day when we would be in Graf anyway. The weather is starting to get pretty cold and it precipitates almost every day, so it’s time for Lee to get snow tires. We went to the service garage on post, but they didn’t have the tires we needed. Great.

We decided to make the most out of our time there and shopped for some things at the PX (which is way bigger than the one in Hohenfels). In the checkout line, my stomach started grumbling… loudly. Immediately, Tortuga came to mind.

“Lee, do you want to get Mexican food?”
“Yes.”

It was meant to be.

We called ahead and made a reservation, just to be safe, but once we got there the reservation seemed unnecessary (maybe because it was a Thursday).

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When we walked in, I could immediately feel the American atmosphere. It was decorated kind of like a knock-off Chili’s: Tex-Mex decorations and colorful wall paint. The host and most of the wait staff were Americans. The menu was entirely in English. I listened for any German conversation in the place, but all I heard was English chatter. When our waitress came over, she was American, and her whole spiel was done exactly as you would expect it in an American restaurant (How we doin? Can I start you off with some margaritas? How about an appetizer? Take your time, I’ll be back in a few to check on you!)

Having dined at nothing but German restaurants for the past four months, it was so weird to me. I had gotten used to waiters and waitresses mostly ignoring me unless I flagged them down–which it totally normal in Germany (and I love it, because you can dine privately without interruption). I laughed and made a comment to Lee on how often our waitress was coming over to our table, but I think she was checking on us a completely acceptable number of times by American dining standards.

There was another waitress who brought us a few of our items, and she was German. I wonder if they choose the tables they wait based on which language they feel comfortable speaking.

It was hard to decide what to order. They have all kinds of queso, salsa, quesadillas, fajitas, burritos, tacos, and enchiladas. It’s a Tex Mex lover’s dream come true. Obviously we had to start with a couple lime margaritas on the rocks (the only way I like them).

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I’ll be completely honest… they were underwhelming (and kind of warm). Lee felt that they were weak. I didn’t feel they were weak, but they were definitely lacking in flavor and tartness. Each sip was a mouth full of sugar, but not a whole lot of anything else. Skip the marg. Get a German beer.

We got the guacamole, pineapple mango salsa, and pico de gallo with tortilla chips. They were all super tasty.

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The chips weren’t hot or still glistening with oil when they came out, but they were crispy and salty, so they accomplished their job: get salsa into Daisy’s mouth.

I ordered a Supremo burrito (spicy chicken and fajita vegetables) and Lee ordered a Magnificent Seven burrito (steak, chicken, peppers, mushrooms and bacon). They were huuuuuge.

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Challenge accepted (I ate the whole thing).

I was really impressed with the burritos. They were stuffed full, seasoned well, and came with a side of the regular house salsa. That salsa is the BOMB. It’s the thin runny kind that works like a sauce, and I poured it all over everything. Definitely order a large cup of it with your chips.

Price wise, I wasn’t super pleased, but I think Tex-Mex is always overpriced for what you get (a lot of beans and rice). The large margarita definitely wasn’t worth €7.50. But, where else are you going to get a margarita and some cheesy, spicy food covered in sour cream? Nowhere. All things considered, even though it’s the only Tex-Mex option in the area, it’s still a pretty good one.

 

 

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